Tag Archives: hip drive

Strength Training Can Help You Run Faster

25 Jul

STFThere are several factors implicated in running speed.  Form and technique are certainly part of the equation (although I train some very fast athletes who don’t have textbook running form).  Stride length and stride frequency are critical success factors for any runner/sprinter.  And research continues to show that lower-extremity strength and power — and the development thereof — can help any athlete improve his or her speed and running efficiency.

Strength training (weight lifting) enhances muscle strength, so your muscle fibers don’t fatigue as quickly.  This leads to better running speed, efficiency, and overall performance.  Exercises that target hip drive (flexion and extension), leg strength, and explosive power can all be incorporated into your workout to increase the amount of force you are able to generate against the ground, resulting in improved speed and running efficiency.

Perform strength exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, deadliftsRomanian deadlifts, and lunges.  Add explosive exercises like squat jumps and box jumps.  Choose two of the strength exercises and one of the explosive exercises, and perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions each, two or three days per week, with a day of rest between training days.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Improve Hip Drive with Kettlebell Swings

25 Jan

1009-swing[1]If you’re not already doing them, kettlebell swings are a great exercise to add to your training routine.  At Athletic Performance Training Center we use this exercise as part of our warm-up, because it builds glute power and helps to prepare the hip muscles for heavy lower-body “push” exercises (squat, deadlift, etc.).  Explosive hip power is the foundation for movements like running and jumping.

How to Do it

  • Feet about 1.5 times hip width, knees slightly bent
  • Keep core tight
  • Keep arms straight and heels on the ground
  • Push hips forward to drive kettlebell up in front of your chest
  • Extend hips and knees completely
  • Arms should not exceed horizontal plane (kettlebell no higher than shoulder height)
  • Squeeze glutes at top of movement
  • Push hips backward at bottom of movement
  • Focus of exercise should be on hips and legs, and not arms and back
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions at a steady, rhythmic pace

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How “Hip” is Your Workout?

17 Nov

barbell-hip-raise[2]

Barbell Hip Thrust

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Barbell Hip Thrust

Hip drive, which initiates the triple extension movement, is important for virtually every sport, regardless of whether it involves running, jumping, throwing, swinging, or kicking

Here’s more support for adding “hinge” (hip flexion and extension) exercises to your training regimen:

Strong hips can help you become strong all over, according to a Men’s Health article.

Researchers in New Zealand and the U.K. found that as you increase the weight in lower-body exercises like the squat and deadlift, the muscles around your hips carry a larger proportion of the load.

“Your hips are the most powerful part of your body, so they take over as exercises become strenuous,” according to the study’s lead author.  “Working them directly can enhance your overall strength.”

In addition to “hinge” exercises like squats and deadlifts, kettlebell swings and barbell hip thrusts (pictured) are great additions to any workout regimen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Build Explosive Power with this Medicine Ball Exercise

18 Jul

2sb0251bx-medicine-ball[1]

Medicine ball throws are great for developing explosive power, and can be used as an alternative to Olympic lifts.  These exercises strengthen and stabilize the core musculature, reinforce the biomechanics of force generation, reflect the demands and movement patterns of many sports, and can be performed in virtually every plane of motion.

Here’s one of the total-body exercises we use with our athletes to build explosive power.  This triple extension exercise is basically a heavy medicine ball clean and jerk, immediately followed by a forceful vertical or horizontal push/throw.

In the first video, Julianne — one of our high school basketball players — demonstrates the exercise with a 25 lb. medicine ball and a vertical throw, pushing the ball as high as she can.  Note how she uses her hips and legs (with minimal bend at the waist and back involvement) to get under the ball and generate force.

In the second video, Julianne uses the same medicine ball with a horizontal throw, pushing the ball as far as she can.  Mechanics and technique — hip and leg drive — are similar to the first exercise.

We have our athletes perform 3 sets of 4 repetitions, with a one minute rest between sets.  Typically, these types of (power) exercises are placed at the beginning of a workout, following an appropriate, dynamic warmup.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Strength Training Can Help You Run Faster

5 Jun

STFThere are several factors implicated in running speed.  Form and technique are certainly part of the equation (although I train some very fast athletes who don’t have textbook running form).  Stride length and stride frequency are critical success factors for any runner/sprinter.  And research continues to show that lower-extremity strength and power — and the development thereof — can help any athlete improve his or her speed and running efficiency.

Strength training (weight lifting) enhances muscle strength, so your muscle fibers don’t fatigue as quickly.  This leads to better running speed, efficiency, and overall performance.  Exercises that target hip drive (flexion and extension), leg strength, and explosive power can all be incorporated into your workout to increase the amount of force you are able to generate against the ground, resulting in improved speed and running efficiency.

Perform strength exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and lunges.  Add explosive exercises like squat jumps and box jumps.  Choose two of the strength exercises and one of the explosive exercises, and perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions each, two or three days per week, with a day of rest between training days.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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