Speed Speed Speed!
That is the # 1 request I receive from the coaches I work with.
“I want my kids to shoot down the field and catch guys from behind”
“My kids need to be way faster for this league”
“Our team needs to learn how to sprint with better form”
I hear these on a daily basis and it’s awesome. Speed is so fun to work with because you can drastically improve it with just a little bit of work.
There are two avenues for you to pick up speed:
1) On field work (form running, drills, sprints etc)
2) The weight room
Which one is better? That’s the million dollar question that nobody knows.
What we do know is that BOTH are needed if you really want to get some faster wheels.
The key factor for sprinting is having the ability to drive a really strong force into the ground in a small amount of time. The bigger force, the more the body moves. How do you develop that force?
The weight room.
Here we go!:
1) Band Knee Pull
- Get a band and wrap it around a pole, rig or whatever you can find that is stable.
- Get in push up position and wrap the band around the laces of your shoes. Put some tension on the band.
- Drive your knee as fast as you can towards your chest resisting the band.
- Hold it there for 2 seconds.
- Drive it back slow.
- Hip flexor, anterior core, and knee drive.
- You will feel this work your whole body especially your hips and abs!
- By training your muscles to drive that knee with your abs and hip flexor you will train your body to add some serious speed to your legs.
2) Forward Power Lunge
- Start with 2 Dumb bells, 1 in each hand.
- Perform a slow back lunge.
- Using that same leg you sent back, drive it fast into a forward lunge.
- Simultaneously drive your hands up and clean the bells up to your shoulders.
- Lower body explosiveness, glutes and quads.
- Another great way to drive your knees forward fast and it’s a great way to train your glutes to be explosive!
- The faster the bells and feet move the better. How do you drive them faster? Power!
3) Heavy Sled Push to Sprint
- Load a sled, prowler or whatever you got with some heavy weight.
- Drive the heavy sled forward 10 yards
- At 10 yards, slide over to the side of the sled and sprint as fast as you can
- Type II Fibers, explosiveness and lower body strength
- By driving a heavy sled for a short distance you are sending signals from your brain to your muscles that holy shit we need all the muscle we got to push this sled. When you go right to a sprint without the weight your brain still has that signal and you are “tricking” your muscles to overload. It’s awesome!
- In addition you have an opportunity to work on sprint form
4) Band Overhead Pull Downs
- Wrap a band around a bar, rig or anything stable that is in reaching distance overhead.
- Think of your running form (Opposite Knee Opposite Elbow)
- Standing back with the band in your hands, drive your elbow back as fast as you can while driving your opposite knee up as fast as you can.
- Repeat this rapidly for 10-20 seconds
- Elbow and Knee Drive
- A huge part of gaining speed comes from your arm action. The action of driving your elbow back causes a reaction of accelerating your body forward.
- By stimulating your brain and muscles to violently drive that elbow back you are training your muscles to move that elbow back in a straight line which is huge for running form.
5) Weighted RFE Split Squat Jumps
- Grab 2 Dumbbells, 1 in each hand.
- Place 1 foot on a bench behind you and get into the Rear Foot Elevated Squat Stance.
- Drive your leg that is not on the bench into the ground as hard as you can while keeping your knee right over your foot.
- Jump up as high as you can and land safely controlling the negative
- Switch legs and repeat
- Glutes, quads, calves and force production with your legs.
- I like this one because of the single leg stance. This full body, explosive exercise is a great teacher for force production and muscle fiber recruitment that is needed for sprinting fast.
- Basically you are teaching your legs to drive a huge force in a small amount of time into the ground.
Give these a shot and watch your speed increase!