If you are always wondering what you can do to help increase your speed, I am here to let you know that there are three simple things that you can do in order to help increase you speed. Now a days, every athlete has the desire to be the fastest on their team and with a proper strength training program, a focused sprinting program and having the flexibility to allow your body to produce maximum amounts of force all will lead to gains in speed that you are looking for. We cannot forget that it takes a strong sense of dedication to remain focused on your goals in order to stay committed to reaching them.
It all starts by having the proper strength training program that will take any athlete to the next level in their performance at all levels. Being able to incorporate the correct exercises in your training program is essential. The strength training program should include exercises that not only focus on your lower body but also the upper body. Both portions of your body work synergistically to produce power. Some example exercises could be as basic as a back squat to a more complexed movement like the split jerk. Understanding the order and progression for each athlete is something that would require the guidance of a professional in order to prevent unwanted injuries. Being able to discuss your goals and timeline with your trainer or strength coach will help them program and progress your training with the same vision and direction as yourself.
Now one of the most important things that needs to be done if you want to increase your speed is to run and run as much as possible. During your off-season is the time you would take to focus on building stamina in your run with some mid to long distance sprints involved. With the pre-season program, it is important to not only gear your runs towards short and mid distance sprints but also a tapering down of your distance running. As you enter you season there should be a focus on acceleration and reaching your top end speed. At the start of the season is where you can focus on form work as well. The middle of your season is where you would need to focus on top end speed and short powerful sprints. It is very important to mimic the sprint training to the type of sprints you are doing in your sport. Once the season ends you do not want to just stop running because your off-season training will take an extra amount of time in order to get you back in to shape. What you want to do in the post-season is to use the time to mentally review the season during light runs with mild intensity.
The biggest area that some athletes seem to neglect, is increasing and maintaining their flexibility. With the more training you do, this correlates to increased tension on those muscle groups that are used. Athletes that have increased amplitudes of movements in their hips and shoulders can produce great amounts of power with their limbs. Flexibility is one area that needs to be addressed throughout the entire year, since you are always training each quarter of the year. Athletes that take the time to involve some type of flexibility program into their daily rituals will have an advantage over other athletes that might not have such dedicated focus in their training. Every athlete is different and with that you would need to understand your body completely in order to feel what it is telling you so that you can do the correct stretches to help promote fast recovery, increased speed and reduce the risk of injury.
Every athlete has different goals and body types including the means on how they want to reach those goals. You need to have a clear plan on reaching your goals and with a strong mind set in order to maintain your focus. Being able to map out your plan and goals will give a strong sense of direction and a timeline to reach them. It is always a challenge on reaching your athletic goals and increased focus will keep you on the right track to accomplish everything that you set your mind to.
Article by: Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1
Tagged: Core Strength, explosive speed, faster speed, flexibility, increase speed, Mental Toughness, mental training, power, power development, speed, Speed Training, strength, strength training, top end speed, training, Youth Athletes, youth speed training