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Strength Train to Get Faster

May 9, 2013

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“There are a lot of things you can do in the weight room to improve your 40 time,” says trainer Scot Prohaska. He recommends the following three moves. Each develops strength for the specific demands of the 40—overcoming inertia (the start), accelerating (the middle yards), and top-end speed (the finish). (Read 40-Yard Dash Tips From the Pros.) Perform only two of the three in a single workout.

For Overcoming Inertia: Snatch Grip Deadlifts

Snatch-Grip Deadlift

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and position a barbell over the laces of your shoes
  • Squat down and grasp the bar with a wider-than-shoulder-width overhand grip
  • Fully extend your elbows, stick your chest out and look straight ahead
  • Extend your hips, then your knees to stand up
  • Keep your back flat and core tight
  • Squeeze your glutes to complete the movement
  • Repeat the sequence in reverse to lower the bar to the ground
  • Repeat for the specified number of reps

Sets/Reps: 4-8x1-5

For Acceleration: Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian Split-Squat

  • Stand in lunge or stride position with your back foot on a bench or box and a bar on your back
  • Bend your front knee to lower into a Lunge until your thigh is parallel to the ground
  • Keep your front knee behind your toes
  • Extend your hip and knee to drive up to the start position
  • Repeat for the specified number of reps
  • Perform set with your opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 3-4x4-8 each leg

For Top-End Speed: Barbell Jump Squats (With Light Weight)

Barbell Squat Jump

  • Place a barbell on your upper back
  • Bend your hips and knees to squat down
  • Forcefully extend your hips, knee and ankles to jump straight up
  • Land softly with your knees slightly bent and immediately sink down into a Squat, then explode back up
  • Repeat for the specified number of reps

Sets/Reps: 3-6x3-6. Use a light weight, about 30% of your max.

 

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
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