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How do I Combine Speed and Strength Training?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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Many physical fitness training programs are designed around building either strength or speed. It is difficult to create a program that builds both size and speed because the body is working against itself. Speed and strength training is a combination training program that is very similar to a football training regiment. Speed typically requires repetition, while strength requires explosive core exercises.

Speed training is based on quick movements with bursts of power. The speed training drill is designed to improve reflexes and create powerful acceleration. Some examples of speed training include sprints, cone weaving, and rope ladder agility drills. These exercises are designed to create explosive muscles, which help the athlete increase speed and agility.

A speed and strength training program should include weight lifting exercises that are designed to support explosive power. These are typically compound movements that increase overall core strength. Some good examples of strength training include squats, military press, dead lifts, and cable crunches. Strength training exercise should focus on large muscle groups with additional leverage from core muscles.

The lateral lunge is an excellent exercise to include in a combination speed and strength training program. Lateral lunges focus on the hamstrings, quads, and hips in a manner that produces faster movement from side to side. To perform a lateral lunge the athlete jumps into a side squatting position, bending one leg while keeping the other leg in an outward stretched position.

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Speed and strength training are an integral part in improving overall speed. This is because speed is based on the muscles' ability to react quickly with power for a short duration. Speed typically uses the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which requires training routines that focus on acceleration drills.

Agility is another important aspect for speed and strength training programs. An athlete’s agility is typically measured by his ability to brake, cut, or change direction quickly. There are several agility routines available, each focusing on upper and lower body muscles.

Some good agility drills for the lower body include downhill sprints, basic sprints, and rope ladder exercises. These exercises require the athlete to perform conditioning drills in an uncomfortable angle. Overall agility allows the athlete to have more control over his body, which can be used to generate more power and speed.

There are many upper body speed drills available, which help the athlete with eye-hand coordination and overall dexterity. These include speed bags, high-bounce ball catches, and dodge-ball-type drills. When working on speed training for the upper body, the athlete should include flexibility training for the shoulders, arms, hips, and waist. This will help reduce upper body and lower back muscle pulls.

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