The Secret Weapon To Unlocking Your Kid's Full Speed Potential

Have you ever driven in a car with bad shock absorbers?
 
If you have, you likely remember the experience. You felt every pothole, and if by chance you hit a bigger one you were bouncing off the top of the car!
 
Good shocks absorb various forces to create a smooth ride under almost any circumstance.
 
In much the same way, our bodies have built-in shock absorbers.
 
When stretched they store energy and can snap back powerfully. This is how we create high speed movement.
 
This feature resides primarily within two types of connective tissues located throughout your body.
 
Tendons are the first big type.
 
They attach muscle to bones (like your Achilles Tendon), and are quite strong. How spring-like your tendons are varies from one person to the next, with naturally fast athletes of course having the more spring-like ones.
 
The other is fascia (no Austin Powers jokes please!).
 
Fascia is kind of like a netting around your muscles, holding their shape but also stretching and contracting along with the muscles themselves.
 
It forms an interconnected web throughout your entire body.
 
Sprinters who use vigorous arm action run faster because their upper body fascia stretches and shortens, adding to the snap action in their legs.
 
So why, as a parent or coach of athletes, should you care about all of this?
 
Because these connective tissues, just like everything else in the human body, adapts to the stresses imposed on them.
 
In short, you can train them to become more springy.
 
A workout regimen that progressively increases the load on your tendons and fascia will improve their capability to store and rapidly release energy.
 
That is what makes you faster!
 
This is not meant to say that strength training and muscle building are not also valuable parts of a workout program. They certainly are.
 
But anyone who thinks they are going to heavy lift their way to maximizing their speed potential is well off the mark.
 
It is through plyometric training exercises like jumping rope, box jumps and others that represent the first level of 'shock absorber' development training.
 
The next tier up involves training with exercises that take advantage of the stretch capability of your total-body fascia - skips, bounds, and full speed sprinting.
 
And if you are already quite bouncy, add just the right amount of resistance to your advanced plyometrics to get an even better training effect.
 
Fast athletes have great shock absorbers. Train your tendons and fascia right along with muscle strength, and you WILL get faster.



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