5 ESSENTIAL Weighted Exercises for SPEED (The Power Lifts for Speed)
If you want to surprise your competition with speed, you’ll need high amounts of force production. One way to achieve high amounts of force production is with strength. In other words, if you want to sprint faster, you’ll need strength.
Today I want to share 5 ESSENTIAL exercises you’ll need to develop the strength that will carry over to a faster sprint. In short, the 5 essential strength training exercises for speed are:
- Trap Bar Deadlift
- Back Squat
- Reverse Lunge
- Sled Marches
- Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
These strength exercises will be effective on their own for increasing your force production and your speed, but it’s also important that you have variations of these exercises to continuously challenge the body to adapt and grow. This is necessary if you want to see continuous gains, and see your athleticism evolve over the long term.
That said, below I’m going to give you an inside look at the strength exercises I use to develop speed. I’m going to share how to perform these exercises, the benefits of each, and variations you can use to stimulate long term speed gains. Check it out weight room exercises to increase your sprint speed below:
1. Trap Bar Deadlift
Benefits of Trap Bar Deadlifts:
- Trap Bar Deadlifts allow the athletes to move resistance at higher velocities than other strength lifts. The ability to move the weight at higher velocities will result in better transfer to power and speed.
- Trap Bar Deadlifts are safer for athletes
- The learning curve for Trap Bar Deadlift is not steep. This movement comes naturally to most athletes.
- It’s easier to move more weight, which will carry over to higher absolute strength and force production. Increases in these areas will create improvements in sprinting speed.
How to Perform Trap Bar Deadlifts:
Step One: Begin with your feet about vertical jump width apart, standing in the center of the trap bar.
Step Two: Push the hips back slightly and bend the knees. Grab the middle of each handle with your hands.
Step Three: Pick the chest up, pin the shoulders down and back, and create tension in the legs and hips. Get ready to lift
Step Four: Explosively “push” the ground away from you until you reach full hip extension
Step Five: Push the hips back and bend the knees to lower the bar back down to the ground in a controlled manner
The Best Trap Bar Deadlift Variations:
- Trap Bar Deadlift Jumps – This is a great resisted plyometric to increase rate of force development and increase speed
- Accommodating Resistance Trap Bar Deadlifts – Simply stand on the middle of a band and wrap each end around each side of the bar. Doing this will allow you to accelerate through the entire range of motion of the trap bar deadlift. This will carryover to faster sprint speed.
- Low Handle Trap Bar Deadlifts – This movement increases strength through an extended range of motion.
2. Back Squat
Benefits of Back Squats
- Back Squats build strength in the quadriceps, gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and more through an extended range of motion compared to what you need on the field
- They are sport specific to jumping
- Back Squats can help you maintain high speeds during your maximum velocity phase by increasing your vertical force production
How to Perform Back Squats
Step One: Place your hands just outside shoulder width and grab the barbell. Pin the shoulders down and back.
Step Two: Un-rack the barbell and take a step and a half back. Place the feet just outside of hip width.
Step Three: Screw the feet into the ground to create tension in the hips. This will create torque as you squat.
Step Four: Push the hips back slightly and sink the butt down to parallel.
Step Five: Keep the chest up as you explode out of the bottom.
The Best Back Squat Variations:
- Quarter Squats – Most coaches hate when athletes quarter squat. I make it a point to perform them because this range of motion is most specific to a jump. If I add in some tempos, it amplifies the effectiveness even more
- Accommodating Resistance Back Squats – Throw bands on the side of each bar. This allows you to EXPLODE through the full range of motion of the back squat. In the long run, this will help you sprint faster.
- Box Squats – Box Squats remove the stretch reflex and allow you to test your full capacity for force production.
3. Reverse Lunges
Benefits of Reverse Lunges:
- The bottom of a reverse lunge resembles the golden position of acceleration. This resemblance will allow you to produce more force while accelerating
- Reverse lunges are a unilateral exercise, which means doing them can work out left to right muscle imbalances
- Specific reverse lunge variations make the exercise more powerful for those who want to sprint faster
How to Perform Reverse Lunges:
Step One: Start with a barbell on your back. Take a step and a half away from the rack.
Step Two: Take a big step back with one leg. As you do this, keep the shoulders pinned back, but keep the chest over the thigh.
Step Three: Explode off the front foot and switch sides.
The Best Reverse Lunge Variations:
- Barbell Reverse Lunges – Barbell reverse lunges incorporate more of the core and increase the amount of weight you can use in your reverse lunges
- Elevated Reverse Lunges – Elevated Reverse Lunges build strength through an extended range of motion.
- Accommodating Resistance Reverse Lunges – This is a great unilateral strength exercise that will allow you to move the weight explosively.
4. Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
Benefits of Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts:
- Builds balance and stability through the ankle, knee, and hip
- Increases unilateral ability to explosively extend the hip. You need this ability for acceleration and sprinting in general
- Builds strength in the hamstrings, which many athletes are lacking
How to Perform Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts:
Step One: Grab one dumbbell. Place the dumbbell in the opposite hand of the foot that’s working.
Step Two: Lift the non-working leg off the ground. Relax the knee of the working leg.
Step Three: Push the hips back and the shoulder down and back as you lower the dumbbell towards the ground.
Step Four: Come back up when the stretch in your hamstring is too much to bear, or your shoulder rounds forward.
5. Sled Marches
Benefits of Sled Marches:
- Sled marches build the muscles of the posterior chain used in acceleration
- Can enhance your speed mechanics
- Sled marches can be used with a 10 yard start to improve sprint speed through contrast training
Best Sled March Variations:
There’s only one sled march “variation” I use in training. It is a pairing of sled marches and a technical 10 yard start. This contrast training. Essentially, the weight of the sled marches heightens the nervous system. When that weight is removed, your nervous system is still heightened as you go to perform your technical 10 yard start.
In other words, contrast training is like throwing a 10 pound medicine ball, then throwing a basketball.
The result is increased rate of force development, or the speed at which you produce force. This should create a faster 10 yard dash.
How to Program The 5 Essential Exercises for Speed
The other day, I created a FREE Advanced Strength Course that will help you MAXIMIZE these exercise’s effectiveness and carryover to your athleticism.
I used the methods shared in the Advanced Strength Course to shave time .4 seconds off my 40 AND achieve a 44 inch vertical jump.
It can probably have powerful effects on your athleticism as well.
It’s NEW, and FREE. Just hit the link below to enroll: