Speed Pillar #3: Top Speed Mechanics – The Key to Your Speed
The third pillar of speed development is top speed mechanics. As a reminder, I formulated the 3 pillars of speed development off of three things. The first is my decade-plus of coaching experience. The second is the newest and most sound research in the speed realm. Third is the common traits of the fastest athletes I’ve coached.
And needless to say, if you want to run fast, your top speed mechanics need to be nailed down.
Now, if acceleration is the rate at which we get to top speed, top speed is the most efficient running form we can produce when we’re running our fastest.
Guys who don’t nail down their top speed mechanics are inefficient. And this inefficiency leads to faulty movement in the sprint, force output, and of course, lower speed overall.
Efficiency is the name of the game. Anything less than that will produce a sub-optimal sprint, and sub-optimal speed. Which is why, if you’re serious about your speed, you should carefully take note of every word below.
Top speed mechanics are broken two halves: frontside and backside.
Below, I’ll go in-depth into the two halves and their components so you can leave this post with a faster sprint.
If you look at my body from the side, and slice it right down the middle, frontside mechanics are what occur on the frontside of my body.
Frontside mechanics are further broken down into the drive and touchdown phase. The drive phase occurs as the knee/thigh drive upwards. The touchdown occurs when you touch down to the ground.
Again, our goal with our top speed mechanics is to make our sprint as efficient as possible. This means we’re not using extra energy, or producing any extra movement. So, to make our frontside mechanics more efficient, first, you want to shift your touchdown, or ground contact, more towards the frontside.
Researchers have found that the more you shift your ground contact to the frontside, the more force you’ll produce. In some cases, an athlete can produce 100% more force if they shift their ground contact from backside to frontside.
That’s like getting paid $100 to mow the same sized lawn you’re getting paid $50 to mow.
Another piece of creating more efficient frontside mechanics is having enough knee to have a good drive phase. This should be done without extending the knee.
To achieve both of these, you’ll need access to the proper drills.
If frontside mechanics take place on the frontside of my sliced body, backside mechanics occur on the… You guessed it… Backside.
Backside mechanics are further broken down into the recovery phase and the takeoff phase. The take off phase is your pushing off the ground. The recovery phase is triple flexion.
As I said above, researchers agreed that shifting your ground contact to frontside is more efficient. And even more, we naturally run with backside dominant mechanics. That means nobody naturally runs with the most efficient movement.
So, how do we make our takeoff and recovery phase more efficient?
First, we’ll want to initiate triple flexion as fast as we can. That is, the flexion of the ankle, knee, and hip. This prevents the long, slow, takeoff that slows down your sprint. You can prevent this by improving your relative force production.
Next, we’ll want a faster motion in the recovery phase. Many athletes perform a long, swooping motion when they sprint. Some are even so bad with this that they bring their ankle to their butt.
You want to eliminate this excess motion, and get into triple flexion as fast as possible.
Again, you’ll need the right collection of drills to achieve this.
Drills To Improve Your Frontside and Backside Mechanics
Some of my favorite drills for improving frontside and backside mechanics are simple drills I share on my YouTube channel. A-Skips and B-Skips are staples.
However, there are also more advanced drills that help guys clean up their sprinting form quick.
You can find these inside of my new program, Athletic Speed System.
Athletic Speed System gives you every tool you need to elevate the 3 Pillars of Speed Development.
It contains advanced speed mechanics drills,
Plyometric and strength training to build your relative force output,
And core training to maintain your stability when you sprint.
All of this, and a truckload more is included in Athletic Speed System.
Plus, you’ll receive two exclusive bonuses if you grab Athletic Speed System before Friday, March 31st, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST
To read more about it, hit the link below:
Your Arsenal of Advanced Speed Mechanics Drills and Speed Training