Friday, November 27, 2009

Improve Speed Acceleration For Football

Training with towing sleds will improve your speed acceleration for football but not your overall speed. Speed acceleration training with towing sleds is not the place to start when training for acceleration.....it is an advanced training method that can cause more harm than good if your body is not ready for it.

Speed acceleration is important because you rarely reach maximum running speed during a football game. So, the player who can accelerate the quickest will make the plays that win football games.

Greek researchers found that athletes training with towing methods (sleds, tires, etc.) improved their running velocity over the first 20 meters (i.e. acceleration) but that overall maximum speed did not improve.

The researchers found that unresisted sprint training techniques improved maximum speed velocity more. So, resisted and unresisted training has a place in the overall speed training program. Finally, the researchers found that towing sleds that were too heavy forced the athletes to use bad running mechanics.

So, for developing acceleration speed in the first 20 meters, towing methods teach you to drive force into the ground, use arm drive and overcome gravity and ground forces. Many football plays take place within 20 meters, so acceleration and quickness is critical.

If you use a tow sled that is too heavy, it will affect your running mechanics. Start with a sled about 10% of your bodyweight. As you progress, you can use heavier sleds as long as your running mechanics are correct.

What's the take home lesson? Experienced football players with enough strength and power should use speed acceleration training with towing sleds.

Be sure and download your Free Dumbbell and Medicine Ball Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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