Focus on Reactive and Explosive Strength
Various activation drills are beneficial to prime the body for explosive movement. The CNS (Central Nervous System) is responsible for sending messages to skeletal muscle to perform a desired movement. By priming the nervous system we are working on the improvement of neuromuscular coordination, or our ability to produce a movement through the coordinated and timely contraction of desired muscles and the relaxation of the muscles that oppose the desired movement. The exercise below is a great way to achieve this and improve your reactive / explosive strength for sprinting. Linear Bounds 3 sets x 5 reps each – 90 seconds rest Start the movement on one leg, from there push off with the leg on the ground and make sure to get triple extension from the ankle, knee, and hip. When bounding you want to make sure your moving forward (horizontally) not upward (vertically). After you jump off the leg on the floor make sure to land on the opposite leg and while landing be sure to keep a soft foot (balls of your foot) and minimize the ground contact time (time on the floor).
Sprint, Sprint, Sprint
If you want to be faster, you want to be a great sprinter. If you want to get better at sprinting then you should you know…sprint! Tying in the basic drill from tip 1 with the activation drill in tip 2 will help you become a technically sound sprinter. The two sprint variations below will help you achieve an advantageous position (forward lean). Lean Fall Run 3–5 sprints each leg – Rest = walk back to start (allow enough time between sprints for full recovery) Start on the baseline of a standard basketball court and get in a 2-point stance (staggered stance and on the balls of the foot). Start the movement by leaning forward until the point you feel like you’re going to fall (if you have a partner they can hold onto the back middle portion of your t-shirt, this will increase the fall forward and at the last second they will let go and you will complete the movement). Right before you fall you will drive into the ground with both legs while maintaining the 45-degree forward body lean. Sprint to the free throw line and then slow-down (give yourself plenty of room to decelerate). While sprinting keep shoulders relaxed and be sure to keep the elbows at a 90-degree angle (drive elbows back and keep close to the body) Greg Robins NASM-CPT, RKC & Jamie Smith C.S.C.S. are trainers with Total Performance Sports in Everett, MA.