Why is Linear Speed Training so Important for Athletes?
What coach doesn’t want faster athletes? Typically the faster athlete gets to the ball first, wins the race, or gets in position to make the play before their opponent. You might have a killer first and second step, which are often the most important, but the rest of the steps (“linear speed”) determine if you get caught or whether you catch the other team.
To maintain top-end speed, and for that top-end speed to be fast, you must have good mechanics. There are 4 important elements to focus on when learning and executing linear speed:
Run tall with a forward lean. Two common mistakes you see in many athletes are they may lean too forward with an improper bend at their hips or they may run too upright. This may also be a result of heel-running, which is death to speed.
- Knee Drive
Knee drive is a crucial component of sprinting. This requires powerful hip flexion and prepared hamstrings. This is why we put such an emphasis on those parts of strength development for athletes in lifting.
- Heel Recovery
Heel recovery is important because it keeps your foot contact light and brings your knee up into the proper position. Remember: if the heel comes up, the knee must come up. Six inch speed hurdle training trains heel recovery by presenting an obstacle to step over.
- Arms and Hands
Athletes tend to let their arms swing out with their wrists cocked out. Athletes need to learn to keep a 90-degree bend at the elbows with the wrists and hands in a neutral position. Then make sure the path of their arm swing is not going overtly sideways. We want thumbs taking a path through imaginary belt loops. We want to keep as much motion as possible going forward, not side-to-side.
Remember: mechanics produce efficiency, and efficiency produces linear speed!
DX3’s Linear Speed Training will make you faster from step 1 and 2 through the finish line. Whether training in small groups or private sessions, the cognitive lessons we teach instill mechanics that win the race. Don’t miss a step! Come find it with the Speed Training Team at DX3 Athlete.