Get Strong

Sprint Running Form And The Test

Coaches and athletes spend a great deal of time on running mechanics.  Utilizing film and having handouts of what you are trying to accomplish speeds the process. If you truly want athletes to understand the action of sprinting give them a quiz, you will be surprised how much better they will correct their form when drilled.

Sprint Running Form

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I. The Hands and Arms  - the faster the arms go the faster the legs go

     A. Relax your hands

         1. If the hands are relaxed the chances are good that the arms and shoulders will be                     relaxed

          2. The index finger and thumb should slightly touch or the hand should remain in a                     natural  position

          3. Start with your lower arm at right angle to the upper arm

          4. Powerfully drive your hand forward no higher than your shoulder

          5. Keep the right angle while vigorously pumping your arms

     B. The rear action of the arm is responsible for higher need lift

          1. The thumb should almost brush your thigh on the descent of your arm

          2. The downward moving hand should clear the buttocks

          3. Keep the arm at a right angle during the stroke allowing the elbow to open slightly at                the end of the stroke

          4. Your upper arm should become almost parallel to the ground

          5. Always assure that there isn't excessive swinging of the lower arm during running -                 maintaining the right angle of the lower and upper arm

      C. Proper movement of the arms and insures unnecessary rotation of the lower torso

          1. While pumping your arms keep your shoulders Square

          2. While pumping your arms do not rotate your hips

II. Head neck and shoulders - position and relaxation allows for faster arm movement, a more powerful stroke, and greater knee lift

       A. Relax muscles of the face

           1. Breathe through your mouth and nose

           2. Relax your mouth

           3. Eyes should be focused at an object in eye level straight ahead - not at your feet or                  upward

           4. The head should always remain in a normal postural position

           5. Never allow the head to rock from side to side or move up or down

       B. Relax your shoulders

           1. Keep your shoulders down while pumping your arms

           2. Do not shrug your shoulders toward your ears

           3. Relax shoulders allow you to pump your arms faster

           4. Keep your shoulders square

III. Legs foot and torso - knee lift must be without improper body rotation and avoidance of prancing

        A. The torso should be upright

           1. When running the trunk should be slightly forward of vertical

           2. Do not allowed torso rotation

           3. Do not allow bending in the middle of the torso - crunching

           4. Do not allow bending backwards

           5. Run tall

        B.  High knee lift is desirable and completion of the drive stroke or drive leg is desirable

           1. Left your knee high with a powerful stroke

           2. The drive must take place wholly behind the body's vertical line with the drive leg

           3. At no time should there be an attempt to reach out with the lifted foot

           4. The lifted foot should be slightly cocked or plantar flexed

           5. The returning lifted foot will land slightly ahead of the body and then we'll be used to                drive forward

 

The Sprint Running Form Quiz   100% is Required

Fill in the blank

In running the faster the arms go the faster the  ___________________go.

The proper rear action of the arms is responsible for __________________.

When pumping your arms your shoulders should remain __________________.

Proper movement of the arms ensures unnecessary rotation of the _____________.

How should your head, in relation to your torso, remain when running with proper form?

____________________________________________________________________.

True or False

You should run tall?________

You should not reach out with your lifted foot when running? _________

You should not shrug your shoulders when running? ________

You should relax your head and neck and shoulders when running? ________

You should run run run run run with great form to get better? _________

You should relax your mouth running? __________

You must be in great physical condition to perform your best? __________

The head should remain in a normal postural position? ____________

Breathe through your mouth and nose?_________

If your hands are relaxed the arms and shoulders will probably be relaxed? __________

 

 

Topics: Running, Skill, Success

The Zercher Squat

In the early years of weight training many strongmen made their own special assortment of lifting tools. Bars of variable length and bar whip with solid globes, blocks of steel, cement or hollow metal endings. These 'bar-bells' varied based on the lifters preference and strength or often by the availability of resources.  Historians have credited the Boston strongman George Barker Windship and German strongman Louis Durlacher in the mid to late 1800's with the idea of using sand or lead shot inside the hollow spheres to vary the weight of bar-bells, dumb-bells and kettle-bells. Windship later patented the plate loaded “practical graduating dumb-bell” with wing nuts used as collars, which he began marketing in 1865. Other patents for barbells and weight equipment began appearing and in 1902 Alan Calvert of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded the Milo Barbell Company and began selling adjustable bar-bells and dumb-bells.

If you grew up in the early twentieth century you may have purchased an advertised adjustable barbell set which was often delivered to your home. Along with the set came a pamphlet with photos of multiple exercises you could do. The set did not include a bench for bench pressing or stanchions for squatting and overhead pressing.

The adjustable barbell set was a simple iron bar around 5 feet in length with a chrome sleeve over the bar for gripping instead of knurling. The bar was loaded with plates that had a 1" hole. As one got stronger a simple exercise such as pressing a barbell became more difficult. When you tried to clean the barbell, not only was it awkward, but the plates did not spin torquing the wrist. This caused many lifters to cheat curl the bar or use a movement such as 'shouldering' and then switch their grip into a pressing grip before the bar was pushed overhead. 

When training the legs resting the bar on your back became problematic. The bar had to be cleaned, pressed over your head and rested on the shoulders before the squat or a lunge began. Getting enough weight to squat and affect the legs became extremely difficult for a lifter, as leg strength began to out pace pressing power. The conundrum was not only getting the bar to your back, but getting it safely off your shoulders when the lift was completed. The lifter could do a front squat, yet as mentioned the cleaning of the bar and wrists were a limitation. Companies began selling weight stands for your home, but many lifters couldn't afford the extra expense or just came up with ways to rest the weight on benches or developed new ways of exercising.

St. Louis Strongman Ed Zercher popularized and has been given credit for the development of what historically has been labeled the 'Zercher Squat.' Young men trying to develop ways of squatting with a simple barbell and no other lifting apparatuses deadlifted the bar to their knees and then in a squatting position worked the bar to the crook of their elbows and began doing a waist level deep front squat. Not comfortable, but it became away to Get Strong without a 'rack'.

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If you are an avid lifter it is fun to try the Zercher Squat and feel the struggles that young men went through to Get Strong in their homes, basements and garages before the advent of the local health spa. 

Strength training is hard and should be hard, yet it shouldn't cause the pain and bruising of the bar digging into your joints as the Zercher Squat requires. Modern technology via the Pendulum Squat Pro allows all athletes regardless of their physical structure and varying limb length to achieve excellent squatting form with the heaviest weight they can handle. There is pain, but only the good direct pain of tremendous muscular development.  Ed Zercher would love the Squat Pro!

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Topics: Pendulum Rack System, Skill, Pendulum Squat Pro

Squatting Through The Roof

When something is very high or has increased dramatically the idiom "through the roof"  is often used. The number of techniques coaches use to improve an athletes barbell squat, it can be said is -"through the roof"!  To improve the barbell squat a coach may have the athlete; work on technique, different bar positions, work on core strength, upper back strength, adjust an athletes grip, build hip strength, change the type of bar used, change shoes, do pause squats, do box squats, speed squats, increase flexibility, revisit motivation, look at rest intervals, change the number of days per week training occurs, adjust routines and much much more.

The Pendulum Squat Pro allows each athlete regardless of limb length and skill level to quickly, with almost zero coaching, get into a position of what may be deemed 'perfect form'. Having great form through an entire squatting movement increases the strength of the structures that the coach is trying to augment by using many of the aforementioned methods.

If an athlete is weak in the bottom position simply top load the Pendulum Squat Pro machine during the squating movement. If the athlete struggles near the top of the movement bottom load the Pendulum Squat Pro. To improve squatting strength and form simply cross load the machine with barbell plates on the high and low weight sleeves.

Without question training on the Pendulum Squat Pro will make any athletes barbell squat go through the roof with little or no coaching......  A great way to improve technique and Get Strong.

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The Pendulum Squat Pro

Topics: barbell back squat, Skill, Success, Pendulum Squat Pro

Neck Muscle Strength, Bracing And Training The System

describe the imageMike Gittleson was the Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Michigan for 30 years and was a part of 15 Football Championships in that time. He explains, developing one area and neglecting another is not conducive to optimal athletic performance.

On January 31, 2014 the American Journal of Sports Medicine published an article on neck strength titled, Effect of Neck Muscle Strength and Anticipatory Cervical Muscle Activation on the Kinematic Response of the Head to Impulsive Loads. The findings indicated that male and female athletes could potentially modify risk factors for concussion by developing neck musculature. It was shown that having greater neck strength when bracing for impact reduces the magnitude of the head’s kinematic response. The anticipatory act of bracing for a violent collision is important in protecting oneself from the effects of whiplash, yet bracing in itself is a common occurrence.  When you run, neck muscles contract before your foot hits the ground. The process of running is inherently bouncy as our muscle tendon units act as springs to propel us up and forward. This aerial phase neck muscle contraction is in anticipation of the ground reaction force.  Ground reaction force causes a vertical acceleration of the head that actually pitches the head forward at foot strike.  

The human head uses a self-stabilizing system that does not rely on muscular reflex to control the pitching action during running. Reflex alone cannot control the action of the head once ground strike occurs – having fewer than then 10 milliseconds to control the up and forward action of the head is not enough time for our natural reflexes.

Our head, which is pitched forward upon landing, also rolls and yaws. This requires contractions of neck extensors, as well as flexors and a downward swing of an arm that dampens vertical acceleration. Each arm constitutes about eight percent of total body mass, roughly the same relative percent as the 5 to 6 kilogram runner’s head. If you consider the head in running as the primary mass then the downward swing of the stance side arm becomes the counter mass accelerating in the opposite direction, thereby dampening the skull’s oscillation. The athlete then alters their running form by bending and swinging his or her arms in movements with the appropriate power and speed to counter these varying vectors of force.  Changing the mass or active stiffness of the arms through strength training and not addressing the mass and/or muscular system of the head and neck can be problematic. The coach and athlete will spend countless hours trying to achieve a particular running form that cannot truly be corrected unless they address the musculature that is controlling the movement of the skull.

Running Form

There is another issue that the neck must attend to during running. When we land during sprinting we avoid falling down by utilizing the muscles of the lower back and hip – particularly the largest muscle of our body, the powerful gluteus maximus – to decelerate the trunk. As the trunk accelerates forward and then backward the head and neck accelerates backward then forward. Try this at home: Sit in your car and accelerate quickly forward then step on the brake. Vehicle acceleration provides example that the more the trunk pitches the more the head reacts. Increasing the strength and/or mass of the trunk and not addressing the strength and/or mass of the head and neck adversely effects athleticism.

As mentioned, the head also rolls and yaws during running, usually towards the stance side foot at foot strike.  Once the runner is in the aerial phase one leg quickly swings forward while the opposite leg is thrust behind the body, causing angular momentum around the vertical axis. We counteract this by swinging our arms in an opposite phase to the legs to have an equal and opposite angular momentum. The neck must not only rotate in the opposite direction of the trunk but quickly prepare for being thrust vertically and forward upon landing.

The human brain is encased in a rigid skull and covered by a muscular scalp which is surrounded by three layers of membranes and floats in a protective cushion of cerebrospinal fluid. Though protected, brain trauma can occur with sudden acceleration or deceleration within the cranium. Control of head stabilization is one important line of defense for protecting the brain from perturbation.   During activity, it remains relatively stable as we integrate information about the head and body from our eyes, vestibular system and proprioceptors of the neck. For athletes involved in any sport with an associated head trauma risk, protecting the brain from excessive subconcussive forces through strength training head and neck musculature for bracing is the first job of a strength and conditioning coach.

For any athlete to excel in sport, they must train the structures that decelerate opposing masses. This means that athletes must have head and neck training as part of their exercise regime. The head and neck muscles are countering arm swing, trunk pitch and rotation, as the arms are countering head pitch, leg swing and trunk movement. Developing one area and neglecting another is not conducive to optimal athletic development or performance. Train the entire system.

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Topics: Running, Muscular Growth, Skill, Muscular Strength

Barbell Squat Form

Gabe Harrington has a Masters degree from Michigan State University. Gabe has coached at MSU, the United States Military Academy and most recently was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Colgate University Patriot League Football Champions. Gabe explains, even if you are an avid barbell squatter, the Pendulum Squat Pro is still a great tool to have in your weight room.

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Teaching squatting form with a barbell requires coaching as well as skill progression. Teaching form on the Pendulum Power Squat Pro, because the yoke resting on the athletes shoulders is accommodating, only requires the lifter to grasp the work arms and squat and their form is excellent. 

I purchased a Pendulum Squat Pro for my facility and when the machine arrived my athletes began trying it. I quickly saw, without almost any instruction, athletes who usually struggled with squatting had excellent form on the Squat Pro. The floating yoke was changing the resistance in relationship to the lever system during the movement.  I was delighted with what was occurring and decided that the Power Squat Pro should become part of my squatting progression routine.

The following are my '10 Progressive Steps' that I used to teach the proper form of barbell squatting.

 PROGRESSION #1: FEEL THE CORRECT FORM

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 PROGRESSION #2: STANCE BASICS

•    Begin with feet slightly wider than shoulder width – toes pointed slightly out

•    “Spread the Floor” with your feet: if you were on ice, you would do the splits – this helps to keep your knees from buckling in during the movement

•    Push through the heels, falling forward can put unnecessary strain on your spine – keeping your weight back keeps your center of gravity from falling forward and helps keep your knees behind your toes (more on this later)… try lifting your big toes slightly just before performing the movement 

PROGRESSION #3: BREATHING

•    Always breath into your belly, not your chest – this helps promote internal stability around the spine

•    Breath in at the top – now hold your breath on the way down and in the bottom position for a split second (unless you have high blood pressure)

•    Once upward movement is initiated breath out as you stand up

PROGRESSION #4: WALL SQUAT (BOX)
•    This series will help you learn to sit back rather than down when you squat as well as to keep your knees behind your toes

•    Begin by setting an adjustable platform or low box near a wall – make sure it is sturdy enough to support your bodyweight!

•    Set the platform such that as you sit on it the tops of your thighs are parallel with the floor

•    From the seated position place your toes against the wall and assume your squat stance

•    Take a breath into the belly, Spread the floor, lift your big toes and stand

•    Try to sit back onto the platform without “plopping” down onto it and return to the standing position once again

•    Once you can repeat this 2-3 times in a row without “plopping” down you are ready to move onto the next progression

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PROGRESSION #5: WALL SQUAT (PARTNER)

•    This time begin standing with your toes against the wall in your squat stance

•    Breath into the belly, spread the floor, lift the big toes, push your hips back and maintain a good arch in your spine

•    You will notice that at ¾ of the way down you will have to use your hip flexor muscles to pull you down 

•    This is where it gets tough!  Your partner will have to spot you from behind and keep you from falling backwards – your partner’s job is to push you forward enough so that you can pull yourself down to parallel… you want to get used to your hip flexors working hard here!

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PROGRESSION #6: WALL SQUAT (SOLO)

•    Once you feel comfortable enough, try this without your partner

•    Note that this is the exact form you will use with the bar on your back – you must master this exercise before moving on!

•    You may pick this up right away, or you may have to practice 2 sets of 3 reps on this each day for as long as a couple of weeks to master it – either way, stay with it because it will pay you back down the road!

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PROGRESSION #7: MODIFIED FRONT SQUAT

•    Once you have mastered the wall squat place an empty barbell across your shoulders and extend your arms out straight with your thumbs up to the ceiling and at eye level
•    Now squat like you’ve been practicing against the wall: breath into the belly, spread the floor, lift the toes, push the hips back and maintain a great spinal arch
•    The purpose of the bar here is to give you some feedback as to whether you are falling forward or not – if the bar rolls off your shoulders you are falling forward – check your weight distribution and keep working on it!
•    Once you can do this for a set of 2-3 reps in a row you are ready to back squat!

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PROGRESSION #8: HOLDING THE BAR ON YOUR BACK

•    For the back squat, we want a “low bar position”

•    To achieve this, squeeze your shoulder blades together hard – this will create a natural “shelf” for the bar to sit on... The “shelf” is your trapezius and rear deltoid muscles contracting – the bar will sit here comfortably without feeling like you are rubbing your spine with the bar

•    Grip the bar firmly – experiment with the width of your hands for comfort – try to turn your wrists in… they won’t move very much, but by contracting your wrist muscles your wrists will hurt less from the awkwardness of the position

•    Keep your eyes up and push your head back into the bar (like when you try to make your neck look bigger in your team photo)

•    Note that this may feel uncomfortable at first… your wrists and upper back may not be strong enough initially to support much weight in this fashion, but STICK WITH IT, your upper back will grow thick with muscle from supporting weight in this manner – not to mention this is the most advantageous way to hold the bar (in time your spine will thank you)

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PROGRESSION #9: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

•    At this point, having mastered the previous progressions, the back squat should be a breeze

•    Perform your practice sets with no more than 2 reps at a time with light weight until you get the hang of it (have a partner watch you!) and add weight slowly – in time you will have a healthy and impressive physique from all of your hard work!   

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Remember:
Breath into the belly
Spread the floor
Lift the toes
Head back
Great arch
Drive through the heels... and.... Get Strong

PROGRESSION #10: RECHECK YOUR FORM

Gabe Harrington Squat Pro

Topics: barbell back squat, squat progression, Strength Training, Pendulum Rack System, Skill, Pendulum Squat Pro, Squat form

Sprint Running Form

Running at top speed is complex and requires teaching, education, coaching and practice. Showing a film, having a slide presentation, a demonstration, handouts and a quiz is part of the learning process.

The following is an example of a handout and quiz:

Handout

I. The Hands and Arms - The faster arms go the faster the legs go.

A. Relax your hands       

1. If the hands are relaxed the chances are good the arms and shoulders will be relaxed

2. The index finger and thumb should slightly touch or the hand should remain in a               natural position

3. Start with your lower arm at a right angle to the upper arm  

4. Powerfully drive your hand forward no higher than your shoulder

5. Keep the right angle while vigorously pumping your arms

B. The rear action of the arm is responsible for higher knee lift

1. The thumb should almost brush your thigh on the descent of your arm

2. The downward moving hand should clear the buttocks

3. Keep the arm at a right angle during the stroke allowing the elbow to open slightly at the end of the stroke

4. Your upper arm should become almost parallel to the ground

5. Always assure that there isn’t excessive swinging of the lower arm during running maintaining the right angle of the lower and upper arm

C. Proper movement of the arms insures unnecessary rotation of the lower torso

1. While pumping your arms keep your shoulders square

2. While pumping your arms do not rotate your hips


II. Head, Neck and Shoulders - position and relaxation allows for faster movement, a more powerful stroke and greater knee lift

A. Relax muscles of the face

1. Breath through your mouth and nose

2. Relax your mouth

3. Eyes should be focused at an object at eye level straight ahead - not at your feet or upward

4. The head should always remain in a normal postural position

5. Never allow the head to rock from side to side or move up or down

B. Relax your shoulders

1. Keep your shoulders down while pumping your arms

2. Do not shrug your shoulders towards your ears

3. Relaxed shoulders allow you to pump your arms faster

4. Keep your shoulders square


III. Legs, Foot and Torso - knee lift must be without improper body rotation and the avoidance of exaggerated movements

A. The torso should be upright

1. When running the trunk should be slightly forward of vertical

2. Do not allow torso rotation

3. Do not allow bending in the middle of the torso - crunching

4. Do not allow bending backwards

5. Run tall

B. High knee lift is desirable and completion of the drive stroke or drive leg is desirable

1. Lift your knee high with a powerful stroke

2. The drive must take place wholly behind the body’s vertical line with the drive leg

3. At no time should there be an attempt to reach out with the lifted foot

4. The lifted foot should be slightly cocked or dorsiflexed

5. The returning lifted foot will land slightly ahead of the body and then will be used to drive forward


Quiz

Fill in:

1. In running the faster the arms go the faster the ____________go.

2. The proper rear action of the arms is responsible for___________________________.

3. When pumping your arms your shoulders should remain________________________.

4. Proper movement of the arms insures unnecessary rotation of the_________________.

5. How should your head , in relation to your torso, remain when running with proper form?

   ______________________________________________________________________.

True or False:

6. You should run tall?___________.

7. You should not reach out with your lifted foot when running_____________.

8. You should not bend or crunch in the torso when running________________.

9. You should not shrug your shoulders when running_____________________.

10. You should relax your head, neck and shoulders when running____________.

Topics: Running, Skill

Kinesthetics And Shuttle Running

Kinesthetics is our ability to feel the sensations of our movements and the awareness of where our body is in space.  Having a kinesthetic sense of one's body parts relative to a previous position enables athletes to develop and nurture their athletic proficiency. 

This awareness that we have and call 'skill' allows us to perform each movement with earned excellence. Kinesthetics is manifested in the examples of when the 'center' on a football team shotgun snaps a ball accurately to the quarterback, while keeping his eyes rivited on his opponent or the kicker kicks an extra point and knows exactly where to place his plant foot while moving, even though he is concentrating on the football as he is about to punch it through the uprights. Executing a skill correctly over and over allows an athlete to use precise sensory feedback to adjust as they move, integrating information from the ears, eyes, muscles, ligaments, skin and more - kinesthetic awareness.

Agility shuttles are used by coaches and scouts to evaluate players. Strength and Conditioning coaches hence instruct athletes with the appropriate form and have them practice it diligently to minimize their time. The following is an example of some instructions on the 'Pro Agility Shuttle' and viewed as good advice:

"Put your right hand down to the ground and get ready to take off."  "Take three steps within five yards and pivot your right foot around so that it is in front of your left foot. Make sure your right hand is on the ground near your right foot."  "Burst out 10 yards and mimic the same pivot and position with your left foot."

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Yet, often instructors training athletes for a drill such as the 'Pro Agility Shuttle' may forget the most important coaching fundamental of running a great time, 'where the head goes the body will follow.'  Touching a line on the ground as you change direction is not a complicated task as the line is not going to move. The athlete need not stare at the line to make sure he touches it, he need only to know where it is and be in tune with his running form. IMG 0545edited

       The athlete need not watch the line

Getting as low as possible and using peripheral vision and body awareness for hand placement is what is necessary as the athlete must pivot the head and foot to burst in the opposite direction. Looking at the line and making sure it is touched prevents the athlete from quickly getting his head turned downfield. The craniums appropriate position brings the entire system into the actions needed to propel the body in the opposite direction.

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By being aware of the line not watching it allows the athlete to turn quicker

If an athlete steps correctly, gets low as he approaches the line, trust he knows where he is in space and concentrates on bringing 'the head around so the body will follow', he will run up to his capabilities. 

Teach athletes to rely on their kinesthetic awareness so they perform movements at the highest level. 

Topics: Running, Neck training, Skill

300 Yard Shuttle Sled Run

A stopwatch is needed for this full speed drill. The athlete starts the drill on the goal line. The Cougar Drive Sled is set on the 50 yard line facing the player.

The athlete runs to the Drive Sled at the 50 and pushes it as fast as possible 10 yards and sprints returning to the goal line touching it with his hand.  Without stopping the player immediately returns to the sled at the 40 yd line and pushes the sled 10 more yards sprinting back to touch the goal line.  From the goal line the athlete races to the 30 and pushes the sled 10 yards returning to the starting line.  Running to the 20 the participant pushes the Cougar Drive Sled to the 10 touches the goal line and returns to the sled and driving it home across the goal line.

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The total time is recorded.  Anytime a new personal record time is accomplished 10 pounds is added to the sled.  A great drill to Get Strong.

 

Some other ways to use the Cougar Drive Sled..... 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeWTyJzsqXU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4Z9ErBY2eI

 

 

 

Topics: Drive Sled, Running, Skill, Success

Ladder Drive Sledding

Pushing a conditioning sled at full speed is a difficult task in itself. Pushing a sled as hard as possible when you are already fatigued is extremely exhausting. The following drill is not easy make sure you are in great shape if you try it. All drills except the first 100 yards are full speed. The first 100 is to be done at a 90% level. Have fluid available. Record each event. The next workout beat each time.

Ladder 

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Run 100 yds - Rest 1 minute          Record time ______

Run 200 yds - Rest 2 minutes         Record time______

Run 300 yds - Rest 3 minutes         Record time______

Run 400 yds - Rest 4 minutes         Record time______

Run 300 yds - Rest 3 minutes         Record time______

Run 200 yds - Rest 2 minutes         Record time______

Run 100 yds - Rest 2 minutes         Record time______

Ladder with Drive Sled

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10 yd Drive Sled -  Rest 1 minute         Record time______

20 yd Drive Sled -  Rest 1:45 minutes   Record time______

30 yd Drive Sled -  Rest 2 minutes        Record time______

40 yd Drive Sled - Rest 2:30 minutes    Record time______

30 yd Drive Sled - Rest 2 minutes         Record time______

20 yd Drive Sled -  Rest 1:45 minutes   Record time______

10 yd Drive Sled -  Finished                  Record time______

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The Rogers Cougar Drive Sled

 Get Strong

Topics: Drive Sled, Running, Skill

Speed And Conditioning In 20 Yards

Gabe Harrington has a Masters degree from Michigan State University.  He has coached at MSU, the United States Military Academy and most recently was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Colgate University Patriot League Football Champions. Gabe explains how you can get a lot done in a small area.

THE 20 YARD “SMACK DOWN” RUN

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Many great speed and conditioning drills can be performed in just 20 yards.  One of them is the SMACK DOWN run.  I like this drill, because it has a very low incidence of injury – you can run your players at full speed, but because of the short distance the incidence hamstring pulls are kept to a minimum (in ten years and thousands of players, I’ve had zero).  Because players are running at full speed, they are going to GET FASTER.  If the volume is high enough, and it is, you get a great conditioning effect.  Also, because of the necessity to follow both visual and audio cues its carryover too many sports are quite high, not to mention personal and team accountability (more on this later).  The only equipment required is a whistle, stopwatch, and a stretch of 20 yards (a football field is optimal, but not necessary), and finally it’s just plain TOUGH.


But first, a few rules:


- All reps are performed at FULL SPEED with aproximately a 2:1 rest interval, that is, one group runs and then rests while the other two groups run.

- A rep is either 1x20 yards (One!), 2x20 yards with directed plant foot (Two, right!), or 3x20 yards with plant foot (Three, left!).

- The structure is: six perfect reps equals one set.

- The full smack down is four sets with one minute for rest and water between sets (start with just two sets and work up to this).

- During a set the only rest allowed is when the other speed groups are running!

- If ANYONE jumps off-sides, touches the line with the wrong foot, doesn’t touch the line, or loafs in any way the rep does not count and is to be performed again.  In this way, a set could consist of six perfect reps, or six perfect reps plus any bad reps (which of course don’t count) for a total of more than reps… this is where accountability comes in.

 

Here is a sample using football players: 
Break your players up into three speed groups: Linemen (OL/DL), Middle Skill (LB/TE/QB/SPEC/FB), and Skill (WR/DB/RB) positions.

The coaching commands are as follows: number of 20yd sprints – which foot touches - set - whistle. 
For example, the coach might say, “TWO, RIGHT - SET” – then blow the whistle to start the drill.  The first speed group will sprint 20 yards at full speed, touch the line with their right foot and sprint back 20 yards through the starting point at full speed.  Immediately following this the second speed group is up, performing the same drill (Two, right). Immediately following them is the third speed group, if there were no errors then this would be one rep.  The coach should say the commands for each speed group and for each rep.  Group one is now up again for the next rep.

A sample run template is as follows:
1 (one), 2R (two right), 1 (one), 2L (two left), 1 (one), 2R (two right) = 6 reps or one set
Rest/water x 1 minute
1, 2L, 3R, 1, 2R, 3L = 2nd set oof 6 reps
Rest/water x1 minute
1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 = 3rd set of 6 reps
Rest/water x1 minute
2L, 3R, 1, 2R, 3L, 1 = 4th set of 6 reps

Done!

The above template is an example. Running programs are set by coaches based upon the the teams fitness level.  Like any drill or running program ease into it, be smart and Get Strong.

 

 

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Topics: Running, Skill, Success