WHAT IS SPEED TRAINING AND WHY DO ATHLETES USE IT IN THEIR WORKOUTS
What is speed training?
Speed training refers to the quickness of movement of a limb or a muscle. The term speed training is often interchangeably used with agility training. Both terms talk about the quickness of an athlete’s limbs or how fast he or she can move.
The speed or agility of an athlete is influenced by:
- How mobile the athlete is?
- The strength of the athlete.
- The level of endurance.
- The training technique used by the athlete.
How do athletes develop speed?
Speed or agility is very important to athletes. This factor combined with strength defines the success of an athlete. So, what can be done do enhance speed and agility? Here are a few tips:
- An athlete should be flexible.
- He or she should maintain themselves.
- An athlete should combine strength with speed.
- Skills are learned in advance.
- Speed training is done by using velocity with breaks in between.
Why do athletes use speed training in their exercises?
Speed training is used to enhance the body, limb and muscles of an athlete. It is used in conjunction with strength to enhance the performance of an athlete. Each type of speed training has its own advantage.
For example, athletes use plyometric jumping exercises, hence, building power and improving on their coordination. One way to go about this is to make use of hurdles. Hurdles enhance the speed, strength and jumping ability of an athlete.
How to do it?
- Place two low-speed hurdles next to each other.
- There should be a distance of two-feet between the hurdles.
- Run towards the hurdles and jump landing on the balls of your feet.
- Jump again and then dive forward.
Athletes often make use of speed ladder drills as well. They are a great tool to enhance foot speed and coordination. Also, a speed ladder drill can be used for lateral-running which helps improve knee and ankle stability.
How to do it?
- Put the speed training ladder on the ground.
- Slightly bend and move from side-to-side, one foot at a time
- Then jump out and land on the balls of your feet.
Lateral plyometric jumps are used to enhance the overall dynamic power of an athlete, improve coordination and also body balance. Hence, athletes use speed training in the various exercises that they perform.
How to do it?
- Place a piece of string on the floor. Avoid using it on a concrete floor.
- Stand on one side of the line and propel upward and sideways.
- Land on the other side.
Other benefits of speed training
- It helps prevents injuries as it strengthens your body.
- Speed training helps establish a connection between the mind and the body. Also, it establishes pathways which quickens the response time between brain and body movement.
- Agility or speed training helps improve the balance of an athlete. Hence, this in turn, also strengthens the dynamic movements of an athlete.
- Although intense workouts can leave your muscles sore, speed or agility training done with brief intervals helps strengthens the muscles. However, it takes patience and practice to achieve this.
- This type of training will give you your desired results in little time. Although speed training may be an intense workout, it will definitely benefit you in the long run.
The Final Verdict
Speed training is extremely useful for athletes. They use it in their exercises to help develop strength, improve body balance and coordination, build dynamic power and other such benefits. Also, individuals can incorporate agility or speed training exercises in their daily routine.
With time, you yourself will notice the benefits. Your training does not have to be as intense as that of an athlete, but surely you can do it on a smaller scale.
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