3 Exercises that will make you faster
It’s one of the most eye-popping aspects of high-level athletics. When you see it, you can’t help but be in awe of it. It’s what separates athletes as they move from one level to the next, and while it’s usually seen as something that can’t be taught, it can still always be improved. I’m talking about speed.
When we watch professional sports, one of the things that draws us in is the explosiveness of the plays. Even within the highest level of sports, you can see how the quickest and fastest athletes have a leg up on their competition. While we always notice the players who stand out because they are the fastest, all of the rest of them fall somewhere inside the bell curve when analyzed against their competition.
So how do we improve what part of that bell curve that we fall in to? Work on being explosive. Work on technique. Work on strength. Improving all of these aspects of speed will allow you to unlock your potential to be as fast as you possibly can. While you may never be Tyreek Hill fast, you can always work on being YOUR fastest. Below I’m going to outline three of my favorite exercises to help athletes get faster.
Single Leg Triple Broad Jump
One of the aspects of speed that is often forgotten is that power is produced on one leg at a time. A sprint is a series of alternating push offs and landings that continue to build in frequency and intensity as you begin moving. I love this drill because it works on decreasing the amount of time that your foot remains in contact with the ground, and also requires a natural cycling motion of the limbs in order to be performed properly.
It’s extremely common for someone to be losing speed simply because they don’t fully extend their legs when sprinting, don’t have any forward lean when accelerating, or always let their heels hit the ground. Wall marches address all of these issues and create awareness. You can’t fix the issue if you don’t understand where it’s stemming from. Wall marches allow you to slow down the movement in order to break it down, address the finer points of the technique, and work on building back up to higher speeds.
This brings us back around to the fact that speed is produced on one leg at a time. In order to have speed, we need to have a baseline of strength to build on. The Bulgarian squat allows us to build strength and balance on one leg at a time, while also imitating the split stance position that we are in through the majority of a sprint. There are few strength exercises with as much carryover to speed as the Bulgarian Squat.
Steve Zarriello is a Certified Strength and Conditoning Specialist, TPI Certified coach, and the owner of Olympia Fitness and Performance, located in Cranston, RI. He has been training clients of all different ages, abilities and backgrounds to help them reach their specific goals for almost 15 years. His primary focus is on working with golfers to help improve their ability to play the game and keep them pain free.