Speed training refers to the human body's ability to react to a stimulus and / or signal as quickly as possible and to complete the required movement. For this, an optimal interplay of nervous system and muscles is required so that no time is lost. Speed training requires a high level of concentration, as this type of training places very high demands on the autonomic nervous system. A training of speed under exhaustion does not promise any success.
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Who will benefit from speed training?
The maximum speed is a very important factor in many sports and for many of these sports it limits performance. All sprint disciplines, cycling disciplines, speed skating, throwing and pushing disciplines and many team sports rely largely on speed as a fundamental influencing factor. In football, handball, hockey, basketball and other team sports, speed is a factor that can make the difference between defeat and victory. If an attacker is faster than a defender, the chance of winning the sprint duel and scoring a goal or point increases.
In jumping sports such as long and high jump, speed is decisive for the jump distance and jump height. The faster an athlete can start up, the higher the likelihood that he can transfer the impulse to the flight phase. It cannot be said in general terms that the fastest athletes jump farthest or highest. However, it has often happened that world class sprinters were also world class long jumpers.
How can you improve your speed?
The basis for a successful training of speed is strength training. For example, common strength training exercises are used and touted as speed training due to lower weights and explosive execution. In general hypertrophy training, it was found that the effects of the training also had a positive effect on speed. Speed training has developed positively in recent years. The latest studies now confirm that even older people react positively to moderate speed training (Please also read: Strength training for the elderly).
Read more on this topic: Weight training at home - the best exercises
The sprints are usually quite short, especially in team sports. In football, sprints rarely go beyond the 30 meter mark. In handball, it is usually shorter sprints. A person does not reach his highest speed before the 40 meter mark. In order to train speed, the focus should also be on acceleration, not just on pure speed. The acceleration can take place from different positions and on different types of signals. The greater the variations, the more effectively the acceleration training has an effect on speed.
The classic exercises for speed training include high accelerations, multiple changes in tempo, many changes of direction and starts from different positions.
Catch games are particularly suitable for warming up before a speed training session. One or more catchers ensure hardly any standstill, a lot of movement and quick reactions. This is followed by classic exercises for speed training.
The long jump from a standing position is an excellent exercise for training the lower and upper thighs, as well as the gluteal and core muscles. The feet are about shoulder width apart on the floor, the athlete pushes himself off the floor with maximum force and swings his legs forward as far as possible. This exercise is repeated five times and performed in a total of three sets with a corresponding break of two minutes.
One exercise for speed training of the forearms is the throw from the turned wrist. A ball is held in the hand so that the inner surface of the hand is facing downwards. The arm position is such that the elbow is at a 90 degree angle. Now the wrist is bent down as much as possible. From this position, the ball is thrown forward as strongly and explosively as possible. Here, too, attention should be paid to a corresponding pause in sentences. Do five repetitions in three sets each before finishing the forearm workout.
A partner exercise for speed training is hopping in different directions. To do this, you can draw or place a Tik Tak Toe field on the street or other surface. The boxes are numbered from one to nine so that there are nine different fields. One partner starts in the middle on number five. The second partner stands next to him and now begins to pronounce numbers between one and nine at random in a predetermined time interval. The first partner must now react to this and jump into the corresponding field as quickly as possible. The repetitions between five and eight can be freely selected. However, only two sets should be performed here due to the rapid exhaustion.
What is speed endurance training?
Speed endurance training is a special form of speed training. Speed endurance is the ability of an athlete to maintain a high speed for as long as possible. In addition, the general endurance is strengthened through the training of speed endurance, since the body is in the lactate metabolism and the energy supply is trained and optimized without oxygen.
Speed endurance training is mainly used in sports that involve longer sprint distances. This is especially common in athletics and swimming. The distances from 200 meters in swimming and from 400 meters in sprint are particularly demanding, as good speed endurance is required. First, speed should be trained and only then should speed endurance training be started.
A definition by Zintl from 1994 explains the speed endurance very appropriately: "Speed endurance = fatigue resistance under loads at submaximal movement speeds, whereby the anaerobic-lactic acid component plays a determining (KZA) or not insignificant (MZA) role". KZA refers to short-term endurance, and MZA refers to medium-term endurance.
Speed training in soccer
Especially for football there are some exercises to improve speed, so that, for example, an attacker is faster on the ball than a defender of the opposing team. In soccer, weight sleds, parachutes and weights are usually used, which are connected to the players during sprint training. Different sprint distances are then covered against this resistance. The training stimulus is increased by the aids in order to make the training more effective.
In football, however, not only speed is an important point. The feeling for the ball and above all the speed with the ball is particularly important. The hare hunt is a game that combines both requirements. Two groups face each other, lined up on cones. Starting from one group there is a row of cones one third apart. The cones are two thirds of the way from the other group. The group that is closer to the cone starts with a sprint to the cone, taps it and sprints back to the starting line as fast as possible. At the same time as the start of the first group, group two starts and tries to catch up with the footballers from group one and clap. This exercise can be varied as desired by adding the ball and modifying the individual exercise components. The start command can be given acoustically, tactilely or optically; the start position can be lying, standing, sitting, etc. There are no limits to the possibilities for the trainers to vary this exercise.
Speed training in handball
There are areas of application for speed training in handball in every part of the team. The defenders also have to train speed. Cone sprints with a change of direction and a subsequent throw at the goal is just one example of how speed can be trained in handball. The cones can be built up in a zigzag pattern to simulate running in on a circle.
Speed training in volleyball
In volleyball, speed training is also important to ensure team success. On the one hand, the speed of defense is very important in order to fend off opposing balls and to be able to react as quickly as possible to deflected balls and attack hits. An exercise is suitable here in which two partners alternately hit the defensive player with attack balls that have to be fended off. The partners decide on the speed at which the change takes place and at which the balls are thrown. The defender must react quickly and repel the attacking blows as much as possible.
In addition to defense, speed is also of great importance in attack. A quick, short sprint to the net and a subsequent hit ball are heavily dependent on the basic speed of a player. The faster the swinging movement with the ball, the more effective and harder the attack. A strong attack increases the probability of landing a point and of making the game victorious in the end.
Speed training in tennis
In tennis, speed is mainly reflected in the speed of reaction and anticipation. Two other types of speed, impact speed and running speed round off the requirement profile of tennis for human speed.
The speed of reaction and anticipation are important in order to study the opponent and to read what movement will take place next and where the ball will be hit. The better these two variants of speed are developed, the more effectively a tennis player can defend and counterattack.
The speed of hitting and running are also important components in tennis. Start and change of direction, for example to reach an opponent's service, are fundamental to being able to parry the service. Above all, the speed of impact plays a very important role in the attack and the serve. The faster the backward movement in both types of strokes, the higher the probability of landing a point.
Speed training in martial arts
In martial arts, speed can make the difference between winning and losing. The fighter who can execute and place his attacks faster is more likely to win the fight. Speed plays a major role, especially when it comes to punches, kicks and turns. Fast attacks are more difficult to repel and have a stronger effect when hit.
Speed training in athletics
In athletics there are sports that are more dependent on speed than others. The sprint, jump and throwing disciplines are more dependent on speed than, for example, a marathon. In the sprint and jump disciplines, speed is crucial for the athlete's performance.
Speed training in boxing
Boxing is similar to martial arts. Dodging and hitting are the most important movements in boxing.The footwork that a flexible quick defense is built on relies heavily on speed. Rope jumps are very often seen in boxers as endurance training, for coordination, but also for movement and reaction speed. Speed training in boxing takes place on impact machines and in sparring, where in addition to speed, other important skills and abilities of the boxer are trained directly.
What is speed strength?
Speed strength is one of the three forms of strength that researchers and athletes differentiate between. In addition to speed strength, this also includes maximum strength and strength endurance. Speed is the ability to accelerate a body or object to the maximum in a minimum of time. It occurs in almost all movements and is therefore a basis for human movement and sports.
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