Speed strength training creates the ability for individual muscles and muscle groups to better start lifts and finish them with explosive technique. Developing the two main aspects requires different workout regimens that include plyometric exercises, as well as traditional strength training with weight lifting.
Plyometrics allow individual muscles and muscle groups to reach maximum power and strength in the shortest amount of time. These exercises often incorporate short explosive motions, which include examples like quick high knee sprints and stationary jump squats. These techniques allow potential energy to be stored in the muscles by means of elasticity. For example, when a pitcher quickly cocks his arm backwards before delivering a fastball, an extra amount of energy gets delivered on the release. Power lifters incorporate these techniques in order to meet heavy weight goals. Some exercises included in plyometrics involve the use of obstacles that force fast twitching muscles to respond by stretching for short and long periods of time. Impact also plays a large role in speed strength training.
- Jumps – Over or on boxes of different heights
- Hops – Stationary or over hurdles and cones
- Skips – Fast repetitions for short and long distances
Sprinting and Impact
Before and after any speed strength training session, always incorporate a thorough warm up and cool down. After completing the workout regimen, sprinting will increase muscle elasticity and bone density, plus improve the explosive attribute of muscle groups. When sprinting, focus on starting and stopping at different distances so muscles continue to react and guess at the changes implemented. Sprinting sessions work as complete secondary workouts if two-a-day type training regimens become necessary.
Using normal exercises such as squats, bench pressing and many others work as impact exercises, when extra equipment and motion become incorporated. With light weight, jump with each squat and quickly plant both feet on the ground in a stable manner. This example shows how normal squats, a compound leg exercise, transforms into an impact exercise that builds muscle explosion and speed strength. Another example, the bench press, works muscle strength with the addition of resistance bands that help push weights up in an extra fast manner. Switching between the traditional style of the exercises and the speed and impact forms will ultimately and quickly help with speed strength training.
Rest Duration and Intensity
Many slow exercise repetitions build muscle strength, but not muscle speed. Exploding at the beginning of each repetition with great intensity, then slowly setting the weight or equipment back in place increases muscle speed and power. Switching the rest duration between each set of repetitions also builds muscle speed strength.
Performing a set of shoulder exercises in a certain amount of time with the goal of completing as many repetitions as possible will help increase muscle speed. However, slowly completing a set of any exercise targeting any muscle group in a slow manner, with limited intensity, ultimately hinders muscle speed and strength. The rest between each exercise type allows muscles to rest, but by limiting this time, intensity remains peaked and muscles continue to stretch with every repetition.