T Nation

Sprint Deficiency Diagnosis

Wondering if some one can offer advice ~

The athlete in question exhibits an explosive start, good (errect) sprinting form with loose, though purposeful, upper body motion. The problem rests in the transition from landing to toe-off. At this point, the athlete seems to (for lack of a better term) “skid” forward a bit on the ball of his foot. It’s as if the power generated at toe-off is more than can be absorbed at landing. The athlete has a great vert. and is very powerful in the “pulls”, ie, deadlift, power cleans, etc. He seems plenty “springy” I have noticed, though, that he isn’t as strong in single-leg, quad. dominant type stuff, ie split squats, etc.

Should the athlete concentrate on rate dominant exercises this fall and winter (this is a baseball athlete), coupled with a plenty of reactive-type, single-leg, quad. dominant things? I thought a healthy dose of REA split squats and OIHF work. Glute and ham work would continue in more of a maintenance mode, with the concentration being put on the aforementioned.

Any help would be much appreciated.
Keith

If his foot is skidding forward upon inmpact then that means he is chopping his stride short, a problem that usually indicates lack of force absorbtion ability in the hamstrings.

Though I can’t be sure of this without seeing video, I would suggest a split like the following.

Day 1
Flying Sprints, 30M
Primetimes, 30M
ADA SS drops

Day 2
REA GHR
REA Reverse Hyper
Maybe another few sets of ADA SS drops

If you don’t want to use this split, just incorporate these exercises:
Flying Primetimes, 30M
ADA SS drops
REA GRHs

This should fix it up.

RJ

Hmmm…Thanks for the info. I’ve been trying to increase my speed but made only small improvements.

Thanks for the ideas, RJ.

In addition to, or in lieu of ADA SS, what would you think of the Schroeder-type Russian(I think he calls them) lunge? It’s basically the same idea, although in the “Russian” version the athlete propells himself upward from the lunge position (from the ground), striving for the most height possible each rep.

The odd thing about this case is that the subject is a much better “puller” than a squatter. This, coupled with the “skidding” led me to assume the quads. could not propperly absorb the generated power. I wish I had a video.

Thanks for the help!!
Keith

[quote]asharpaxe wrote:
Thanks for the ideas, RJ.

In addition to, or in lieu of ADA SS, what would you think of the Schroeder-type Russian(I think he calls them) lunge? It’s basically the same idea, although in the “Russian” version the athlete propells himself upward from the lunge position (from the ground), striving for the most height possible each rep.

The odd thing about this case is that the subject is a much better “puller” than a squatter. This, coupled with the “skidding” led me to assume the quads. could not propperly absorb the generated power. I wish I had a video.

Thanks for the help!!
Keith[/quote]

Okay, this “Russian Lunge” is not what the athlete needs at present. If he is weak in the SS position then he needs to strengthen that position. ADA work will help in this regard, while RA, or jumping, work will be done too slowly to be of any benefit. Summary: stick with the ADA SS for now.

And now, as for the quads. Once a runner gets up and going, the quads have very little to do with running. If his foot is skidding, it indicates a lack of hip extension, meaning weakness in the posterior chain.

You say his pulling numbers are much better than his squatting numbers, but how is the form on his DL? Is he using a lot of back? Either way, he needs hip and hamstring work, most of it being power absorbtion oriented. Because even if you have FORCE absorbtion abilities, it does not mean you can absorb POWER.

RJ

Oh, and if it’s not too much trouble, I’d like the following info to further help with my diagnosis:

Height
Weight
Squat
DL
Power Clean
Vertical Leap (from a stand still)
Vertical Leap (from a run up, 1 leg or 2)
Depth Jumps from various heights
Any sprint times you have

Once I know these things I should be able to help more.

RJ

I’ll give you what I have at the moment:

Height: 6’0"
weight: 210lbs
squat: 340lbs
dl: 440lbs
40 yd: 4.7ish (hand timed)

The lifts are good form. He’s not really interested in hoisting weights for numbers sake, so the squats are below parallel with good form and the DL is done with a nice, flat back. If really pushed, I think he could do more, but of course this is not his focus. I don’t have any recent vert. numbers to give you. I know this is a sloppy indication for a run-up vert, but he falls about an inch short of touching the basketball rim. Now, this is just with him messing around after practice – I don’t know what he could do if he actually gave it his all, so this is just a rough indication of his jumping ability. He’s not done a power clean max, but we can get about 225lbs x3 in a hang clean. He can do a single arm snatch, with good form, at 95#

I don’t know if any of this helps, but…

Again, I know a video would help, but that I just don’t have.

Keith

[quote]asharpaxe wrote:
I’ll give you what I have at the moment:

Height: 6’0"
weight: 210lbs
squat: 340lbs
dl: 440lbs
40 yd: 4.7ish (hand timed)

The lifts are good form. He’s not really interested in hoisting weights for numbers sake, so the squats are below parallel with good form and the DL is done with a nice, flat back. If really pushed, I think he could do more, but of course this is not his focus. I don’t have any recent vert. numbers to give you. I know this is a sloppy indication for a run-up vert, but he falls about an inch short of touching the basketball rim. Now, this is just with him messing around after practice – I don’t know what he could do if he actually gave it his all, so this is just a rough indication of his jumping ability. He’s not done a power clean max, but we can get about 225lbs x3 in a hang clean. He can do a single arm snatch, with good form, at 95#

I don’t know if any of this helps, but…

Again, I know a video would help, but that I just don’t have.

Keith

[/quote]

Okay, with the numbers you’ve given me I can tell you that something looks off. From what I can tell, he does not convert his strength over to power very well. Just to give an example, I’m very similar to this athlete in power numbers.

I’m 6 foot, 195 lbs and when I had a 315 squat a few weeks ago (it’s up to around 340 now) and a 335 deadlift I could get my entire hand and more over the rim, off of 1 foot or 2. Also, the 95lb 1-Arm snatch seems a little low in relation to his strength.

If I were you, I’d have him doing mostly power work. This should close the gap between his limit strength and his explosive strength. The template I gave earlier would still do well. After you’ve run through that a few times and the results start to dry up I would start him through the “Torsion Training” progression found on the website inno-sport.net, written by Dietrich Buchenholz.

Now don’t rush the progression, take time to master each movement. Once you get to this point, your split would look something like this:

Day 1:
Torsion Training Movement
RFI work, or flying sprints
RFI work

Day 2:
REA Squats, or jump squats
REA GHRs, or Hang Snatches
Back Squats: 1-3 reps @ 85-90% 1RM

This movement should continue to develop his body awareness while increasing his elasticity and explosive strength. Once the results from this die out, do a couple of strength blocks and come back where you left of on the TT progression.

RJ

Yeah, I agree with you on the low power generating capacity. Addressing that will definately be a focus over this off-season.

Any ideas on GHR’s without a ghr platform? Our facility, redgretfully, does not have one. On-the-floor, partner-assisted ~ even with lots of padding ~ is still awkward and a knee-wrecker to boot.
Thanks,
Keith

[quote]asharpaxe wrote:
Any ideas on GHR’s without a ghr platform? Our facility, redgretfully, does not have one. On-the-floor, partner-assisted ~ even with lots of padding ~ is still awkward and a knee-wrecker to boot.
Thanks,
Keith
[/quote]

You can use a swiss ball. I think John Davies addresses this in one of his articles (way back).

Pambele

[quote]asharpaxe wrote:
Yeah, I agree with you on the low power generating capacity. Addressing that will definately be a focus over this off-season.

Any ideas on GHR’s without a ghr platform? Our facility, redgretfully, does not have one. On-the-floor, partner-assisted ~ even with lots of padding ~ is still awkward and a knee-wrecker to boot.
Thanks,
Keith

[/quote]

I don’t have a GHR bench either, so I just put a couple of stretching mats under my knees and hook my feet (without shoes) under a pair of heavy dumbbells set against a wall. These are hard at first, and he definately won’t be able to do an REA version, but just try to get better at them. Start with eccentrics if necessary (it probably will be).

Also, if it’s not too much, you could purchase an EMS machine. I bought the EMS 7500 (super cheap) and it has done nothing but help my hamstring strength. I went from not being able to do a natural GHR, to hitting 11 straight a few weeks ago.

A warning, however, a cheap unit like this only really works for the hamstrings and calves, it’s not powerful enough for any of the other muscles in the lower body, though it might be for upper body muscles.

RJ

Ahhhh, the ol’ swiss ball. Good idea.

RJ, how long do you stay on the EMS per session? I’m assuming you do one muscle group at a time, right? Then switch to the antagonist?

Keith

[quote]asharpaxe wrote:
Ahhhh, the ol’ swiss ball. Good idea.

RJ, how long do you stay on the EMS per session? I’m assuming you do one muscle group at a time, right? Then switch to the antagonist?

Keith[/quote]
Personally, I’ve only used EMS for a few cycles, each lasting only 2-3 weeks and taking the same amount of time off. With the EMS 7500, I turned the intensity up as high as it could go and did 6 sets of 10 seconds on my hamstrings, quads, and glutes with 60 seconds rest between sets. This plan works for the big muscles, but you’ll need to take it easier on the calves. Also, make sure to stim your muscles in the stretch range.

If you want to stim other muscle groups besides the hams, then you can do them in any order you want. Finish the sets for one and move on to the next group.

RJ