While we are unable to access the gym right now, there are a variety of athletic traits that we can be focusing on that do not require equipment. Two of the most important qualities that we should be training are speed and power. This will allow us to preserve our fast twitch muscle fibers that are responsible for the athletic movements we see in sport. I want to give you an in depth look at how we are currently programming our sport performance workouts to develop speed in our athletes.
There are a variety of bodyweight, specific strength training exercises that we can employ right now to improve our acceleration and top speed. We first need to shift our focus to single leg exercises. Unilateral exercises will provide a greater stimulus as they are more challenging to perform body-weight only compared to bilateral exercises. Furthermore, they can offset asymmetries we may have between sides. Unilateral exercises will help increase stability while recruiting more adductor and lateral hip musculature, which are both responsible for fast coordinated movements in multiple planes. When looking at bodyweight strength exercises to improve speed, we incorporate exercises that improve hip extension in the horizontal and vertical plane, knee flexion, and lateral chain. Examples include single leg hip thrusts, split squat jumps, Nordic curls, and lateral lunges. In addition to targeting the musculature responsible for sprinting we are performing plyometric and sprint training drills to improve top speed, acceleration, and power. Examples include fast leg drills, bounding, and various hop progressions. As you can see it is still possible to develop speed and athleticism during this time, however it is important that the aforementioned qualities are addressed and progressed in a scientific manner. If your athlete is performing random workouts online or “winging” it on their own they may be able to develop some general endurance, but it is likely that much of their training will not translate to improvements on the field or court.
At Genesis we are offering science-based programming and coaching for our athletes. Every day at 11am or 5pm our athletes are participating in virtual coaching sessions that are addressing the aforementioned areas needed to develop speed. If you would like your son or daughter to join in simply reply to this email or register for our online sport performance memberships HERE!