Five Methods to Maximize Acceleration | STACK

Five Methods to Maximize Acceleration

September 6, 2011

Must See Speed Videos

In the world of team sports, one attribute is prized above all others necessary to dominate the competition and to win. That attribute is acceleration.

Acceleration is often confused with speed, which is of value primarily to track and field athletes. Acceleration is the ability to reach top speed as quickly as possible, whereas speed connotes continuous speed. Acceleration means you will be able to win a race to a loose ball, blow past a defender or beat out a ground ball.

Below, I share five simple but effective methods you can use to improve your acceleration. When practiced consistently, they deliver amazing results in a short period of time.

1. Visualization
Visualization allows you to mentally practice the proper execution of skills that improve acceleration, such as proper sprinting technique or reacting to a play. Visualization has two great advantages: one, you can do as much as you like without fatigue; and, two, with enough practice, you begin to train your body to perform in the way you’ve visualized.

Before a game or even while relaxing at home, imagine yourself in competition. Envision your feet powerfully and quickly driving your body forward. Think about how your body moves and feels when you’re accelerating at top speed. Imagine the effort it takes to win a race or be the fastest player on the field. These thoughts help prepare your body to quickly recall how it must perform to accelerate at its full potential.

2. Wall Drill
This exercise emphasizes a high knee drive, which allows the legs to drive more forcefully into the ground for increased acceleration and overall speed.

  • With your hands against a wall, hold your body at a 45-degree angle with your arms parallel to the ground
  • Keep core and lower back tight with hips forward—you should be able to draw a straight line from your head to your ankle
  • Raise right knee approximately to hip level and flex foot
  • March in alternating fashion as quickly as possible

Sets/Reps: 1-3x10 seconds

3. Broad Jump
The Broad Jump closely mimics the powerful movement of accelerating from a standstill. You will explosively drive your legs into the ground to generate speed.

  • Stand in a relaxed and ready position
  • Use an exaggerated arm swing backward, then quickly swing arms forward
  • Simultaneously explode with legs to jump and propel forward as far as possible
  • Land with a stable base; absorb impact by allowing body to return to start position

Sets/Reps: 1-3x5-10

FROM AROUND THE WEB

4. Arm Swing Drill
Proper Arm Swings helps dictate your stride frequency, length and efficiency.

  • Begin either kneeling or standing with chest upright and arms in a running position—one at shoulder level, the other near hip
  • Drive arms straight forward and back with no side-to-side action
  • Keep arms bent at 90-degree angle

Sets/Reps: 1-3x10-30 seconds

5. Sled Pushes
Sled Pushes are probably the easiest and fastest way to improve acceleration. They force the legs to develop maximum strength in as little time as possible, resulting in a powerful stride for improved acceleration.

  • Load sled with 10 percent of bodyweight
  • Start with hands on sled and body at 45-degree angle
  • Begin sprinting by powerfully driving legs
  • Push the sled as fast as possible

Sets/Reps: 3-6x10-20 yards

Photo:  mdusafootball.com

Jerry Babbage is a sports performance coach and personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Orlando, Fla. He works with athletes from numerous sports, including track and field, MMA, soccer, rowing, basketball, baseball and football. His performance articles are published on dragondoor.com and elitefts.com.

For more tips and strategies on how to enhance athletic ability, contact Babbage via email at jerrybabbage1978@gmail.com, or visit juggernautathletics.blogspot.com.

Jerry Babbage
- Jerry Babbage is a sports performance coach and personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Orlando, Fla. He works with athletes from numerous sports, including...
Jerry Babbage
- Jerry Babbage is a sports performance coach and personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness in Orlando, Fla. He works with athletes from numerous sports, including...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

How Sammy Watkins Built His Game-Breaking Speed

Get Faster With 3 Essential Speed Training Strategies

Pyramids: A Sprint Workout for the Strong

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

Step Counting: How Big Men Can Run a Faster 40

Reactive Agility: The Next Big Thing in Speed Training

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

Increase Your Soccer Speed With 4 Sprint Drills

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

Michael Johnson's Guide to a Faster 40

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

2-Week Long-Distance Track Workout Training Plan

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Sprint Speed

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

Make Quick and Powerful Cuts Like Adrian Peterson

Soccer Players: Get Faster with the Montreal Impact Workout