Most people believe speed is something you’re born with. But in reality, that’s not true – speed is a science and can be developed.
Speed is defined as a limb’s quickness of movement generated by the athlete’s ability to apply force and utilize it with great frequency (or in simpler terms: Force X Frequency = Speed.)
You can actually train your body to deliver more force to the ground and, once that happens, become faster and more explosive. Speed is an integral part of almost every sport and can be utilized in a variety of different ways.
To maximize your stride length and frequency, you need to work on your stability, mobility, strength and technique. Working on your hamstring flexibility and hip mobility is crucial for stride frequency improvement, while workouts such as Olympic Lifts and Plyometrics elevate your stride lengths by developing your muscular strength and power.
However, developing speed is a rather complex process, and mastering the technique behind your movements may be the most important part. The brain and the nervous system need to learn the motor skills to control these fast motions efficiently. Practicing the basic fundamentals of running form will not only improve your skills, but it will also improve your brain’s ability to adapt to these quick movements. You have to be able to perform these complex motions at slow speeds with 100% accuracy before you can transition to high speeds. Working on your technique on a consistent basis will ensure that your movement patterns and nervous system stay in sync.
So, to recap — here are your general principles for speed development:
Work on your mobility to upgrade your range of motion in your hips. This will drastically effect your speed and assist in preventing injuries.
Improve your flexibility through stretching to improve your turnover ability.
Perform plyometrics movements such as jumping, hopping and bounding to develop explosive power.
Make sure the skills you develop relate to movements you will make in your sport!
For more performance and workout tips from world-class trainer, Travelle Gaines, check out athleticgaines.com.
As an athlete there is always something you can get better at. Whether it is getting stronger, faster, or even smarter, it’s all valuable to your game on the field.
However, many forget the importance of one key skill: lateral quickness, otherwise known as side-to-side movement speed or change-of-direction speed.
Whether you’re an infielder for baseball, a linebacker in football, or a defensive player in soccer, you’ve got to have some sort of lateral quickness — so it’s always great to work on lateral quickness, change of direction, and multi-directional sport specific change of direction at least twice a week. Adding these lateral quickness drills makes you a better athlete — it puts you in the game and in a position to win.
Along with making you a better athlete overall, having good lateral quickness also can help you when it comes to injury prevention.
Along with making you a better athlete overall, having good lateral quickness can also help you when it comes to injury prevention. The biggest issue is so many people associate speed with the 40 yard dash — there are very few times you’re actually running that long of a distance. Normally, if you find yourself running that far, you made a bad play and are chasing someone down. To put yourself in positions that you will see on the playing surface — whether it’s the court, the diamond, or the grass — is a way to greatly reduce the chances of injury.
Lateral Quickness Drills:
Mini Hurdle Follow Through
Set up two small hurdles side by side.
Start on the right side of the hurdles and shuffle back and forth through the hurdles quickly.
Set a timer so you can do each set for a certain amount of time.
Mini Hurdle Stop
Set up two small hurdles side by side.
At a slower pace, shuffle through the hurdles.
When you get to each side hold and plant your outside leg and dorsal flex your inside knee up.
The Eastbay Shuffle
Set up a few small hurdles side by side with a cone on either side of the hurdles.
In an athletic stance move sideways over the hurdles, lifting one foot at a time over each hurdle.
Get low and touch the cone on either side of the hurdles before going back to the other side.
At Eastbay, our mission is to help you Get The Best To Be Your Best. And across the board, what the best athletes have is speed. From the track to the court to the field, the best athletes are the ones who are able to win the race, make the play, or chase down the tackle. We want you to be that athlete. Here are seven tips from the training experts at STACK.com on how to increase your speed.
Speed isn’t just important to runners and track & field athletes. Being able to accelerate at the drop of a hat is a must-have ability in football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. When the game-changing play is on the line, all athletes need speed. And STACK has a three-pronged approach to help you get there.
Getting faster is about more than just speed work. You also need power. Building up your strength allows you to push off from the ground with more force — and more force means more speed. Try this full-body strength plan and watch yourself fly to a new PR.
Power pushes you forward, but form is what will make or break your next PR. So, once you’ve built up your strength, it’s time to improve muscle memory. These three sample drills will help you build up the acceleration phase of your race, so you can leave the competition in the dust.
Once you’ve perfected your speed, strength, and form, it’s time to focus on the details. When winning can come down to tenths of a second, every movement of your body makes a difference. These resistance exercises will make sure your arm swing is working for instead of against you.
Reaching top speed is only half the battle. Maintaining that pace is just as important. Use these three treadmill workouts to build endurance so you can outlast the competition when victory is on the line.
You’ve got the workouts down, but there are other ways to shave seconds off your time. Increasing your flexibility leads to better mobility and a more natural running stride. And who doesn’t want that? Try adding these dynamic stretches to your training plan and watch your race times improve.
It’s important to choose the right fuel for tough training and race days. Look for ways to incorporate these foods into your diet as a way to complement your training cycle and give your body an extra boost. You’ll feel great and run fast.
A recent study found that failing to drink enough fluids during a game actually makes you slower.
It’s long been known that dehydration can ruin your endurance. Premature fatigue and cramping from dehydration can be so severe that endurance athletes sometimes cannot even finish their events. That’s a worst case scenario. More commonly, if they don’t take in enough fluid, they simply slow down.
However, when it comes to sprint-based sports, like football, researchers have only been able to surmise that dehydration slows you down. Previous research has shown that when you are dehydrated, your sprint speed might decrease, stay the same or even increase.
The latest study on the topic, published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, sought to shed more light on how dehydration affects repeat sprint performance. The researchers designed the study to simulate a common practice schedule, an athlete having an afternoon practice and either hydrating or failing to hydrate before a practice the next morning.
Eight NCAA Division II basketball players performed two identical sprint tests consisting of three sets of eight 30-meter sprints with 45 seconds of rest between sets. One test was performed while hydrated and the other was performed at 3-percent dehydration.
The researchers found no difference in the two tests in the first set of sprints. However, the dehydration results were on average 3.3 percent slower in the second and third sets. There was a wide gap in individual performance. One athlete actually sprinted 0.8 percent faster in the dehydration test and another sprinted 5.5 percent slower.
Based on these results, the researchers concluded that dehydration of 1 to 3 percent will likely slow down your intermittent sprint speed. They also found that dehydrated athletes experience an elevated heart rate and perceive the sprints as more difficult.
Some athletes might be able to handle dehydration better than others, but staying hydrated should be a primary focus for athletes looking to maintain their sprint speed.
A 3 percent reduction in speed might not seem like much, but athletes train for even the smallest gains. For example, Marcus Mariota ran 21.42 miles per hour in Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season. If he had been dehydrated, he would’ve only reached 20.71 miles per hour.
The key is to take a comprehensive approach with your hydration. According to Leslie Bonci, renowned sports dietitian, this involves more than just drinking a little fluid before you practice or play in a game. Here are Bonci’s guidelines for optimal hydration:
• Drink fluid throughout the entire day. Male athletes should have about 15 cups of water, and female athletes should drink 9-11 cups of water.
• Drink 20 ounces of water 1 hour before activity.
• Drink regularly throughout your activity, taking big gulps of water.
• Drink 24 ounces of water after activity for every pound of weight lost.