Sprinter’s Body: How to Get It? (What Science Says)

Athletes have impressive physiques. Who doesn’t want to have the kind of ripped, shredded body like they have? When the Olympics roll around, many people are seen being inspired by athletes.

They become desirous of having the kind of body that the sportsperson they follow has. There is a strong relationship between sprinting and having a rock-solid body. Sprinting is a fat-burning activity that helps to build up muscle tissue.

Although you may not be very impressed by the kind of body that an average runner has, you cannot deny that sprinters have an excellent physique that is worth trying for. Sprinters have immensely athletic bodies. They are lean, muscular, and powerful.

Although their bodies are bound by muscles, they do not look excessively bulky. Their bodies are designed in such a manner that allows them to display a short burst of power instead of a prolonged period of steady effort. Their bodies are lean, and jacked.

If you are willing to get a body like a sprinter, you need to indulge in training that will help you to get your body packed with muscles while allowing you to stay lean. The goal should be to get an athletic body that will allow you to sprint at an excellent speed.

This article will talk in detail about the features of a sprinter’s body and give you ways in which you can have the ideal body like a sprinter.

What is the ideal sprinter’s body?

What is the ideal sprinter's body

There are some hallmarks with respect to body features that are associated with every kind of sport. Sprinters ideally have lean physiques. Although the body may look lean, sprinters have a very well-built, ripped, and defined physique.

You must be wondering what differentiates the body type of sprinters from that of long-distance runners. Well, the key difference lies in the muscles that are in demand for sprinting and running. Sprinters require short bursts of high energy in order to complete their activity. They have to build muscles in their calves and quads.

Nevertheless, most sprinters have well-built upper bodies as well, that is, the chests, backs, and arms. The power that they require is explosive in nature; they are not the ones who are in need of endless endurance because sprinting is for a short duration.

Sprinters who take part in the Olympics train in such a way that they indulge in a lot of activities other than just running. They perform weight training and also train their abs. This helps in the holistic development of their bodies and improves their overall performance. Here are a few characteristics of an ideal sprinter body.

Therefore, we can say that sprinters have bodies that are different from long-distance runners.

Good Posture

There are a number of remarkable features that are evident in a sprinter. Sprinters have well-developed upper backs. Their scapula is also well-placed. Sprinters also display lumbar lordosis, which is a term that refers to an arch in the lower back. This is not something you will find in a distance runner. This is because sprinters have a great muscle bulk in the region around the glute.

Not having a correct posture may tamper with the performance of the sprinter. It is important for a sprinter to have a balanced body in order to ensure optimum and efficient movement. What can possibly happen if the body balance is not maintained? Let us suppose that the hip flexors of a sprinter are very tight.

In such a case, the gluteal muscles may not be able to operate as effectively as they should. Therefore, it is ideally recommended that the functional competence of athletes should be accessed to ensure that their posture does not hinder their performance.

Stature of the Sprinters

It has been observed through trends that height is detrimental for sprinters. It is not always the case that only the long sprinters will win the race.

An athlete’s physique is the main reason why he is successful or unsuccessful in the sport that he has opted for. Ever since the advent of the Olympics, huge variations have been seen among sprinter’s heights who have won gold in the 100 mtrs. The height of sprinters usually ranges between 5’5″ to 6’5″.

If you are under the impression that long legs can help you improve your sprint speed, here is something you need to know. Sprint speed is the product of stride length and stride frequency. To create greater stride length and frequency, the ground reaction force is an important factor that needs to be taken into consideration. It is due to this reason why sprinters train in a way so that they can target certain specific muscle groups.

The strength of a sprinter is not really associated with his effectiveness and efficiency. It takes the strongest reactive sprinter to make sure that he applies force on the ground in such a way so that he gets the maximum force back and moves forward. Sprinters who have long legs only have long strides, which means that they take shorter time to cover more distance with one stride.

To support the statement that height does not have anything to do with sprint speed, we can take the example of Andre Cason, whose height is 5’6″, who was the shortest man who broke 10 seconds in the 100 meters. Therefore, height is no barrier for sprinters to excel in their field.

Their Bodies have a Dominance of Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibres

Sprinters have bodies that are endowed with fast-twitch muscle fibers. These muscle fibers have a number of characteristics that make them ideally suited for power and speed performance. These characteristics impart a better advantage to the sprinters in terms of speed.

In the fast-twitch muscles, there is a better speed of contraction. Not only this, but the relaxation time is also faster. Fast-twitch muscles also have a better capacity of generating force. All these features combine and make the bodies of sprinters ideal for the sport that they indulge in.

Ripped Bodies

Ripped Bodies 
Image: Celso Pupo / bigstockphoto.com

Sprinters put their muscles to great use. They have to contract their muscles maximally so that they can reach top speeds. This contraction helps in muscle activation, and is probably one of the most superior forms of training.

Sprinting is a highly intense anaerobic exercise which incorporates the use of more muscle fibers as compared to the conventional moderate or light aerobic cardio exercises.

It is due to this reason that sprinters have more muscular and powerful physique as compared to other distance runners. Anaerobic training also increases the production of growth hormone and testosterone in the body, which causes the body to get ripped over the time.

Low Body Fat Percentage

Low Body Fat Percentage
Image: StrangerView / bigstockphoto.com

In competition, if your body contains fat, it is equivalent to dead weight which is not going to do any good to your body. When you carry around too much weight, it is equivalent to carrying around a weight vest when you go to compete.

The key to becoming successful in any sport, be it sprinting or distance running, is shedding the excessive fat without losing the body muscles. As has been seen through studies, the average body fat percentage for male sprinters is 9.1 percent and that of female sprinters is 13.7 percent.

Ideal Sprinter Physique Stats

Ideal Sprinter Physique
Image: StrangerView / bigstockphoto.com

Sprinters have a perfect amalgamation of immense work capacity and dominance of fast-twitch muscles. They have physiques that are visually appealing.

A specific kind of body is preferred for sprinting. If you are desirous to get the kind of body that sprinters have, your lifestyle, the kind of training you indulge in, and your diet have a massive role to play.

Stated below are the physical measurements of some of the top sprinters who have made remarkable achievements in the field. 






Elaine Thompson

Won both 100 and 200 meters in Olympic at Rio de Janeiro; Won silver medal at 2015 World Cup

1.68 m

56 kg


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Won two Olympic titles- in the 100 meters and in the 2008 Beijing Games and London 2012;  Won seven gold medals in World Cup

1.52 m

57 kg


Usain Bolt

Won eight Olympic titles and 11 world titles

1.95 m

94 kg


Asafa Powell

Won one Olympic title in the 4×100 meters relay in the 2016 Rio Games;

Won two world crowns also in the short relay, in Berlin (2009) and Beijing (2015)

1.90 m

93 kg


Richard Thompson

Won Olympic Title in Beijing 2008 as part of country’s 4×100 relay

1.88 m

80 kg


Sprinters have an awesome physique. Although genetics is an important factor that determines the physique of an individual, there are other factors that are responsible for the same too.

Its the way you train, lead your lifestyle, and maintain your diet that determines the kind of physique you will have. Listed below are some of the ways in which you can train your body to get a sprinter’s build.

How to get a Sprinter’s Body?

How to get a Sprinter’s Body?

If you are aiming for that sprinter body, here are a few recommendations that you might need to consider. Read on to find out.

You Need to Lose Weight

Losing weight is important for runners. The lighter, the faster. People who have large bodies might face difficulty in getting the oxygen delivered throughout the body. When you lose weight, it does not mean that your lung capacity will change. It simply means that every breath you take will not have to travel far.

There are other reasons too that suggest that lighter people are at an advantage of attaining a greater speed while sprinting. For instance, sprinters who are lean find it easier to dissipate heat.

This is because their surface-area-to-body-weight ratio is high and they have less fat tissue that might act as an insulation. They are also better and more efficient at burning carbohydrates. Hence, you need to begin by losing weight.

Begin with Slow and Small Sprints

It is not possible to get the desired body you want unless you get into the act. If you are a beginner, you need to get started slowly. If you are new to sprinting, you should start with covering 100 mtr at a time. This will help to prepare your aerobic energy system slowly.

If you are really aiming for that sprinter’s body, it is ideally suggested to incorporate 5-10 short sprints in every workout session. Allow a rest period of 2-3 minutes in between the sprint sessions. This will help your body to get accustomed to the kind of stress that you need to keep up with.

Stamina Building

You are not going to get the stamina in a day. However, with the right kind of training and sheer dedication, you can achieve your goal. As a beginner, you have to begin on the low end. Start with 100 mtrs and allow a rest period of 3 minutes in between. Do five reps of this pattern.

Once you have mastered this, you can consider cutting down the three minutes rest interval to two. To add more challenge to your training, add a sixth set. If this feels tiresome, then you can again increase the period of rest to 3 minutes. Gradually train your body so that you can opt for 10 reps in a workout session.

Once you get a hang of the pattern, try to get as stronger and faster as you can. Mix and match, increase the reps, reduce the timing, and plan it accordingly so that you can get better with every workout session. Every time you increase the difficulty level of your exercise, you know that you are developing your endurance.

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Weight Training

Alongside building endurance, sprinters also need to train their muscles. Therefore, weight training forms an essential part of a sprinter’s training session. This helps to eliminate fat and build immense power. Although sprinters do not compete in the weightlifting sports, they are known for having immense strength. They are stronger than long distance runners and middle distance runners.

In order to develop power and strength, it will be beneficial to perform around six reps of explosive exercises and couple them with accessory movements. Some of the exercises mentioned below will help you get the desired sprinter physique.

For the arms:

  • Dumbbell preacher curl
  • Bicep barbell curl
  • Skull crusher
  • Cable triceps pushdown
  • Cable bicep curl
  • Single-arm dumbbell overhead triceps extension

For the legs:

  • Leg extension
  • Leg press
  • Lunges
  • Bent-knee calf raises
  • Leg curl machine
  • Thigh machines

For the abs:

  • V-ups
  • Hollow holds
  • L sits
  • Planks

It is advisable to get in touch with your gym trainer and let him chalk out a training plan for you.  

HIIT Workouts Can Work Wonders

HIIT refers to high-intensity interval training. As the name suggests, these exercises consist of short intense efforts which are then followed by periods to allow quick recovery. They help to develop muscles, improve endurance, and also boost explosiveness.

Although beginners too can indulge in HIIT sessions, it is important to make sure that the muscles get rest between the training sessions. If not done, HIIT can result in soreness. It is also important not to lose form while performing the exercises as that increases the chances of injury and fatiguing.

It is also important to make sure that one does not overdo HIIT. It is an art to strike the perfect balance between doing HIIT, and exercising on the track. Once you master it, you will see great changes in your body. It does not take much time to perform HIIT, so indulge in one when you are running short on time.


It is also important to make sure that you put adequate quantities of protein on your plate. Protein helps in muscle building and also recovers the muscles that have been worn out due to training. Some common food items that are a rich source of protein are:

  • Eggs
  • Lean meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry

Alongside protein, your diet should also contain carbohydrates. Some sources of carbs that you can include in your meal plan are:

  • Fruits
  • Potatoes
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes

Get in touch with your dietician and jot down the best workout plan that will help you get your dream body.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Sprinter’s Body?

You are likely to see the results in 3 months! However, this varies from person to person. 

If you are consistent in your efforts, you can definitely achieve your goal. There are some factors that can play an instrumental role in determining how fast you will get your desired sprinter’s physique, like: 

  • How intensely you are training
  • The number of calories you are burning during exercise 
  • The effect that the training is having in your muscles

Your body will react to your training taking the following into consideration.

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Final Thoughts

Hope this gives you an idea in detail about how you can sport the sprinter’s physique. Always remember that it is equally important to allow your muscles to rest, therefore it is advisable not to do sprinting on consecutive days.

By now, you already know that your training should be backed by a proper nutrition program. Therefore, be careful about what you are putting on your plate. Apart from that, if you follow the steps as mentioned in the article above, you are good to go!