Cardio And Speed Exercises
Develop both attributes to gain that athlete endurance and speed.
Cardio is often associated with running, and running is frequently associated with speed. However, this doesn't mean that all cardio exercises are speed exercises, or vice versa. Athletes who need to develop both attributes can choose from a selection of exercises that both build the muscles responsible for acceleration and elevate your heart rate to the point that it improves your cardiovascular endurance.
Long-distance running improves your cardiovascular condition, but does little to build the acceleration needed for serious speed. Sprinting, by contrast, works both attributes. A sprint workout consists of multiple short-distance, top-speed runs separated by a brief rest. You can also try a shuttle run, an exercise that consists of several back-to-back, short sprints.
A plyometric workout involves a series of explosive motions that lasts long enough to also engage a cardio burn. Power skipping, high or long jumps and clap push-ups are all examples of plyometric exercises. The explosive motion in plyometrics is what builds speed, as it directly addresses your muscles' ability to accelerate on demand.
Swimming builds your cardiovascular endurance by elevating your heart rate while simultaneously developing cardiovascular control by forcing you to breathe in a set pattern. The resistance of the water builds muscle strength, which can improve your speed and acceleration. As with running, you will build more speed with sprint-length swims at top speed, rather than long-distance swims.
Strength is the physical attribute most responsible for speed in the human body. Weightlifting develops strength. Although you can get speed from a simple weight-training routine, you will need a circuit-training workout to elevate your heart rate sufficiently to also develop your cardio. Circuit training consists of sets of high reps at moderate rate, in a set pattern that lets you move rapidly from one exercise to the next. By the end of a 45- to 60-minute session, you will have addressed both strength and cardiovascular endurance.
A relaxed body moves more quickly than a tense body. In all exercises you attempt, it pays to assess and improve your technique until you can move through it in a completely relaxed manner.