Athletes don’t get a summer break. There is no better time for competitors to focus on training for speed than in the off season. Take your summer speed and strength training to the next level with these tips to get fast.
Agility training is critical to your summer workout routine. Not only do agility exercises increase physical reaction time, but they also increase mental stimulation. The ability to think fast and change directions quickly is key to being effective on the court or field.
Agility training enhances fast twitch fibers, which focus on the speed of muscular contractions. Practice hand-eye coordination and foot speed with tools such as an agility ladder, 6-12 inch hurdles, agility balls or cones. Regardless of which sport you are conditioning for, remember to incorporate both lateral and vertical movement in your drills. It is important to be able to react quickly on your toes in all directions.
Strength training is equally as important as agility drills when it comes to your summer training. The best way to build muscle strength is by exhausting your muscles and constantly adapting your routine.
Keep in mind strength training isolates slow twitch fibers to focus on endurance of the muscle, which can slow down your reaction time without a healthy balance of agility training. Be sure to mix up your routine! One day use machines designed to enhance leg strength, and the next day, hit the track or football field for sprints. Hint: Uphill sprints are great for engaging both slow and fast twitch fibers.
The best way to increase your speed is with a hybrid training program. Men’s Journal suggests integrating physical training and agility training is key to more effective performance. When speed and strength work together, it creates power. Power or explosiveness is how much force your muscles are able to exert quickly.
By adding exercises such as plyometrics to your summer speed training, it teaches you how to control your muscles more efficiently, maximizing speed and strength at the same time. Medicine balls, jump rump, deep jumps and power skips are great exercises to add to your summer speed training routine.
We encourage athletes to consult a coach or fitness trainer to see which exercises are geared toward your sport or are most beneficial for your speed training goals. For more ways to perfect your workout circuit, be sure to learn these five ways videos can improve your summer training program.