Gluteus maximus – Muscles of the Lower Extremity Anatomy Visual Atlas, page 2 (Photo credit: robswatski)
From NLP, “The meaning of your communication is the result you get” So when I gave the instructions for Short Bounding [straight legs, contact ground with the balls of the feet and use the glutes & hams as springs for ground reaction] I didn’t mention a slightly forward body angle. By leaning back there is little propulsion. In fact, if you try this drill leaning back even further you will either stop in place or go backwards.
The missing instruction was, ‘body straight, slightly forward, if you look down you should just see the tips of your toes.
This drill is pliometric and produces a combined ham & glute preload force to assist in maintaining running speed and stride length.
We use this drill to establish hard & fast ground contact. As mentioned in a previous blog, the delivery of power to the surface as quickly as possible and as hard as possible is the key to maintaining top speed. Once again the foot is propelled to the ground whilst the opposite foot is driven higher than the support leg knee. If ground contact is made immediately below the hip with the body angled slightly forward the contact pressure is 70% down thrust & 30% negative (backward) thrust, thus maintaining momentum (gained at acceleration) and presenting the longest possible lever for attaining stride length.
A Skip Drill
Absolutely the hardest drill for begginers to get their heads around is the ‘fast leg‘. Keeping the support leg straight while bringing the other leg high so the foot is higher than the support leg knee, then planting the foot to ground contact directly under the hips imitates the tall running action in ‘stride length’.
As Barry Ross explains in “Underground Secrets to Faster Running“, the more vertical force you apply to the ground the faster you will run. This has improved my speed to the point of holding a National record for the 60m sprint. I usually teach this drill from a ‘march’, counting 1, 2, 3 and raising the foot over the opposite knee on ‘3’. When the athlete can coordinate that we concentrate on the ‘stiff’ leg and go faster. Once again this drill is taken from Speed Dynamics, mentioned in an earlier Blog.
Click here to watch the video
Fast leg video