The Foundation of Your Acceleration
The biggest hurdle I face as a coach when teaching speed is getting the athlete to understand what they’re actually doing when they perform a sprint. When you sprint, there are two phases:
The first is the acceleration phase, which is your ability to go from a dead stop to top speed in as little time as possible.
Second is top speed, which I’ll talk about in another post.
Back to acceleration, the ability to properly accelerate requires strength and power. But the biggest issue with most athletes is their mechanics, which serve as the foundation of their acceleration.
Proper Acceleration Mechanics
As I said above, acceleration is about getting to top speed as quickly as possible. As such, you want to make sure that you put yourself in the most mechanically advantageous positions possible so you can fully utilize the most powerful muscles (glutes, quads, hamstrings) to propel yourself forward.
This ability comes down to proper mechanics.
When accelerating, you want a forward shin angle and a forward lean in the torso. This will allow you to push down into the ground in a way that propels you forward, stabbing at the ground, if you will.
This also allows you to maximize the recruitment of your glute, quad, and hamstring in your speed efforts. Proper recruitment is very important if you want effective acceleration.
A Base of Strength and Power
Followed by mechanics, a strong base of strength and power is absolutely essential to increase your acceleration ability. While I’ll go over exercises in-depth in another post, I wanted to share two movements to develop more strength and power for your acceleration ability.
The first is the Bulgarian split squat. Though they can be brutal, Bulgarian split squats are probably the best unilateral exercise you can do in the gym, especially for first-step quickness and acceleration.
The second is any horizontal plyometric. Plyo’s develop your explosiveness, rebound ability, and increase your ability to propel yourself off the ground. And specifically, the distance of your single leg broad jump directly correlates to your first-step explosiveness.
By increasing these attributes off of one leg, you’re definitely going to see carryover to your quickness.
Want More Info On Speed?
A balance of mechanics, explosiveness, and strength is essential to be dominant in the area of speed.
To learn more about this, you can read more of my blog posts,
You can get my FREE Advanced Speed Series. It’s a series of videos that covers everything from how to stretch for more speed, to how to carve your mechanics even more.
To see what all the fun’s about, click the link below: