Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Do YOU want to be faster by next weekend?

That's quite a big call you may say. But there's one thing that I see in almost every football player and many rugby players (rugby clubs tend to take their speed more seriously and get specific coaching) that could turn on the turbo boost without actually having to do any additional training.

ARMS boys use your arms!


Take a look at the 2 athletes above.  They're both world class runners, and they're both at the same point in their stride.  One is sprinting, the other is just running. BIG difference. If there's a loose ball do you want to run to it? or sprint to it?  Look at the elbow position on the guy on the right. Now look at Carl Lewis' elbows.  Now I know we don't want to teach track and field athletics on this site, but we can certainly pick up a few useful tips on how to accelerate.

If you're arms are flailing side to side like you're running through a corn field, you're going nowhere. It's not that you're a slow player, it's just your technique is holding you back. It's the acceleration equivalent of setting off in 4th gear.  Sort out your technique and BOOM you just got fast.

Remember this - Whatever your arms do, your legs will follow.
Throw your arms side to side and your legs will push you side to side.
Short tight arm action - pitter patter strides. Long straight arms - over striding.

If your elbows drive powerfully back and forth with a fast turnover, then your knees will follow. We're not looking for track-style perfect linear arm and leg action but we do need them to be in the general direction you want to go in, right? By getting a more powerfull arm drive, you get a more powerfull leg drive.  Which means you make up more ground per stride with the same - if not quicker - stride rate

The most important thing to remember — and probably the hardest thing to do — is to keep your shoulders relaxed while driving hard. If your shoulders start to rise, the hips lock up.
If they're tense and pulled upwards around the neck, the hips won't function correctly. If the action of the hips is limited, accelerating efficiency is limited too.  You just put the brakes on!

Practice your arm action in front of the mirror and try to incorporate it into some 10m sprints after a comprehensive warm up just before normal training.

If you like this article or would like to know more on the subject, leave your comments at the bottom.

Yours in speed.


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