How to Increase Speed for Sports


Comments   |   Kids, News, Training, Workouts

Author: Michael Greeves

Speed is not a factor in every sport, but in many sports it is an absolute requirement. Very few soccer, basketball or football goals would be made without fast-moving athletes to do the work. There are many different theories on how to train for speed. The best option is often to use a combination of methods in your workouts.

Assisted Running

Assisted running is done by running while being pulled along with a cord or rope and pulley. It is easy to imagine how this would make the runner move faster, at least temporarily. The idea of assisted running training is that the athlete will improve the frequency of his strides over time. This will keep him from developing a leap-frog system of running where he takes off fast, slows down, and takes off fast again. By working on consistency this way, the athlete can increase his speed overall.

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Resisted Running

In resisted running, a force is applied to the athlete to pull back on him while he is running. Sometimes a parachute is used, or the athlete might pull something heavy behind him. This resistance training improves strength while the athlete attempts speed. It can increase the length of the athlete’s stride or just make him a stronger runner. Also, if an athlete trains for any amount of time with resisted running, he will feel light and swift when the weight is removed.

Sprinting Methods

Sprints can be used in speed training in a number of ways. One way is to do accelerated sprints. These are done by starting out at a given point and sprinting to another given point, all the while running faster and faster. At the end of the sprint, a walking rest period takes place before the next accelerating sprint.

An exercise related to sprinting but a little more controlled is doing alternating strides. For this exercise, cones are set up spaced from 1 meter for the first 10 meters to 2 meters for the next 20 meters. The athlete then sprints, making sure to land one stride by each cone. This helps him develop variations in speed and a more consistent stride.

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Plyometrics can be used to improve power, but they will also increase pure speed. For example, bounding from foot to foot in an exaggerated run will help train your fast twitch muscles to react when you need them. It will increase your stride as well.

Athletes in race competitions work hard to gain speed over their opponents. Those in team sports such as soccer, tennis, and basketball can also improve their sports performance with speed training. Speed is an advantage that athletes would be wise to gain, and training will help them run stronger and faster.



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