Make my kids run faster

I love moving fast! Since being a little kid at primary school, all I ever wanted to do was run fast, bowl a cricket ball fast and do a roundhouse kick fast. But it didn’t just come as I developed. It came from being around parents, coaches and friends that all shared a like-minded love for all things revolving around developing power and speed.

So I will share 5 pearls today that I learnt growing up and implement now with my clients in the clinic – and hopefully this will help your kids or even yourselves to help improve your running speed.

  1. Think of your feet as springboards that you see at the diving pool. The end of the springboard like your feet should when you run should point forward…..NOT down. Obviously as you propel of the ground your toes will point down. Similar to as you push into the diving board, it points down through force. However as you jump up or drive up with your legs that springboard always comes back up quick to its original position. Apply this with your feet and get those toes pointing up in swing phase and contact phase. This will reduce contact time on the ground and allow for better propulsion forward.
  2. Long legs… Shorter strides. My issue growing up was having long twig like legs. So to combat that, I looked at making sure that my feet landed close to underneath my body and never lagged too far behind my body. In saying that, with these assets, make sure you put them to good use by extending your legs out as you run. However, the concept of bringing that foot back quickly close to underneath your body does not change.
  3. Use your arms! Your arms are like the point on a compass guiding your balance. If there moving across your body, keeping low or flailing above your ears, then there’s a fair chance the rest of your body is doing something a little out of sync also. So to change this, you can do a couple of things. Firstly, try sitting on the ground and moving your arms as fast as you can whilst keeping still. You’ll see the easiest way to do this is by moving them up and back in a straight line. Secondly, when running see if you can hold a stick in each hand and keep that stick facing forward as you run.
  4. Sort out your feet when you walk. Flimsy feet are a child’s worst nightmare when it comes to moving fast. Simply because firstly the springboard effect becomes very hard, and secondly it becomes an unstable platform to develop power from the rest of your body’s muscles – including hamstrings, glutes and calves. So by walking in the right shoes, with the right technique and patterns, it becomes much easier to transition into running.
  5. Prime the muscle! Before any running or power event, it’s important that the movement that is about to be performed has been mimicked through a warm up. Your nervous system won’t just magically activate at 100% of its potential when your child wants to do an activity such as sprinting. So making sure they perform a series of drills or similar movements to replicate the action or activity that they are going to do. It’ s important to getting the most out of their effort by priming the key muscles beforehand
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