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Secrets of Speed and Quickness Training
Vol. 23 - Secrets to Faster Running Speed - Part 1
by Dr. Larry Van Such


Little Known Secrets of Speed Training That Will Make You Faster in Days

Part 1 of 4 - The Push Phase

Okay guys, I am going to start a series of articles that I call speed training secrets and show you what are some of the biggest reasons why so many of you today are struggling to get faster in your sport.

The information I am going to share with you is going to help you immediately perform better in football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer and really any other sport where speed is critical for your success.

This information will also help you form a solid foundation for running faster, jumping higher and jumping longer; and if you play a sport that involves kicking, such as soccer, or if you are the punter or placekicker on a football team, it’s also going to help you in just days improve your kicking height and distance; plus if there are any of you mixed martial artists tuning in, this information is going to help you to improve the speed and strength in any number of kicks you do in just a matter of minutes.

What You Must Learn and Do to Become a Faster and More Complete Athlete

Now, in this article and in the ones that follow I am going to start talking to you about two of the most powerful muscle groups in your body, your hip flexors and hip extensors, and why you still may not have activated each of these muscles groups the right way for blazing speed and quickness with your current training methods. And, when you start to train them the way I am personally going to teach you in these articles, it will be like unleashing a huge reservoir of untapped muscular energy!

We are also going to talk to about fast twitch fibers (you've heard of those, right?) and why many who think they are training them properly for speed and quickness are really only performing modified strength training exercises; seeing little to no gain in speed as a result.

In an upcoming article following this one, I am going to give you the opportunity to try a sample exercise that will turn on these fast twitch fibers and will literally transform your athletic ability in just a couple of minutes a day; the exercise in that video is already responsible for helping thousands of athletes run faster and it will do the same for you; so be sure to look for that because you certainly don't want to miss it!

In addition to all this I am going to be covering something called your turnover rate and how this affects your running speed, jumping height and kicking distance and how if you ever want to be an all-star athlete, and let's say, be able to separate yourself from a defender to make a play, or perhaps become a better defender in football and never let your man get open like a shut-down cornerback, or even something like stealing second base, beating a throw to first or chasing down a fly ball in baseball, you will absolutely need to start training to improve this area immediately.

And finally, I am also going to give you what I consider some bonus information in my fourth article. In that article I am going to talk in more detail than I ever have before on how isometric training using the resistance band is able to condition your muscles for blazing speed and quickness unlike anything else you've ever done.

So we have a lot to cover here in this article and the ones to follow and if you read through them all, I promise you will become a more dynamic, more complete and a way more confident athlete. You're going to be the one who makes the headlines and leads your team to victory. I really mean this. I see it happen on a regular basis and now for the first time, I am going to personally help coach you, right here and right now, to your next level of success.

The 3 Phases of the Running Motion

So let's get started. I want to start first by talking about the running process, that is, the stages or phases your body and muscles go through as you run. Since running is a part of all sports, this is a good place to start since it will allow me to bring into the discussion other really important aspects about your muscles, your training, different exercises you may be doing or may need to start doing, and how it affects your overall performance.

Now, there are three basic phases to the running motion: 1) the push phase which some people may call the drive phase, 2) the swing phase which makes up your stride and 3) the return or pull phase. These three phases make up the running motion for all athletes.

Whether it’s an Olympic sprinter participating in the 100 meter dash, a football wide receiver running a post route, a baseball player taking off to steal second base or even a basketball player taking off down court for a fast break, the legs of each of these different athletes have to cycle through each of these same three phases over and over again throughout the entire time they are running.

And while there may be different running techniques or styles and perhaps different situations that athletes find themself in, the muscles involved during each phase of the running process always remains the same.

Now of the three phases, the push phase is the most popular when it comes to training because many people not only associate it with the start of the race but the entire race as well and as a result, most of your current speed or sprint training routines today focus on exercises that try to improve this phase only.

So the first thing we need to do is define exactly what is meant by the push phase of running and to help us with this we are going to show you a video of an athlete running down the football field.


The Motion and Muscles of the Push Phase

Now the push phase is an extremely important part of the running process, and certainly requires the proper amount of training however, the first thing I hope you get from this article is this: the push phase accounts for only 1/3 of the total running motion and most exercise equipment in the gym is designed to train muscles that are involved primarily with the push phase of running only and they don't really target the other two phases; the swing phase and the pull phase.

Examples of Push Phase Workouts

For example: Leg extension machines help your quads for knee extension; calf raise machines help with ankle plantar-flexion; leg press machines help with both hip and knee extension; you also have squats which helps with both hip and knee extension. The same movements and muscles are used when running down the field with a parachute or pushing a sled.

All these muscle groups are involved in the push phase. You also have the leg curl machine for your hamstrings, but leg flexion or knee flexion as they call it does not make up a big part of the sprinting motion.

Your hamstrings are mainly involved in hip extension during the running motion not knee flexion. Now most people only think of them as knee flexors, but they are also very powerful hip extensors when trained properly. Therefore training your hamstrings on a leg curl machine has very little impact on your running speed.

Now, you may also be involved in some plyometric type exercises like jumping up and down off of boxes and hopping and bounding type exercises, which have their purpose, but those too only affect your hip extensors, knee extensors and ankle plantar-flexors; all of which, again, mainly affect the push phase of running and not the swing phase or pull phase.

2/3's of the Training For Running Speed Is Missing

So, now, the other thing I hope you get from this first article is this: It's quite possible then that when you leave a gym or perhaps the track, believing you have done everything imaginable to help improve your running speed, you are leaving behind anywhere from ½ to 2/3's of the necessary training required to run faster, jump higher and kick farther.

And this is all because you haven't even considered training for the other two phases of running: the swing phase and pull or return phase. And if you are leave out training for these two phases entirely, then you are not really training yourself to run, but instead, you are really only training yourself to jump; and as odd as this may sound, this motion is easily observed in something like a frog where all they do is just push off and land, push off and land.

But you can see just by observing another person run that each leg has to recycle itself, again and again, in the running motion, and this is something called your turnover rate, and it affects your running speed a great deal.

And so now, another thing I want you to get from this first article is this: your turnover rate is not controlled by the push phase of running but rather, your turnover rate is controlled by the 2nd and 3rd phases of running; the swing phase and pull phase.

And if you are like most athletes, even professionals, you probably have never even trained for these two phases, not even once. And so we absolutely need to discuss these two phases and we're going to do that in the next two articles.

So, the challenge most athletes will face is finding a training program aimed at improving all three phases of running and not just the push phase. There's no point going to the gym or the field again and again, day in and day out and only training for 1/3 of the running motion, is there?

This is where the success of the Run Faster program has really gotten a lot of attention because it focuses on strengthening and quickening all of the muscles in each of the three phases of the running process.

And it conditions these muscles in new and different ways than what you normally do. And that alone has incredible benefits for improving an athlete's performance.

Next: The Swing Phase

Now in the next article, I am going to break down the second phase of running, the swing phase, which affects the length of your stride as well as the speed of your turnover rate; I am also going talk more about one of the strongest muscle groups in your body, the hip flexors; and show you how one simple exercise will totally transform you in a matter of minutes into a top notch athlete. You are going to get a chance to do this exercise as well, so be sure to read that article for all of this incredible information.

Now if you may need to go back and review everything in this article again before proceeding on to the next article because we are going to build on everything we just talked about here so far in the articles to follow and you want to be prepared for this.

And one final thought here: I want to commend you for investing your time and effort into doing all you can to be a better athlete. I respect that and as a result, i am going to do all I can to help you reach your athletic goals; and with that, I look forward to seeing you back here again.

Always glad to help!
Dr. Larry Van Such

Part 1 - Secrets to Getting Faster - The Push Phase
Part 2 - Secrets to Getting Faster - The Swing Phase
Part 3 - Secrets to Getting Faster - The Pull Phase
Part 4 - Exercises for Speed

Video Version of this Article
Speed Training Manuals - Delivered with Resistance Bands

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Speed Training For All Sports
Speed Training Exercises For Faster Muscles

Other Articles...



24 - Slow 40 Times? Football Coaches, Are you the Problem?

23 - Secrets of Speed Training to Make You Faster in Days - 4 part Series

22 - Pop Warner Football Player Scoring More Touchdowns!

21 - The glutes are often underdeveloped for 'pulling'

20 - Is Running Steps a Good Idea or a Bad Idea?

19 - Developing Speed and Power in the Tennis Serve - 3 Part Series

18 - Developing Bat Speed and Power in the Baseball Swing - 4 Part Series

17-4 - Becoming An All-Star Athlete.

17 - Why Isometric Training with Resistance Bands Differs From Isometric Training With Weights - 4 Part Series

16 - Muscle Confusion - What is the more complete definition?

15 - Improve your sports performance by training with all 3 muscle contractions - Part 1 of 2

14 - Bruce Lee - One of the fastest and quickest athletes ever

13 - 8 Tips to Incorporate Speed Training into Your Strength Routine

12 - Why You Must Train For Speed and Strength Separately

11 - When It Comes To Speed, Even The Best Machines Will Disappoint You

10 - Why Most 'Speed Training' Programs Do Not Deliver As Advertised

09 - Start speed training midseason and still see results in days

08 - Why the smallest guy on the team is getting credit for having the strongest leg.

07 - Golf - Golf Swing Muscles to Exercise for Swing Speed

06 - Todays' isometrics with resistance bands conditions muscles for speed, strength and coordination in ways static weights can not.

05 - The little known secret behind 'No Pain No Gain'.

04 - Not All Exercise Resistance Bands Are Created Equal.

03 - Baseball Players: An Exercise That Will Increase Bat Speed and Generate Power - Part 1

02 - To jump higher train your hip flexor muscles to contract quicker

01 - Isometric exercises with the resistance band  - The single most effective way to increase the speed of muscular contraction.



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