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October 22, 2012
The Ultimate Combo – Strength and Speed
There are two qualities that make any athlete great; strength and speed.  Unfortunately, one of the most difficult things to do when developing a complete training program is to strike an appropriate balance between your need  for strength and speed. This is one of the reasons why evaluating GRF with the force plate allows Sparta to provide our athletes with the most efficient and effective programs (see Sparta 101). We use three primary methods of strength training at Sparta.  Maximal Strength, Reactive Strength, and Strength Endurance.  Reactive strength is a unique and often overlooked component of training.  It is defined as the ability to absorb force in one direction, and and rapidly apply more force in the opposite direction (quickly switch from eccentric to concentric).  Reactive strength serves as the link between traditional strength training and high speed skills like sprinting and throwing.  Failing to properly incorporate reactive strength into your training program could be the the missing ingredient to improving your performance on the field (see Sparta Point). Broad jumps are an awesome reactive strength movement that require great coordination, nervous system input, and body control.  We use multiple broad jumps because they allow for more force production at higher speeds – more Reactive Strength.  Broad jumps are especially effective for athletes who need DRIVE (see Sparta Point) because of the demand for full flexion and full extension as well as good coordination of the arms for momentum.

Coaching Cues:

  • BIG Arms
  • Get full extension with the hips
  • Reload arms and feet in mid air
Reactive strength and broad jumps may not be the sexiest concept in training, but they will be the distinguishing quality in every great athlete.  Reactive strength is the link between being just strong and being strong and fast.  So add some broad jumps to your training and see how they impact your athleticism.
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October 22, 2012
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4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Combo – Strength and Speed”

  1. For athletes that are involved in sports that don’t emphasize the vertical jump (softball/baseball), do you focus on broad jumps and lateral jumps (for distance) more so than box jumps, hurdle jumps, etc?

  2. The primary plan in all sports, including baseball, is vertical. For example, the largest correlation to rotational power (throwing velocity, batted ball speed) is the vertical stiffness of the front leg.

    So we use vertical jump as the primary assessment

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