Athletes, coaches, and fitness buffs are competitive by nature, so it’s no surprise that we are often asked “how can I get faster?”
Whether you’re simply looking to reach a personal goal or hoping to crush the competition, we have selected the best speed training drills to help you get faster…faster!
Get ready to feel the burn, because these speed training drills will enhance your sports performance training and work all of the muscles that are needed for speed.
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Weightlifting to improve speed? This might sound hard to believe, but there is a specific style of weightlifting that is proven to make athletes of all abilities faster!
Olympic weightlifting is a specific type of lifting that is designed to not only make athletes stronger, but faster as well.
This is because Olympic weightlifting requires athletes to use a tremendous amount of force applied against the ground to lift the weight in a quick, vertical movement.
This powerful vertical movement will increase your vertical velocity, which is a mechanical feature that is critical to developing speed.
The power and vertical force used in Olympic weightlifting is also helpful for athletes who want to increase not only their jumping and foot speed, but their change-of-direction speed as well.
Here’s are a couple of simple Olympic weightlifting exercises that can help you get faster:
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Hang Cleans are one of the most basic Olympic lifts that all athletes should add to their speed training programs.
A hang clean doesn’t just help your speed, it also improves your strength, power, and coordination.
These lifts also strengthen the major muscle groups involved in jumping and quick changes of direction, such as the:
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart
- Take a hook grip on the bar, with hands placed about a thumbs-distance from the hips
- Lower the bar to just above the knees
- Quickly thrust the bar to shoulder blade height while squatting
- Quickly move up back to standing position from the squat
Perform 1-3 reps per set at around 70-80% weight capacity.
One of the best benefits of the Split Jerk is that it can help athletes increase foot speed.
Your feet will have to move and stabilize quickly, and your stabilizer muscles in your core and leg will all get strengthened with this exercise.
An added bonus of the split jerk is that it boosts stability to help athletes prevent injuries such as ankle sprains, which are often caused by instability.
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Here’s how to do it:
- Stand feet hip-width apart
- Make sure your grip width is just outside the shoulders
- Hold the bar across your collarbone
- Quickly press the bar up while jumping into a lunge
- Slowly come back up and lower the bar back to collar bone height
- Put the bar down and rest about 3 minutes before the next rep
Perform 4 sets of 3 reps at 60% your max weight capacity, resting 3 minutes between each rep.
Other popular Olympic weightlifting exercises to try are:
- Dumbbell Rows
- Back Squats
- Bench Press superset Barbell Row
The key in performing Olympic weightlifting exercises is extensive rest (usually at least 1.5-3 minutes between reps) so that you can lift at or near your maximum capacity.
The long rest combined with heavier weights will ensure that you are not “bulking up” and gaining mass, but instead gaining the lean muscle tone that is needed to get faster.