Are you having trouble with increasing your stride length while running? How about if you can do one exercise that will help your muscle memory get to the height you need in order to gain distance on your stride length. What I have done with great success to help my athletes increase their stride length, turnover frequency and body lean into a sprint are Wall Drives. This can be done almost anywhere and all you need is a wall or some other solid stationary object. There is no age limit to this drill and it can be done for all levels of experience. With everyone having different levels of training and strengths, with the use of Wall Drives you can improve your quickness.
It is really simple since all you would need is a concrete wall, fence, weight rack, even a pole or tree. The last two were if the others are not available to you. But I am sure that there is a wall or fence out there with your name on it. Since we are talking about Wall Drives, I will be referring to a wall in this article. To get set up, you would need to stand an arms distance away from the wall. Put your hands up to should height against the wall and walk your feet back, without your hands sliding down, until your heels are off the floor. When done, you should feel your body pushing into your hands against the wall. Now lift one knee up to hip height with the foot dorsiflexed directly underneath the knee. On the command of a coach or even teammate, push the lifted leg down and back to strike the floor even with the other foot that is down. Once you strike the foot, quickly lift the leg back up to hip height. Now this first stage of the drill is to focused on the isolated leg. With increased turnover rate you would need to work on both legs so that you can equal quickness.
Now to get both legs into the drill all you would need is to get into the starting position and then once the command is given, forcefully strike the first leg to the ground as the other leg drives up. This would just alternate from one side to the other. You can start with this alternate drive or move into a two, three, four and even a five count with your knee drives. Each drive counts as one during the cycle and always apply as much force into the ground with maximum height of your knee drive.
There are some form cues that must be in place so that you can transfer power with ease and maintain the correct posture. One is to always try to maintain the forward lean into the wall at an ideal 45 degree angle, keep your core activated with a neutral spine, have your vision forward with chin in a neutral position and always strike the foot behind the hip in order to achieve triple extension of the lower body. Gaining triple extension is the biggest key to maximizing the power that can be produced by the body moving forward and/or a vertical direction.
If you cannot visualize what I am trying to explain to you in this article please take a look at my VIDEO that will breakdown everything we just went over. Also if you fell that you are still having trouble understanding or executing the drill please feel free to use this DEMO PASS to come in to our facility to try out my Speed Clinic. Until then I hope that this was able to help you and stay turned for my next informative article on how to increase your speed.
Article by: Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1
Tagged: Athlete, Athletes, Athletic, athleticism, Force production, increase speed, knee drives, quickness, run fast, Running stride, speed, Speed Drills, sprint drills, Sprinting, Stride length, stride turnover, wall drives