Speed Training: Take Your Home Workout to the Next Level

Speed Training: Take Your Home Workout to the Next Level

Speed training is a whole lot more than just getting faster. There are a ton of benefits that come from pushing your body in specific workouts for speed. It’s a great way to gain muscle mass, strengthen your bones and connective tissue, improve balance and flexibility, and even reduce your risk for injury. When done properly, speed training will take your game to the next level.

Below are three quick movements you can add to your daily workouts to increase your leg strength, explosiveness, and speed.


1. Sprinting in place

This workout will help you with form and sprinting technique, plus it’s great cardio.

Find a sturdy surface with enough space to run in place. Stand with your back straight, feet shoulder width apart, and your arms relaxed at your sides. Begin by bringing one of your knees up to waist height and then bringing it down to ground, aiming to land on the ball of your foot. As one foot comes down, lift the other knee. Do this as fast as possible for 30 seconds while you swing your arms as if you’re running straight forward.


2. Resistance Training

Adding resistance to workouts causes your muscles to work harder on movements that you’re already used to making, increasing leg strength and speed.

One resistance band workout that helps with speed is the lateral band walk. Place a resistance band around both ankles and stand with your feet hip distance apart with a slight bend in your knees. Keeping the band tight, step your left foot to the side so your feet are shoulder width apart. Then step your right foot to the left, returning your feet to hip distance apart. Take five to eight steps to the left. Take five to eight steps to the right. Repeat three times.


3. Hip Flexor Stretch

Staying flexible is one of the most important things to do when training to improve your speed. Regularly stretching your hip flexors will improve your range of motion, which is important for getting faster.

Kneel on your left knee while you place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you so that both knees are at 90-degree angles. While keeping your upper body straight and chest lifted, shift your hips forward to feel a stretch. Switch legs to stretch the other side. Repeat three times and hold each stretch for one minute.


Looking for training gear? Head on over to eastbay.com to find everything you need from shoes and apparel to workout equipment.

Looking for more easy at-home workouts? Check out these blog posts!

Workout Of The Month: 6 Great Kettlebell Warm-Ups

Workout Of The Month: 6 Great Kettlebell Warm-Ups

Kettlebells are an essential workout tool today, and are super versatile. They’re easy to use for in-home or gym workouts and can be used to perform anything from normal barbell and dumbbell exercises to kettlebell specific movements.

The kettlebell can help you improve your strength, muscle mass, power, and explosiveness, all while working on your cardio as well. If you are looking for an all-around simple and safe workout, chances are the kettlebell is your best choice.

Below is a guide put together by our friends at Stack.com. It includes six kettlebell warm-ups — two for each range of difficulty. Feel free to start at whichever level feels most comfortable to you.

 

WKT of the Month 2.15

Beginner:

Start with 10-, 20-, and 30-pound kettlebells for females, and 20-, 30-, and 40-pound kettlebells for males. These circuits should be a general warm-up with a total body focus and they’re ideal before strength training, conditioning, speed training, or plyometrics.

Circuit 1 (perform each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times):

  1. Jump Rope
  2. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swings
  3. Lunges
  4. Inchworms
  5. Bear Crawls
  6. Push-ups
  7. Plank
  8. Reverse Crunches

Circuit 2 (perform each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times):

  1. Jump Rope
  2. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swings
  3. Goblet Squats
  4. Reverse Lunges
  5. One-Legged Hip Hinges (each leg)
  6. Medicine Ball Chest Pass

 

WKt of the Month Story

Intermediate:

Start with 15-, 25-, and 35-pound kettlebells for females, and 20-, 35-, and 50-pound kettlebells for males.

Circuit 1:

  1. Jump Rope
  2. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swings
  3. Lunges (kettlebell held overhead, do 30 seconds on each side)
  4. One-Legged Hip Hinges (each leg, bodyweight only)
  5. Push-Ups
  6. Bear Crawls
  7. Heavy Rope Slams
  8. Plank

Circuit 2:

  1. Jump Rope
  2. One-Handed Kettlebell Swings (do 30 seconds with each hand)
  3. Kettlebell Deadlifts
  4. Inchworms
  5. Sled Push
  6. Sled Pull
  7. Plank

 

Kettlebell

Advanced:

Start with 20-, 35-, and 50-pound kettlebells for females, and 30-, 45-, and 60-pounders for males.

Circuit 1:

  1. Jump Rope
  2. One-Handed Kettlebell Swings + Kettlebell Cleans (30 seconds swing, 30 seconds clean, train each hand)
  3. One-Legged Hip Hinges (each leg, bodyweight only)
  4. Kettlebell Windmills (30 seconds on each side)
  5. Bear Crawls

Circuit 2:

  1. Jump Rope
  2. One-Handed Kettlebell Swings + Kettlebell Snatches (30 seconds swing, 30 seconds snatch, train each hand)
  3. Kettlebell Get-Ups (30 seconds each hand)
  4. Lunges
  5. Inchworms
Ask An IMG Trainer: The Do’s And Don’ts Of The Deadlift

Ask An IMG Trainer: The Do’s And Don’ts Of The Deadlift

2.1 Ask A Trainer Featured 1

One of the most common lifts in a high school athlete’s strength program today is the deadlift, a total body hinge exercise that works everything from your quadriceps to you trapezius muscles.

But the unfortunate reality of this great exercise is that many athletes are doing it incorrectly, or aren’t using the lift to their full advantage.

This is where we come in to help. Thanks to Thea Vock, a Physical Conditioning Coach with IMG Academy, we have the information you need to make every deadlift a successful one.

 

Q: Why is the deadlift an important workout for athletes today?

A: “The deadlift is something that many people do wrong.  There are so many moving parts to the lift and it’s one of the most difficult to teach, especially to a young kid. Deadlifting is pretty much the only movement that will literally work the whole body. It works all the way from the ground up, so you are using your arms, your core, your legs, your hamstrings, and your glutes. It really is one of the best exercises to do for an overall total body workout.”

Q: Can you break down proper deadlift form for us?

2.1 Ask A Trainer 1

A: “The lift involves a hinging movement so it’s much different than a squat where you are moving just straight down and up. Basically, it’s just moving your hips back and then extending them forward in one fluid motion.

To start, you’ll generally want to put your feet right under your hips, making sure your toes are pointing straight ahead or slightly turned out depending on what makes you comfortable. Make sure your hands are right outside of your hips while underneath your shoulders, and then you want to check your back to make sure it is nice and flat with no arch and that your shoulders are locked in. From there, you’ll brace your core and take a deep breath before driving up feet first while moving the bar up straight, keeping it nice and close to your legs all in one fluid motion. As you pass your knees with the bar while coming up, that’s when you’re driving your hips forward with the bar nice and close to your body. Make sure to repeat those steps on the way down so you don’t hurt your back as well.”

Q: Could you give us a few different variations of this exercise?

A: “What we trainers usually like to start with is a kettle bell deadlifts. The form is the same, they will just do the hinging movement with the kettlebell between their legs. Then you have the sumo deadlift where your feet are out wider than your hips, your toes are facing out, and your hands go on the inside of your legs. Another unique variation I like is the hex bar deadlift, this is a hexagonal bar that you will stand in the middle of with your hands on the outside of your hips doing the same hinging motion.”

Q: What are some common mistakes people make while deadlifting?

2.1 Ask A Trainer 2

A: “The biggest and most common mistake would be the rounding of the back. A lot of times, the athlete will begin in a good position, but as soon as they start to lift the weight, they round their back, meaning the weight is probably too heavy for them. Another mistake I see is people locking their knees out and then driving their hips forward. With that we like to see that the bar is staying close to their knees, and as they pass the knees with the bar coming up that their hips are shooting forward. This keeps pressure off the lower back.”

Q: How does an athlete know when it’s the right time to add more weight to the bar?

A: “Starting out, you’ll want to stay pretty light so you can get the form down. What I like to do is ask the athlete how they feel and if they can do the eight reps or whatever they are doing pretty easily. If they can, then I’ll add weight to both sides, usually in 2.5 pound increments. On the other end of things if they are struggling through eight reps I’ll just keep them there, or if their form isn’t looking good then I’ll have them drop some weight.”