Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just starting off there are ways of improving acceleration and movement as an athlete. Knowing how to navigate through the weight room and master certain exercises can directly result in more power which equals better jump and sprint mechanics.
Improvements in Power have been shown to result from high-intensity strength training, jump training under increased extensive loads, and movement-specific exercises requiring muscular coordination will directly benefit any athlete on increasing acceleration.
Having a sound system structure that organizes how an athlete should go about improving their acceleration and movement, each individual athlete according to body type, training age, and current strength will have to place their focus on, to start:
- Proper Warmup
- Sprinting Technique
This includes wall drills, jumping mechanics, push-ups, pull-ups, and med ball throws are great examples of how to get started with increasing your acceleration.
All athletes need a blend of Maximum Strength, Explosive Strength, and Elastic Strength (along with Core Strength), to level up as an athlete. Once you have established proficiency in those areas you will begin to increase sprinting intensity and develop proper lifting mechanics in the weight room. This will build on foundational plyometric movements.
At this point, the athlete will be transitioning from the learning stage to actively performing in the gym. Athletes must be able to generate explosive muscular forces very rapidly to accelerate, change directions, and then re-accelerate over relatively short distances.
Back squat, front squat, overhead press, intro to Olympic lifts, and push press are great for those athletes that have leveled up and possess knowledge of fundamental techniques with sprinting and weight lifting. All of these will increase maximum strength and explosive strength.
Moving into elastic strength is for conditioned athletes, these drills are coupled with all of the above starting with short sprints, bounding, drop jumps, depth jumps, and reactive jumps. These drills should be performed with athletes that have good mobility and stability with joints and overall coordination.
These drills can increase in intensity by adding different loads on the body to maximize overall output. All of these drills paired with Olympic lifts will increase maximum, explosive, and elastic strength, improving an athlete’s overall acceleration and movement.