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Football Speed DVD

 

Running the 40 Yard Dash

Running the 40 yard dash is crucial for every athlete, but doesn’t involve some sort of mysterious incantation to take magically minimize speed. In fact a very steady and careful training program involving strength training, core training, plyometric training, agility training, flexibility training, and sprint training will allow you to shave valuable time off of your record.

The 40 yard dash is the test that can make or break an athletic career and is no other test more recognized or more often utilized. When a coach comes across an athlete who can run the 40 well, he knows he’s got an athlete with potential. As long as they’ve got speed, the coach is apt to think, I can teach them the skills of the sport. For all the athletes out there, though, this begs the questions: how can I get the speed?

The strength portion of your 40 yard dash will involve basic strength exercises to ensure a proper base of strength and then progress on to functional strength exercises to teach your body to take a strength movement through a specific range of motion. From there it is essential to your 40 yard dash training that you begin training for explosive strength exercises against medium to heavy resistance (Note: do not attempt explosive strength training without adequate standard and functional strength training.). Standard core training must be included to properly teach your body to engage deep stomach muscles and maintain proper movement and function of the rest of your body.


Plyometric training involving an explosive initiation of a movement and a soft, careful, concentrated landing are also essential to 40 yard dash training. Plyometric drills as simple as squat jumps (starting in a squatting position, jumping as high as possible into the air and then landing softly in a squatting position) or power skipping will improve your quickness, explosive movement abilities and agility. Agility training through programs that emphasize movements like pivoting, quick lateral movements quick direction-change exercises also cannot be ignored. Agility ladders and agility rings are excellent methods to teach your body to move in unusual directions in an effective way.

Flexibility training is an often ignored, but crucial part of 40 yard dash training. Every training session should end (though very rarely begin) with dynamic and static stretches for the full body and especially for the legs, hips and back. Hip range of motion is essential to decreasing time on the 40 yard dash.


Finally, sprint training is the portion of 40 yard dash training to which most people are tempted to skip ahead but which isn’t nearly as effective if any of the other types of training are ignored. Practice your sprints on the 40 yard or 100 yard dash, but do not attempt any longer. Sprints should only last 5 to 8 seconds.


Only a program that combines all of these elements will make a significant difference in time on the 40 yard dash. Consistently and carefully following such a program will also, in addition to improve your time on the 40, improve nearly all other aspects of athletic performance and benefit your overall athleticism, as well as improve running the 40 yard dash.

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