Speed and Athlete’s Body Structure
An athlete’s body structure plays an important role in speed capabilities.
Lever lengths are the lengths of the arms and legs. They are important because they determine the ability to move rapidly. The length is determined by a couple different things including the length of the bones and the points at which the muscle inserts into the bone.
Since everybody will have different lever lengths, some athletes are genetically deisgnrd to move rapidly while others are not. This is just one of the geneticallg limiting factors in regards to speed. It should not however be used as an excuse for not training speed or working on your mechanics.
For example, this generic limitation provides a supposed ceiling on an athlete’s speed capacity. However, the purpose of a speed training program is to increase this ceiling and have it translate into sport specific and gamespeed.
The way you do that is to look at factors that can be improved not just looking at the genetic factors and accepting what they may be. That is what a good speed training program does. It finds those factors that can be trained and adapted and it focuses there.
Sprinting is a horizontal movement to get from one point to another as fast as possible. Therefore, generating horizontal force and velocity are important components of a program that need to be trained. It is a two part process, first the ability to produce force quickly needs to be trained and second we need to train our bodies to be efficient in the movement.
Sprinting can be viewed in two perspectives.
One, it is a precise motor skill and movement and second is it is a ballistic movement. Both are equally important and therefore a training program needs to improve the motor skills, and specific movements in regards to sprinting but also, increasing the ballistic capabilities of our bodies.
These movements and training should be determined for each athlete based on his or her specific needs and sport.
I have put together a 13 week training program to help athletes develop speed. Go check it out here: