Does Working Out Your Legs Make You Faster?
Context is important here. When you say faster, it’s important to understand what your objective is to determine to what degree it is useful to work out your legs. Your running objective will also determine the type of workout that may help your cause to become faster.
In theory, working out your legs will make you faster, but faster throughout what duration though? Are you hoping to faster in a short or long-distance race? Let’s compare the average body of an Olympic 100M runner vs. a professional marathon runner. Generally speaking, you will find that the 100M runner has a lot more muscle mass than a marathon runner, who tends to have a body with lean muscle mass.
That’s because a 100M runner needs a lot of explosive speed and strength to give him or her the advantage over the competitors in a short period of time. For marathon runners, on the other hand, having too much muscle mass will be a detriment. Explosive strength may give them a head start initially but it won’t mean as much over the course of a long-distance race.
If you want to take running seriously and become faster at what you do, training and working out is an absolute must but you must adjust your leg workout plans based on your objectives. Short-distance runners, for example, may want to focus on leg workouts that give them strength and explosiveness, such as squats, speed skaters, and lunges.
Long-distance runners, on the other hand, may want to focus on leg workouts that help build their endurance. A good mix of workout exercises may include sumo squats, step-ups, and dead-lifts. It’s good to do exercises that affect all of your leg muscles at once (also called compound exercises) as opposed to exercises that isolate specific muscles like hamstring curls.