Whether you’re a committed athlete, a weekend warrior, or just beginning a new activity, improving athletic speed is beneficial for nearly every type of athletic activity. The following are 6 exercises that can really improve your athletic speed.
Lunges are great exercises that can help improve many areas of your body including hips, legs, and inner core. Active states that the lower position of a lunge mimics the position of your body when you’re airborne in a sprint. It’s important to learn the proper form for the basic front lunge before advancing to different types of lunges such as lateral or reverse.
2. Run Several Sprints in a Row
Human Kinetics states that one of the ways to improve speed is to run 10 sprints of varying distances. The distance can vary from 10 to up to 50 yards. This exercise can be varied, depending on your current fitness level. You can start out by doing 10 sprints for 10 yards, with a few seconds of rest between. A more advanced athlete may want to run a full 50 yards each time.
3. Side Throws
Stand sidewalks to a wall, about 10 feet away. Then throw a medicine ball toward the wall as forcefully as possible. It’s important to keep up your back elbow so you don’t injure your shoulder. If you should suffer any shoulder injury or pain, a licensed physical therapist can evaluate and treat your injuries to get you back on track again as quickly as possible.
4. Forward/Backward Shuffles and Side Throws
This type of exercise involves quickly shuffling toward or away from the wall before throwing the ball again toward the wall. Again, make sure your elbows are in place to prevent shoulder injury.
5. Reactive Crossovers and shuffles
This exercise requires you to either shuffle or crossover at the command of a coach or a trainer. The random reaction required will help you build your speed.
6. Jump Rope
Jumping rope is an amazing exercise for increasing speed. Single foot hops are especially good for improving leg speed. Jumping rope is even used in many physical therapy activities to improve flexibility.
Whatever exercise you choose, it’s important to include a solid warm-up and cool down to prevent injury. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, injuries to the knee are the primary injury runners’ experience. If you experience knee injuries, or any other type of injury, it can help to receive physical therapy from a qualified physical therapist.