Speed and Strength Training Pyramid: Steps to Developing a Faster Athlete

A combination of strength, agility and speed drills in your fitness routine can help you get quicker feet, improved balance and a quick reaction time which will take your game to the next level. Speed involves your ability to move your legs and arms, such that you are able to move much faster in a straight line which is known as linear speed. An athlete, who finds it hard to keep up with or break away from competitors or teammates, is more likely to benefit from speed training drills.

While speed training involves moving as fast as possible in a straight line, the ability to change direction effectively and quickly is referred to as agility. An athlete, who struggles to move side-to-side or is unable to balance, can benefit from agility training which improves an athlete’s overall performance. In order to achieve great speed and agility, your body needs to be strong. Strength refers to the ability of your body muscles to produce force that can propel you and is often measured against the external load of your body mass. A strong athlete is able to apply more force to the ground and move faster.

Most young baseball players spend many hours trying to develop their hitting and pitching baseball skills by going to clinics and camps. However, this is only a small part of the equation. To become a successful baseball player, one needs to dedicate a lot of time to strength, agility and speed performance training. Most new players know what makes a great pitching delivery or swing but they cannot control their rotational movements or move fast which are requirements for baseball success.

  1. Strength Pushups

 A typical pushup can improve your body strength a great deal. Lower your body such that your entire body is parallel to the ground then you can rise up and down in successive motions. You can also try clapping pushups where you use your hands to jump off the ground and clap your hands before returning to the normal position.

  1. Squats

Your legs need to be parallel to the ground with your body lowered, and then you can move up and down. Jumping squats are also recommended where you literally jump out of the squat into the air. This increases power in the legs but avoid using added weight while doing jumping squats.

  1. Planks

Planks may be difficult but they are also very simple if done correctly. While you are in a pushup position, move your body down such that your weight falls on your forearms rather than your hands then maintain this position for at least 30 secs at a time. This may seem easy but it can be pretty difficult especially if you are doing it for the first time. Begin by doing three sets then progress later as you alternate shoulder touches.

  1. Agility Drills Ladders

Using agility ladders is a great way to improve your agility since you can do many different types of agility drills. You can paint agility ladder on grass or draw it on a concrete floor. You can start by jumping while both feet are in a square and progress to the next square as you jump forward and place your feet back inside the square. Repeat this routine until you get to the end of the ladder then do it three more times. You can also focus on changing direction by alternating between squares while facing forward, step into the next square and face sideways, then you can move to the next square while facing forward.

  1. Speed Drills

Sprints are a perfect way to build your speed. You can run on the field or on treadmills which work on your body muscles differently by forcing you to exercise which makes your calves stronger. Calves help you to explode as you make your first step. Combining treadmills and running on the open field gives you a balanced exercise. You can also try running hills which not only increases your speed but also helps you gain flexibility while building your strength at the same time.

Exercising Using Dumbbells

You do not need fancy equipment to improve your muscle strength, a few pairs of weights can do the magic but dumbbells are versatile and need little space and can be found in any fitness center. A only routine can tone all your major muscle groups if done at least three times per week for 30 minutes with a day’s rest in between sessions. Since each of your limbs moves independently, dumbbells will allow you to train each at a time which cures any strength imbalance.

High Fiber Foods

Most athletes appreciate the importance of carbohydrates and proteins but overlook the importance of dietary fiber. Fiber is beneficial especially to endurance athletes in several ways. Unlike that are digested and absorbed by your body, fiber remains intact in your body. Athletes should take 20-35 grams of fiber daily from whole foods. Avoid supplements since they lack key nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Foods rich in fiber include potatoes, oats, brown rice and oranges. These foods help you maintain a healthy race weight and also help you achieve a leaner body.

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