It’s been said time and again, speed kills. The most coveted athletic trait in most field sports is speed. So now someone has to ask themselves “How do I gain speed”. This is a multifaceted question with many relevant answers. One aspect that is usually left out are speed exercises in the weight room. Proper use of resistance training can give the aspiring athlete the power, strength, and stability needed to reach full speed potential.
Strength- A proper strength base is needed to develop future power. To make sure the strength can be transferred to the sprinting stride, most of the athlete’s lower body strength work should be done in a unilateral fashion.
DB Step Ups 3 sets 8-10 reps per side
This exercise builds strength unilaterally in all the muscle groups that are incorporated in sprinting. The athlete steps up onto a moderately sized box and fully extends the lead leg while flexing the hip on the trail leg. Make sure the exercise is done in a slow and controlled motion while maintaining proper balance and stability.
Power- This is the use of the strength base that was built earlier in an explosive and rapid fashion. Again using a unilateral exercise for easier neurological crossover to sprinting.
Single Arm Dumbbell Split Jerk 5 sets 3 Reps per side
This lift is a variation of a traditional Olympic style lift. The athlete executes the lift by use of the triple extension of the hips, knees, and ankles. This generates the power that transfers through the body upwards to the dumbbell. This power production is the key part to increasing stride length and speed by generating maximum force into the ground while sprinting.
Stability- Balance and core strength need to be addressed to minimize any power leaks and retain the proper form and technique throughout the sprinting process.
Prone Stability Ball Knee Lifts 3 sets 10 each side
This movement forces the athlete to stabilize their body by contracting the core musculature. The athlete takes a prone position using the stability ball as their base. Once in position, they move into alternating hip flexion. This mimics the stride pattern while maintaining proper core control, thus leading to an easy crossover into sprinting.
Our focus here at MVP is the transfer of these exercises is to the field. A well designed weight training program by our staff of strength and conditioning coaches can give many athletes the edge when it comes to power development. For more information on these exercises and many more continue to check back here at MVPSC.COM