The theme of my blogs recently has been all about speed and how to make your athletes faster. What if I told you that making your athletes faster and making them more resistant to injury were one in the same? Of course you can have fast athletes that are injury prone, but most of these athletes have a gift, Robert Griffin III comes to mind.
If athletes like this, as gifted as they are, do not pay attention to good movement and making themselves more efficient over time, an injury is bound to creep up eventually. For most of us, good running mechanics, speed, and reducing the likelihood of injury should be intertwined together.
Most of the time when youth athletes come into my facility I evaluate injury risk and mechanics, and most of them have insufficient hip stability and a disconnect between abdominal control and hip extension. This means that they are extending their back to get their leg underneath them, as opposed to using the glute to extend the hip. This leaves many athletes with a posture like the image on the right.
This is called lumbar hyperextension or excessive lordosis. This is not a good thing. The lack of hip stability and coordination of the spinal stabilizers can result in lower back and knee injuries. Here are 2 exercises we can use to correct this issue, and make your athlete faster:
Along with reducing the risk for injury in the future, these will give the athletes better control over hip extension and better abdominal stiffness. Stiffness in the abdominal wall gives our athletes the best system to transfer power into the ground with each foot strike. This makes a stronger, faster, more powerful athlete. But once we have this control, how to we keep it when situations on the field are unpredictable and really really fast? We teach the positions focusing on a solid core and strong hips then apply that through sled work and short sprint work. Here is an example of a few drills that will help your athlete run faster right away:
If you are interested in making your athlete fast this Summer there is only one more week to register for Speed Camp. It all starts July 5th. Register here