The Need for Speed… Linear Acceleration – Part 3

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

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In Part 3 of this series on Speed Development, we’re going to get moving (click here for Part 2 and here for Part 1)… literally by starting with linear acceleration (forward). This means getting our center of mass moving as quickly as possible. Linear acceleration relates to all sports, but is best put to use on the baseball field in the form of base running, stealing and in the outfield.

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Today, I’m going to break it down into three phases and explain how we train each phase separately and eventually connecting them into one fluid movement.

Phase 1- Posture – Correct running mechanics begin with good static posture. We start every session with Glute / Wall Iso Holds to help simulate what good posture looks like in mid-run.

Some of our cues are:

  • Feet approximately 3 feet away from wall (distance can vary based upon height of the athlete)
  • Wrists at shoulder height or slightly below – It’s important not to bring the hands and arms up too high due to the fact that we want to make sure the core can handle the body posture and stabilize the pelvis based on where the hands are.
  • Straight line from ankle to shoulders.

Check it out.

(Glute / Wall Iso Holds)

Phase 2 – Starting Phase (Power) – The initial push-off all the way to the first 2 or 3 steps is where 75% of the battle is won (or lost). This is also known as “first-step quickness” or “first 10-yards”. Call it whatever you want, I call it getting a good stable base of strength in the weight room before you try and go out and be powerful. Anything less is merely leaving half of it on the table.

With that being said, one way we can train power in the starting phase, is with a drill such as ½ Kneeling Starts. This drill helps to “over emphasize” the starting or “push” phase by adding extra resistance, forcing the athlete to emphasize the initial front leg push into the ground preventing a “lag in their start.  This in turn carries over to a more explosive start when in a more athletic position. We like to cue “load the front leg” as well as “throw the arms back” to help drive the same side leg up into flexion and get the athlete up quicker.

(Half Kneeling Starts)

Phase 3 – Drive Phase – Once the athlete is up and moving we need to make sure that he is continuing to accelerate by using an aggressive arm action which in turn creates a longer ground reaction time helping to produce a longer stride as well as a stronger and higher hip and knee drive. We also cue “chase the shoulders” to ensure we are keeping the load on the front leg throughout. Step drills are great to help feel what an in-sync pattern feels like.

(Step Drill)

Stay tuned for next time when we’ll talk about Lateral Acceleration.

See ya’ in the gym…

 

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Why Most Athletes Never Reach their Maximum Potential

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

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The path to greatness isn’t a great mystery, it’s been documented by countless of great athletes since the beginning of time. Some people just seem to conveniently look the other way. Here at RPP, I see it all the time in regards to athletic training.

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The Need for Speed… The Warm Up – Part 2

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

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Today we are going to cover Part 2 of Need for Speed (for Part 1 click here).  A thorough warm up is what sets the athlete up for a productive training session or game. Today we’ll go over the steps involved in the warm up and movement prep protocol that all of our athletes at RPP go through at the beginning of every speed session. So, without further ado, here we go… [Read more…]

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The Need for Speed… What is it, why do we need it and how do we get it? – Part 1

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, CSCS, NASM, PES, FMS)

Need for Speed Top Joint

Doesn’t matter the sport, everyone wants to be fast. Unfortunately, not everyone is, but everyone can surely get faster. This comes down to a few key principles, and it’s not just about running a faster 30, 40 or 60 yard dash. [Read more…]

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Athletes Eating for Success – Nutrition Program

Off-Season Nutrition - 1We often get highly motivated athletes coming into RPP asking if they can gain that “5-10 lbs” of lean muscle during the off-season. Our simple answer?  “Yes”.

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Taking Full Advantage of the Off-Season… Eight Weeks Is Not Enough!

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

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Making sure that you’re in peak shape at the beginning of the season and staying there all season long requires a very specific protocol. Showing up at the gym eight weeks before the start of your season just won’t cut it.  Please allow me to explain. [Read more…]

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3 More Great Ways to Improve Power and Bat Speed (Softball Tip #8)

By Nunzio Signore (B.A., CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

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Let’s face it everyone is always talking about bat speed when it comes to position players and their ability to drive the ball. In Part 1 of this blog (please click here for Softball Tip #6), I talked about 3 key factors and how to train softball players to help improve “the almighty swing”.  Today, we’re going to touch on three more great ways to try and help you improve your power and bat speed. [Read more…]

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My Favorite Upper Body Strength Exercise… Push-up Progressions

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

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People often ask me what my favorite exercise is for building upper body strength.  Well, I love push-ups.  They are good for everyone, adults and athletes of all kinds including baseball, softball, lacrosse and hockey players among others.  [Read more…]

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RPP Philosophy on Training and Developing Young Elite Athletes

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

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I often get asked about our philosophy on training young athletes.  Needless to say, with the drastic fluctuations in structural, hormonal, and neurological development from one athlete to the next, teaching young athletes how to perform exercises with proper technique is a challenge, even for the most experienced coaches. [Read more…]

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Softball – Here Come the Injuries… No Joke!

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

Softball Injury - 1

March and April are always an exciting time of year because it’s almost time to “Play Ball!”.  It’s also the time of year when players are 10x’s more likely to get injured than any other period during the year (including August and September). [Read more…]

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