Tag: Sports

George Zedan speed exercises

Exercises to Increase Speed

For athletes in any sport, speed is a necessity to gain an upper hand on your opponents. Whether you are running vertical routes in a football game, or shuffling sideways to stay in front of your opponent in basketball, developing your speed can greatly enhance either of those actions, and can separate a good player from a great player.

If you find yourself struggling to enhance your speed, a common mistakes athletes make is simply relying on cardiovascular exercises. While these are beneficial, they can only go so far, and you are more likely to increase your endurance performing these exercises rather than your speed. Below are a number of workouts you should try that are great for improving overall speed.


Targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, squats can greatly improve your upper leg strength, which directly translates to increased speed. To perform this exercise, place the barbell comfortably on your shoulders behind your head, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your stance keeping your back straight and pushing your hips back. Be sure to tighten your core for support. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, slowly returning to the starting position. The amount of weight you use varies the intensity of the workout, so find a weight that’s comfortable, yet efficient for you.

Broad Jumps

Plyometrics are great for speed-based exercises, and broad jumps are perhaps the most standard of the field. This teaches the muscles in your legs to contract extremely quickly, allowing for explosive bursts of speed. The starting position involves your feet being hip-width apart, and slightly lowering your hips before jumping forward, landing flat on your feat. For increased difficulty, try jumping backwards from the position you landed in, back to where you were.

Power Clean

What may be surprising is how much this workout can benefit one’s speed, but to be fast, a great amount of strength is required in all muscle groups. For this workout, start with your feet hip-width apart, and grab the barbell with your forearms facing forward (or an overhand grip). Maintaining a straight back, pull the bar up, then swing up. At this point in the motion, extend your hips and knees at a very fast rate so that you are now standing straight, and the bar is now at your shoulders with your hands now at an underhand grip. Return slowly to the starting position.

Heel/Calf Raises
This exercise works best when you are standing on a slightly elevated surface with your heels hanging over the edge. Stand on the balls of your feet, and slowly lower your heels until you feel stretching in your achilles tendon. Then, raise your heels eventually reaching a height higher than your toes. You should feel a tightness in your calves. Both of these movements can greatly enhance the strength of your lower legs; another crucial body part in having adequate speed. You can also turn your toes inward or outward when performing these raises to target different muscles in the lower leg area.

George Zedan

Dealing with a Torn ACL

A common and debilitating injury among athletes in all sports is an anterior cruciate ligament injury, often referred to as a torn ACL. This typically occurs when the knee is hyperextended and the ligament exceeds its biomechanical limits. Varying in severity, an ACL tear can contribute to trouble walking and swelling of the knee, and usually requires surgery for proper repair. Rehabilitation can take anywhere from six to nine months, and can be a difficult road to recovery.

It is important to understand the anatomy of the knee in order to properly diagnose and treat a torn ACL. The quadricep muscles on the front of the thigh and the hamstrings on the back aid in the stabilization of the knee, which is primarily controlled by four ligaments. These include the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, which prevent the knee from shifting side to side, and the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, which keep the knee from sliding forward and backward.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured muscle in the knee. The austerity of which can differ. Sprains of these ligaments can be classified as grade 1, 2, or 3. Grade 1 sprains occur when a ligament’s fibers are overstretched. A grade 2 sprain involves some torn fibers, but remains functional. Grade 3 sprains are complete tears of the ligament entirely, and are frequent among athletes.

Both contact and non-contact sports can contribute to these injuries. If an athlete changes direction quickly, planting his or her foot flat on the ground, the knee hyperextends, stressing the ACL. A blow to the knee in contact sports while the foot is planted can also cause hyperextension. They are more common in women due to a difference in anatomy and muscle mass as well.

If you have experienced a torn ACL, the surgery required can be grueling, much like the recovery process. Find a doctor that specializes in such cases for the best possible outcome. Taking up to 6 months or more, recovering from this surgery is no easy task. Following a rehabilitation process is absolutely vital in order for the ligament to heal properly, as this strengthens the muscle around the knee and regains range of motion.

Within the first weeks, be sure to rest your leg up on a couch or pillow four to six times a day. This can reduce swelling in the knee. However, you should maintain a small amount of physical activity. Moving the knee post-surgery, though painful, keeps the blood flowing, and redevelops the torn muscle. After a month or so, you should be given a knee brace and advised to move more frequently than before. Patients usually begin physical therapy at this time. Depending on the injury, your doctor should provide you with a program suitable for your personal rehabilitation process.

Avoiding ligament damage in sports like football, soccer, basketball, and skiing is difficult, but simple strategies like wearing proper cleats, stretching, and effectively bending the knee upon landing can prevent this. For those who’ve suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, work with your doctor on a daily basis to ensure you are maintaining a healthy recovery process. Though it takes time, coming back from such an injury is not impossible.

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