Speed kills. Some people are born naturally fast while others have to work to improve their overall speed. Strength training for speed is a key element that coaches, trainers, and athletes are incorporating into their programs.
Why is strength training for speed important?
Over the past 20 years athletes of all disciplines have come to realize that being stronger is an essential element in peak athletic performance.
A stronger athlete often has more stamina and can push the individual boundaries of personal performance to new levels. Stronger, well- conditioned muscles perform more efficiently and strength training for speed is an important component for any workout program.
So what’s the best form of exercise to choose when picking your strength training for speed workout?
Free weights and weight machines have traditionally been popular choices among athletes and trainers when planning a strength training for speed program. Even though there are benefits to using free weights or machines there can also be setbacks. Some of those setbacks can include stiffness, injury, and other challenges. When working with weights coaches and trainers need to practice caution especially when working with younger athletes, especially those under 13 years of age.
When working with young athletes it’s important to also remember that their bodies and bones are still developing. Keeping this in mind is important when working with younger athletes in order that the exercises do not put unneeded stress on the body which in turn can lead to injury and be harmful to further muscle growth and development.
Body weight exercises continue to grow in popularity with athletes and trainers as strength training for speed workouts. Two of the important principles when using body weight exercises in a strength training for speed program are”
- Work explosive movement- Explosive movement works the body differently and in many cases more efficiently and also helps shorten workout times
- Take little or no rest in between exercises- Shortening the rest periods in a workout not only builds stamina but also helps athletes feel and realize gains from their routines in more timely fashion
Another benefit of body weight exercises is that they are not body part specific. This means that the entire body is working during each repetition. Working the entire body at maximum speed with little or no rest contributes to higher heart rates and harder breathing which in turn leads to better cardiovascular fitness, increased stamina, and rising levels of self- confidence and belief in one’s ability.
Strength training for speed is an essential component to improving performance in any athletic activity. The only thing that remains is to choose which type of exercise you want to use to improve your strength and your speed.
Fred Nicklaus is a National Champion martial artist and fitness trainer who has owned and operated martial arts and fitness programs for over 30 years. He teaches strength and fitness classes in La Crosse, Wisconsin for young athletes, men, and women. Visit www.combatendurancetraining.com to find out more about his 9 Minute core home workout and also to claim your FREE fitness video
Core Exercises La Crosse
907 28th St S, La Crosse, WI