March 4th, 2011
By Tim Valencia – TKS Inland Empire Kicking Coach
Last week I “unveiled” the truth behind kicking further, Leg Speed. This week I am going to explain what drills can improve your leg speed, because its essentially what everyone wants just like the new Ipad2 (until they mention how the Ipad3 will be better).
Leg speed: contrary to belief of most strength and conditioning coaches, leg speed cannot be achieved by deadlifts, squats, bench, and cleans alone. The reason is simply physiology. To know how to train the muscles you need to know the types.
There are 4 types of muscle fibers and they are broken up into 2 categories type I and type II. Each one has its own specific purpose in the body, Type I are the largest and obviously the ones most used. Type I is important because it the most resistant to fatigue . These would be your quads, pectorals and hamstrings and even your heart.
Don’t get it twisted, development of Type I is essential, this is what gives your body mass and pure power, but the quickness, the leg speed comes from your Type II muscles.
Type II muscles are also known as fast twitch fiber muscles. Obviously named because of the speed in which they act. Fast twitch are the ones that allow you to jump move sideways and of course move your leg from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
Since these Type II muscles are smaller, there are no real conventional lifts that can build this strength. You can conventionally strength the muscles around them with traditional lifts. But to isolate the tiny fast twitch muscles you need these exercises specific drills.
The secret to working out these type II muscles is to train them how they are to be used. This means, short, quick, resistance fueled drills.
Here are two of my favorite:
1 legged jumps with a medicine ball 3 different drills x10
toe touches and jump
full extension and jump
cross body and jump
jumping from the ground to a higher elevation resetting and doing it again. Resistance optional
2 legged 2 steps x10
1 legged 1 step x10
1 legged sideways 1 step x10
The main tip to all of these drills is to spend as little time on the ground as possible while still being safe. Also, keep your balance the last thing you want to do is take a bit of concrete cake while working out.
Basically, if you want faster leg speed, work the muscles that can give you faster leg speed. You work these muscles with some of these drills and you will see some more leg speed and more distance on your kicks.
Want more! Visit www.kickingsystem.com