Tag Archives: forward running

Speed is Good, Quickness is Better

3 Mar

072613Athletes1_t670[1]Speed is a difference maker in virtually every sport. For an athlete, it can mean a competitive advantage. For a team, it can mean the difference between winning and losing.

But, as important as speed is (and it is important), very few sports require only straight-line speed. Change of speed and direction, and the ability to react quickly, are critical to athletic performance, and as important as — if not more important than — linear speed.

Quickness (agility) is the ability to react and change speed — accelerate (speed-up) and decelerate (slow-down) — and change direction quickly and effectively. Agility is a skill that can be developed through a variety of drills, which should reflect the demands and movement patterns of the sport. Since most sports require reaction and agility, an athlete’s training plan should incorporate some type of agility training.

  • Agility training should involve movement in all directions, and require the athlete to alternate among forward running, backpedaling, and lateral movement.
  • Drills that require the athlete to alternate between acceleration and deceleration should be a component part of agility training.
  • Agility training should also incorporate an element of reaction, with the athlete being required to react to a verbal or visual command, or mimic/mirror the movement patterns of a training partner (reflective drills).

There are lots of great resources for agility training. I like Developing Agility and Quickness, part of the NSCA’s Sport Performance Series, by Dawes and Roozen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Add Backward Running to Your Training

27 May

running-backwards-main[1]

Backward Running

Want a way to improve your workout?  Next time you go for a run, spend some time running backward.

A U.K. study found that backward running exerts less stress on the knees than forward running because runners land on the forefoot — a softer motion than heel running.

There are several benefits associated with backward running:

  • Better for your posture — keeps you more upright
  • May help reduce (front of) knee pain
  • Less ankle and knee soreness
  • May allow you to work through some injuries
  • Burns about 20% more calories
  • Adds variety to your routine
  • Balances muscle development — works opposing muscle groups
  • Makes a great warmup

Find an area (e.g., a track) free of obstacles where you can follow the lane lines to stay on course.  If possible, have a spotter run forward next to you (you can alternate forward and backward running).  Always land on your forefoot, and reach back with your heel on each stride.

Athletes performing forward weighted sled pulls/pushes can improve posterior chain development and overall lower-body strength, power, and stability by adding short (~15 yard), backward weighted sled pulls to their training regimen.

You may get a few funny looks along the way but, as long as that doesn’t bother you (and it shouldn’t), you can benefit from adding backward running to your workout.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Speed is Good, Quickness is Better

11 Nov

072613Athletes1_t670[1]Speed is a difference maker in virtually every sport. For an athlete, it can mean a competitive advantage. For a team, it can mean the difference between winning and losing.

But, as important as speed is (and it is important), very few sports require only straight-line speed. Change of speed and direction, and the ability to react quickly, are critical to athletic performance, and as important as — if not more important than — linear speed.

Quickness (agility) is the ability to react and change speed — accelerate (speed-up) and decelerate (slow-down) — and change direction quickly and effectively. Agility is a skill that can be developed through a variety of drills, which should reflect the demands and movement patterns of the sport. Since most sports require reaction and agility, an athlete’s training plan should incorporate some type of agility training.

  • Agility training should involve movement in all directions, and require the athlete to alternate among forward running, backpedaling, and lateral shuffling.
  • Drills that require the athlete to alternate between acceleration and deceleration should be a component part of agility training.
  • Agility training should also incorporate an element of reaction, with the athlete being required to react to a verbal or visual command, or mimic/mirror the movement patterns of a training partner (reflective drills).

There are lots of great resources for agility training. I like Developing Agility and Quickness, part of the NSCA’s Sport Performance Series, by Dawes and Roozen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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