Improving your speed is a vital component of being better in sports. Many people may think that speed training is essential only for runner or marathoners. While these people should indeed put an emphasis in improving their speed, it can also be helpful for others who would like to improve their general performance in sports and fitness.
Why would you bother in improving your speed? Well, aside from the obvious that it will allow you to be more agile in your movements, it can deliver a wealth of other benefits. For instance, it is going to increase the amount of calories and fats that you can burn. It is also asserted to be effective in improving your oxygen capacity and will allow you to be more efficient as you run.
Given the fact that increasing your speed is important, how exactly can such be done? Keep on reading and learn about some of the practical things that you can do to help improve your speed.
1. Arm Swings
This may seem like a very basic form of exercise, but this is indeed going to be effective in improving your speed. The premise behind this exercise is that it will allow you to maintain the right posture, which is vital to improving your speed.
First, stand with your feet together. Alternate the movement of your arms forward and backwards, as if you are already running. Have your elbows positioned in a 90-degree angle. Swing your right arm forward until the biceps is at the same level as your shoulder. Follow it up by swinging the other arm. For additional intensity, you can also have this done while you are seated. Adding weights can also be considered.
2. Balloon Sprint Drills
Exercises for the improvement of your speed do not need to be complicated and difficult. The balloon drill is a proof to such. Even if it is simple, it can be effective in helping you increase your speed.
To start, you need to have two different balloons in different colours. Decide on which balloon you should be hitting first. While standing, raise the balloon in the air and simply use your hands to hit the balloon in the order you have earlier specified. The goal is to make sure that the balloons will never touch the ground. You have to be quick to prevent such from happening. For added intensity, you can do squats before hitting the balloon with your hand.
While endurance running can indeed be an effective way to improve your speed, it is more intensive, and it may not use all of your leg muscles. Sprinting, in contrast, will make sure that the use of all your leg muscles will be maximised.
Jogging at least one lap and doing stretching exercises will be important before you proceed with sprint training. If you are a beginner, it is suggested that you should sprint with at least 50% of your speed and increase gradually only once you have found your comfort zone. Normally it is going to be done in a 100-meter dash. When you are done rest or walk for a while before you start sprinting again. When this is done regularly, it will surely be helpful in achieving better speed.
4. Agility Ladder Drills
This is another popular exercise for improving speed. It allows you to improve your footwork, making your movements swifter. This form of exercise, however, is more about quality and form. It is not meant to make you out of breath, but it can do a lot to teach you proper footwork and posture.
Find an agility ladder and have it laid on the floor. After which, you can now perform different drills. One of the most popular is the hop scotch drill. Here, start with two feet outside of the ladder. Jump with both feet, but only your left foot should land on the first square. Push your left foot and jump on the next square landing on both feet. Push both feet and land on the next square with only your right foot. Repeat the pattern until the end of the ladder is reached.
5. Wall Sprints
Your trunk, back, and legs will be the focus of this workout. When these muscles work together, you are expected to show better running speed. This exercise can be done even in the comfort of your own home, and you will need nothing except a wall.
Stand facing the wall making sure that you are standing a couple of feet away, now place both hands flat against the surface. Lean forward a bit, which will result in having your body at an angle. Start running on the spot making sure that your knees are lifted towards the wall as you run on the spot. Make sure that you lift your feet as you run so that they are higher than your knees. Return your feet to the starting position and continue doing wall sprints.
What speed tips do you know? Let us know in the comments below.