3 Ways To Improve Speed
For any athletic passion speed is essential for keeping ahead of your competition. In order to create a fast body, strength and stability is needed to control speed. Without strength and stability, you will not have the core components to produce the speed that you want or potentially an injury will occur due to the high loads on the body.
The following three exercises are designed to develop the strength and stability in the body to create the foundation you need to truly develop your speed:
1.Resisted Hip Extension
This movement is essential to create a great hip drive from the glutes (muscles of the buttocks) which transfers into speed and power. When the glutes are under-firing, the hamstrings and calves will tend to dominate the hip extension movement which can lead to hamstring or calf injuries.
Attach resistance band to an anchor point then place around hips and walk forward to find tension.
Keeping chest and head forward slightly push hips backwards.
With knees slightly bent and before chest becomes too parallel with ground and knees bend too much, slightly tense glutes and push hips forward back to standing.
This is only a small movement for the glutes and should not become a squatting-like movement. If you don’t have a band, perform the same movement but use a stick on the back along the spine to keep good alignment of the spine. To make it harder with the band, walk forward to create more resistance or add a jump to the end of the movement.
2. Resisted Hip Flexion
Hip flexion is very import for developing a high knee drive in jumping and sprinting. The hip flexors and gluts work as a partnership when moving, so if one group is more dominant than the other, imbalances will be created.
Place a resistance band around the top of your feet so the band comes under the arches. Feet start hip width apart.
Raise knee above hip height and keep the stance leg straight; try not to have a bend at the knee.
Keeping control of the band with the foot, lower knee just below the height of the hip and then above again. Repeat this movement up and down then do the same on the other leg.
his movement isolates the hip flexor on one leg whilst the other leg has to stabilise the body. This movement is very functional for running and sprinting. To make this movement easier or if you don’t have a band, stand up against a wall to help with spinal alignment and do the same movements, and then try without the wall.
3. Hill Sprints
A staple exercise for developing speed. Hill sprints are perfect for developing speed; the inclined nature of the exercise makes you lift your knees high and lean forward into the run. Also the hill helps restrict the maximum speed you can gain which will aid in safety of the exercise.
Find a hill
Run up it
Keep knees high and light on your feet.
These are best done after the two previous exercises. To vary this exercise, look for a steeper hill or even longer hills. Make sure to keep light on the feet, so run on your toes and focus on a smooth controlled run up the hill.
To develop speed, strength and stability needs to be created then the speed will come. Focusing on only speed-type training without the proper foundation can lead to injury or a plateau in athletic development.