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Speed training for improved performance

Many sports or physical activities would benefit greatly from the implementation of speed training into a program. Speed training refers to training so that you are able to move with a greater quickness of movement while still maintaining maximum efficiency and balance. There are a variety of types of speed training, from explosive to elastic to endurance. The type of activity you are hoping to complete will determine which type of exercises you should be including.

If you are going to work on explosiveness, then you want to be doing exercises such as weight lifting, while focusing on performing the eccentric portion as quickly as possible, or else sprinting, where you are trying to decrease your start-up time.

If you are more interested in the elastic component, then you'll likely want to include a large plyometric component to your training. This would include movements such as jump squats, one-legged bounds, wall jumps, jump lunges, clap push-ups and so on. All of these will work on improving your muscles' ability to generate elastic force over a short period of time.

Finally, if you are looking into improving your endurance performance, the activities you will want to perform are longer in time duration but still done at a relatively high intensity. Tempo runs would be a good place to start with this. This is a type of cardio session that is at a higher intensity than a long run (which is moderate to low intensity) but not quite high enough to start crossing over your lactate threshold. Once you move into intensities higher than lactate threshold, then you are moving into more anaerobic work, which is not going to be endurance any longer.

The most important thing to keep in mind here however is that whatever method you are doing, you must be sure to include enough rest between your sessions. This type of exercise is very demanding on the body and in order to see improvements, you must be recovering from the sessions. One day of rest in between each hard workout is probably the minimum that would be recommended; two may even be better.

Over time however, with a proper program, you can most definitely improve your performance on this measure of fitness ability.

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