The Secret on How to Run Faster
Scottsdale, AZ – Almost every athlete wants to run faster. I have parents calling me all the time asking for speed training for their child. Athletes try different nutrition plans or supplements, speed coaches, weight lifting exercises, plyometric exercises, shoes, and even clothing, to try to run faster. But, what really works and what doesn’t work?
I love to focus on the basics that we are all taught in high school…and that is physics! Newton’s 3rd Law of motion, says “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction“. So, if there is an equal force coming out of the ground that is put into ground by an athletes foot when it strikes the ground (i.e. running, jumping, or cutting), then, two very important principles need to be optimized:
1) Athletes must be able to put more force into the ground
2)Athletes must be able to optimize all of that force production and not lose it through any joints as the force transfers up through the body.
For both of these to happen, It is important for the “links” of the body to be connected and stabilized to the best of their abilities. Any imbalance of muscles or stability around a joint, will cause the force that is transferring to be re-directed through a joint. This is when an athlete is at risk of injuries, plus now the force production is compromised and the athlete is unable to perform with much speed.
To better understand this, think about a wet, cooked, spaghetti noodle versus a dry, uncooked, spaghetti noodle. If you would drop an uncooked spaghetti noodle vertically 1 centimeter from the floor, it would hit the floor and most likely bounce back off the floor. This happens due to Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. But, when you take a cooked spaghetti noodle, and do the same thing, it would not bounce back up, because force production has been lost. So, with an athlete, we want to make the ankle, knee, hip, core, shoulders be in a straight line and rigid to optimize force production. If the ankle, knee, hip, or core was unstable, force would redirect through the unstable joint and not result in equal force production, just like the wet noodle.
Therefore, to answer the question, “What is the secret on how to run faster?”, it is to do everything you can to stabilize and strength the ankle, knee, hip, core, and shoulders in the most optimal position for force production. Optimal position is the key phrase.
There is tons of research on what range of motion each joint should have during running. The term Triple Extension-Triple Flexion describes the general position for the ankle, knee, and hip; one leg is full plantar flexion at the ankle, extension at the knee, and extension at the hip and the other leg is full dorsiflexion at the ankle, flexion at the knee, and flexion at the hip.
The common imblances we see with youth and adolescent athletes, is: poor ankle stability, weak “shin” muscles to hold foot up in dorsiflexed position, restricted range of motion in ankle due to past ankle sprain, weak VMO quad muscle near the knee, very tight quads and hip flexors that don’t allow for full hip extension, weak “deep inner core muscles”, and rounded shoulders due to tight pecs and weak lower trap muscles. When all these components are addressed, it is unbelievable the potential most athletes have to run faster!
To learn how your body can be better positioned and strengthened to run faster, please contact the sports performance experts at Efficient Movement. We can guarantee you will see drastic improvements with your speed within just days of working with our knowledgeable staff.