Strength Training For Speed By Mark Strasser M.S. CSCS of CriticalBench.com
Strength Training is Directly Related to Increase in Speed. 15 Exercises to Include in Your Program
Increasing your speed takes much more than just working on running form and completing specific technique drills. Your goal is to increase your stride frequency and increase your stride length. Increasing your stride length is directly related to increasing your strength. The more power you are able to generate by pushing off the ground the longer you will be able to drive your lead foot forward to gain ground. Most athletes try to gain ground by over-extending their front foot, rather than pushing with more force from the power leg.
A strength program will focus on core lifts that target the main muscle groups used in sprinting. This does not mean that an athlete should only lift with their legs. In sprinting, the upper body offers extra push and momentum during short distance. Take a look at the elite runners in track and field for example. The sprinters always have a more massive upper body when compared to a distance runner.
What the strength program's objective is to build power, strength and explosiveness throughout your entire body. During an eight-week program an athlete will build a base beginning in week one by perfecting lifting techniques with lower weights, and eventually working up to peak performance by week eight.
The following are examples from the strength-training chapter. It will break down each exercise you will be performing in the program. You will be given the name, starting position, and description of the movement along with key points for each exercise.
1. Hang Clean
3. Front Squat
4. Step Ups
5. Lunges or Dumbbell Lunges
6. Single Leg Balance Squats
7. Straight Leg Dead Lift
8. Bench Press or Dumbbell Bench Press
9. Incline Press or Incline Dumbbell Press
11. Bent-over Rows or Bent-over Dumbbell Rows
12. Pull downs or Reverse Grip Pull downs
13. Hang-body Pull-ups or Seated Cable Row
14. Military Press or Dumbbell Military Press
15. Upright Row or Dumbbell Upright Row
16. Shoulder Series (Lateral, Front, and Bent-over Raises)
Sample Exercise - HANG CLEAN
1. Use a shoulder width grip, with your arms fully extended. Your feet under hips and weight on heels.
2. Hold your shoulder blades together and maintain an arch in your back while lowering the bar to the top of your knees.
3. Maintain a slight bend in your knees and ankles with your shoulders positioned directly over the bar.
1. Explosively extend your hips, back and ankles, performing a jumping motion.
2. Explosively transfer the weight from your heels to the balls of your feet and shrug your shoulders vertically.
3. As the weight moves upward, simultaneously drop your body underneath the bar catching the weight across your shoulders and in a 1/2 squat position. Finish the lift by standing upright under control.
4. Lower the weight to the start position and repeat the exercise.
1. The movement is very explosive, occurring in the hips, legs, and shoulders.
2. Your back should remain tight and flat throughout the entire exercise.
3. As you drop down under the bar flip your elbows forward and push them together so that you catch the bar across your shoulders with your arms parallel to the floor and your elbows pointing directly forward.
About the Author
This is an excerpt taken from a chapter in the ebook: "The Critical Speed Manual". The ebook was written by Mark Strasser M.S. CSCS, a professional strength and conditioning coach.
To view more information or purchase the book, visit this page.