One aspect of your game which you cannot improve on enough is speed. Whether you need to get back to make a try saving challenge, or break down the line to get the ball over the try line, you need speed, and you can work on it any time you want.
If you are looking to leave last years you in your wake, these 5 tips and tricks will help you in increasing your overall speed on the pitch.
- Building your explosive speed – Your explosive speed is essential when working on improving your overall pace, as there is no point being fast if you can’t actually get away from the guy stood next to you. Reversing your reps is a popular way of increasing your explosive speed, as lowering reps with higher weight and more sets allows you to get the same amount of training faster. There are other ways to build explosive speed, hill sprints being one, and one of the team here at In The Loose has given us his favourite exercise; box jumps, as they allow him to ‘build my fast twitch muscle fibres’, which is key when having this goal in mind.
- Improve your stride length – This allows you to gain more distance quicker, even though most people think smaller quicker steps are more efficient, they are in fact not. Hill sprints will allow you to do this as it strengthens your hamstrings whilst getting your form and balance for sprinting correct. Running downhill allows your body to get used to larger strides, which is what we want.
- MAKE SURE YOU RECOVER WELL – Training your arse off to be the fastest out of the 30 on the pitch means nothing if you’re not treating your body correctly, which is why recovering is important, as it allows your muscles to develop fully. To recover well, you still need to be doing some sprint training. A good option for recovery is some light hill sprints (not too light or you might as well not) and after the session, recover with contrasting showers and massages to replenish the muscles after a long week of training.
- Train AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE – Having a strict training routine will be a big help when building up your speed, as a well tailored mix of weight and sprint training will allow you to dominate the game. Before starting your training, make sure you’re dedicated to your workout plan and focus at least 2 days a week to sprint training.
- Form – As fancy as it may sound, with the word being thrown around professional athletics; form plays a big factor when it comes down to speed, whether you’re on the track or on the field. Keeping a good shape when running will allow you to gain distance quicker, as you will not be making mistakes such as letting your legs go all over the place. Hill sprints are yet again a good option for improving form, as it allows you to get used to sprinting downhill, which will improve your form running at speed in an awkward position, which you will be doing in game. If hill sprints are getting a bit boring you can switch it up with such exercises as ‘wall drives’ as these also allow you to gain form and balance whilst reaching a bigger stride.