HOMESPORT SPECIFIC SPEED STRENGTH & AGILITY PROGRAMSFAST PROGRAMZENOLINK
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Before & After

SPEED IS A SKILL TO BE LEARNED

Speed, like any other skill can be taught, and through proper technique drills along with strengthening the muscles used in both acceleration and top end speed, we can raise the Athletes level of performance.

Below are some of the Athletes we work with, along with a World Class Sprinter who we use as a model in which we compare our Athletes.

The biggest fault we find in evaluating the Athlete for the first time is a initial ground contact which is in front of the Center of Gravity, thus causing a braking effect which is evidenced by a breaking down of the lead leg, and in extreme cases, a twisting of the upper torso. If we eliminate that fault alone, we will improve the Athletes performance dramatically.

The pictures below deal with what we like to call upright running technique. I will also have a section forthcoming on Acceleration, which is as or more important in most athletic endeavor's.

When analyzing an athlete's stride, one of the first things we look for is the space between the knees when the athlete is in the Frontside Ground Prep Phase. The closer the knees are the more efficient the stride, the farther apart the less efficient our athletes are performing.


BEFORE

This fault is caused by both the athlete landing too far in front of their center of gravity causing the lead leg to be too far out in front, and secondly, long back side mechanics causing the trail leg to lag behind


AFTER

Through constant drilling and repetition of proper mechanics we eliminate any space between the knees at impact. As you can see, the lead leg is located under center of gravity and the trail leg is recovered into a much more efficient position.


To be able to run at optimum speed, we need to get our athletes in correct biomechanical position. One of the key positions is a correct thigh position.


BEFORE

As you can see, our athletes lead thigh is below parallel which is not the ideal position to be in if we want to apply a big force to the ground to propel us down the track.

Our model runner demonstrates the ideal thigh block position from which she now can apply a big force against the ground in a negative position.


AFTER

As you can see, the athlete is now in the correct position to apply a big force in a negative direction to propel her down the track. This thigh block position is paramount in our ability to achieve maximum running efficiency.

As you can see from the thigh block position, our model runner is able to pull back causing her leg to extend and apply the long lever that the negative force has created.

Applying Newton's Law of equal and opposite reaction, you are able to see the big force being the long leg traveling in a negative direction which propels our athlete forward and down the track.


When first meeting with an athlete and their parents, the one thing that invariably comes up is that my son or daughter run with their arms across their chest. I am sure you have been at an athletic event and some well intended parent has instructed their child to pump their arms, and being good kids they invariably try to comply but hard as they may try, the arms keep going across the chest. I have found it is much easier to correct an athlete if we work on the cause of the problem, not the problem itself.

As you can see from the athlete in the before picture, her arms are are flailing across her chest in a horizontal position. In the after picture, her arms are traveling in the same direction as she is running - straight ahead, not left to right.


BEFORE

We corrected this arm problem not only by teaching her how to drive her arms properly, but also by correcting her running mechanics - primarily her inability to land under her center of gravity.

When you land too far in front of your center of gravity, it causes your torso to twist towards your leg, your arms being attached to your torso then follow and hence you have your arms traveling across the body.


AFTER

As you can see through constant repetition of proper mechanics, we were able to correct the problem of improper arm technique. Notice the position of her foot at impact on relation to her center of gravity in the before and after pictures. Improving this was paramount in correcting her arm mechanics.


The less time our athletes spend on the ground, the more efficient their stride and hence the faster they can run.


BEFORE

The athlete pictured above demonstrates a common fault we find in our athletes when we first start to work with them - that is of the heel striking the ground at first ground contact followed by he rest of the foot.


AFTER

At Acceleration Plus, we teach the first contact with the ground is with the ball of the foot with a slight heel strike following the toes, leaving the running surface last.

Landing on the ball of the foot instead of the the heel allows the athlete to land closer to the center of gravity, thus minimizing the braking effect caused by landing too far in front of our body. Secondly, it reduces ground time. Remember, the less time we spend on the ground, the faster we are able to run.


Initial ground contact in front of the center of gravity.


BEFORE

If you were to draw a line from the heel straight up, you will find that the hips and shoulders are lagging far behind. This braking effect will cause this athlete to slow down after every stride, thus affecting her ability to perform at her best. Also notice the distance between her knees and compare to the 'after' picture and the model runner.


AFTER

Much improved, as you can see by comparing to the "before" picture. Compare the knee position in the before picture, and also in comparison to the model runner. Also, the upper torso is positioned over the hips with the shoulders in line - evidence she has reduced the braking effect dramatically

MODEL RUNNER

Initial ground contact,shoulders, chest, hips all in line. Also notice there is no space between the knees - an ideal position.


Athlete’s tendency was to run with his chest over his knees. An ideal position for acceleration, but to achieve maximum speed the athlete’s has to get his shoulder’s chest and hip’s in line.


BEFORE

As you can see in the above picture his chest and shoulder’s are way out in front of his hips - almost over his knee’s.


AFTER

After reviewing with the athlete the initial taping, we went through a series of drill’s to help put him in the correct position. Running is cause and effect, although the athlete first appears just to have a bad habit of running leaned forward. The problem is really caused by landing in front of his center of gravity, causing the braking effect which force’s his upper body to lean forward similar to that when you suddenly apply the brakes in your car. Unfortunately in running, we have no seat belt to hold us back.

His new position gives him the ability to pull himself down the track, which is the force we need to apply to achieve maximum velocity.
Again compare our athlete’s before and after pictures with the model runner.


Athlete is in a position we find most of our students before they start training with us.

I like to call it Cycle & Drop. The athlete is doing a lot of unproductive work. Compare the positions of the lead legs in the after & model runner.

Athlete is now in the proper position to apply the big muscles i.e. glutes, hamstrings adductor magnus along with the gastroc and soleus.This pulling action is what propels him down the track. Also the leg now acts as a long lever as opposed to the before picture.Next training emphasis will be proper arm technique.

MODEL RUNNER

Lead leg in perfect position to propel herself down the track.


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