3 surefire ways to get faster:

  • Improve Flexibility
  • Increase Maximal Strength
  • Decrease Body Fat

Surprised by the absence of parachutes, cone drills, and speed ladders?  Many people fall into the trap of believing these are the best ways to get faster, but they just can’t produce the significant gains you need.  When I first entered the field, I used cone drills and speed ladders as part of a speed and agility program with a high school football team.  While they got better at these drills, tests of their speed and agility such as the 40 yard dash and 5-10-5 pro agility test did not improve. Disappointed by these results, I researched the best ways to improve speed and found 3 simple, proven solutions that have led my athletes to see significant gains in speed. Recently, I implemented these solutions with a Top Tier Baseball player whose 60 yard dash time dropped from 7.5 to 6.9 seconds compelling his coach to change his position from Catcher/1st Base to Outfield in order to better utilize his newfound speed.  This season, he ranked second on his high school team in stolen bases, stealing 13 bases while only being thrown out once.

So here they are: 3 surefire ways to get faster. They may not be glamorous or sexy, but they are highly effective, powerful tools for gaining the SPEED you desire.

  1. Improve Flexibility
    Flexibility will increase stride length as you cover more ground with each step.  In particular, flexibility of the glutes and hamstrings aids the knee lift phase of sprinting, allowing for a longer stride.  Many athletes are held back from a lack of flexibility due to poor posture, repetitive movements on the field, previous injury, surgery or over-training.  Our athletes see quick, lasting flexibility gains with the use of Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST).  They report feeling powerful, faster and more fluid in their movements.  Other methods used include: Self Myofascial Release (sMFR) and ART along with an individualized stretching protocol.
  2. Increase Maximal Strength 
    When sprinting, there are gravitational and inertial forces the body must overcome.  Increasing your maximal strength will allow you to counteract these forces and generate greater force into the ground propelling your body forward at a faster rate.  For example, improved hip extensor strength will increase your speed during the first 10 meters of a sprint as you have more power to overcome inertia.  Plyometrics and SAQ drills are useless unless you develop maximal strength first since power is the product of both maximal force and speed.  Some of the methods we employ are: structural balance, VMO strength, posterior chain strength, plyometrics, and olympic lift variations.
  3. Decrease Body Fat 
    Fat creates intramuscular friction reducing the speed and strength of muscular contractions.  Additionally, fat is extra weight without a functional purpose in running.  Our athletes rid themselves of excess body fat through diet and lifestyle modulation and individualized supplementation protocols based off their Biosignature results.

The training approach taken with every athlete is undoubtedly unique.  However, these three simple methods to increase speed are universal and will surely improve any athletes’ ability to sprint faster.