With professional sports becoming more and more competitive, mainly due to the proliferation of performance enhancers, athletes need to become bigger, faster and stronger just to compete in their respective fields. Sports like athletics, soccer, rugby and hockey focus on speed. This means that speed training is something athletes need to work on alongside strength and endurance training.
Speed Training Defined
Also known as interval training, speed training is the improvement of your speed or explosive bodily potential as used in various fitness disciplines. A definition of speed in this context is given by topendsports.com, who describe it as, “the ability to move quickly across the ground or move limbs rapidly to grab or throw.” Workouts are usually sets with time intervals that are followed to the second. For example, 45 seconds of full-effort push-ups followed by 15 seconds of rest, then repeated.
Types of Speed Training Exercises
Because of their cardiovascular benefits, speed training workouts are utilised by personal trainers across the planet. We’ve listed a few of these exercises below:
On the Road
- Like jogging? Next time you hit the tar, incorporate the pole-to-pole speed training exercise by sprinting between every second set of poles. This is excellent for speed training, and greatly improves your stamina when done over lengthy distances.
In the Gym
- Your hamstrings and glutes are your ‘go’ muscles, and need to be exceptionally strong if you are to improve your overall speed as an athlete. The Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift works these parts like crazy and isn’t too tough to master at all.
- In the studio section of your gym, place a ball 3 meters away from the wall, then another one 3 meters from the first. Starting at the wall, jog to the first ball and back. Then sprint to the second ball and back to the wall. Then jog the full length of the studio and back. Repeat.
- Depth jumps are excellent speed training exercises. This is because they improve our explosive potential. Start by standing on a bench. Step off the edge and as you make contact with the ground, explode upwards as hard as you can. Practise this and you’ll be amazed at how high you can jump!
On the Field
- So, how far can you jump? The standing broad jump is an excellent plyometric exercise that trains your muscles’ explosive capabilities. Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Swing your arms and jump forward from a quarter squat position – as far as you can. Walk back to the starting position. Repeat.
- Quite a number of bodily movements are initiated from one leg, so to train quick single-leg movements mini hurdle hops are ideal. Set up small hurdles about 30 centimetres apart. Hop over each on one leg (trying not to spend too much time on the ground). Once you clear the last hurdle, explode into a full sprint for 10 metres.
Become a Speed Training Specialist
If speed training is something you thoroughly enjoy, and you’re considering a move into personal training as a career choice, take a look at our Trifocus Fitness Academy Personal Training Diploma! You’ll cover speed training in detail, and receive the knowledge needed to offer professional speed training programmes to your clients! Connect with us to find out more.