Running speed is influenced by being able to apply extra force to the ground, and the quickest way to increase
this is to increase lower body strength.
Not only will load front and back squats train the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves to provide more ground reaction power, but they will improve strength in the entire core musculature. This will allow athletes to combine their increased speed into OCR movements.
Recent studies prove that squats improve speed. For example, a study conducted on elite rugby players pointed that an increase in maximal squat strength during an 8-week pre-season training program made the players significantly quicker at short sprints. The players completed two microcycles that included a 4-week maximal lower body strength program followed by a power program of the same length.
For the strength program, athletes did bk squats, clean pulls, and deadlifts all at 85 to 90 percent of the 1RM. For the power program, they all did hang cleans, squat jumps, and back squats all at 85 percent of the 1RM.
Results showed that the athletes improved their maximal squat by 30 kg, increasing from 170 to 200 kg. These impressive strength gains translated to developments in sprint speed of 6 to 7.6 percent over 5, 10, and 20 meters. The athletes were able to apply more ground reaction force during the initial acceleration phase of sprinting.
Takeaway: Include heavy front and back squats in a lower body training program to increase speed for short sprint between obstacles.
Sprinters and longer distance runners will improve as well—highly trained runners will increase speed not by moving their arms and legs faster, but by applying more power into the ground with every step.
The general population will profit from better mobility and fewer injuries chance of lower back or knee pain by doing squats. A current study performed on aged people with osteoarthritis pointed that squat training produced less self-reported pain in the knees, improved balance, and faster walking speed. Members also had less sign of chronic inflammation that is linked to arthritis.
Takeaway: A stronger lower body and core musculature will leave all populations to move better and experience less discomfort or risk of injury. Squats are one solution for improved overall health!
Full range of motion squats in that you go all the way down past parallel so that the hamstring meets the upper calf also improve vertical jumping ability and will improve athletic performance.
A German study shows that a 10-week full squat program elevated vertical jump more than quarter squats done with a heavier load. Researchers compared deep back squats, deep front squats, and quarter-range back squats on vertical and squat jump height. The quarter-squat group did not increase vertical jump height at all and only increased squat jump height by 2.6 percent.
The group that performed deep back squat training raised squat jump height by 5.8 percent, and the deep front squat group improved by 7.2 percent. Vertical jump increases for the deep front and back squat groups were around 8 percent.
This study is significant because it refutes a common discussion in strength and conditioning that partial-range training will provide superior angle-specific strength and power increases for athletes who normally perform movements through a partial range of motion when training.
Takeaway: If you want to improve, get stronger, jump higher, and have a healthier body composition, make an engagement to do full-range deep squats.
The front squat is my favorite squat for achieving new levels of athleticism, flexibility, and active mobility. It encourages you to produce high levels of power that translates to sprints, jumping and overall strength. Mastery of the front squat further helps you train vertical acceleration for Strongman movements and OCR that require jumping on obstacles.
A few new studies show how to get the best performance results from the front squat. The front squat demands you to have superior flexibility in the hip, ankle, shoulder, and wrist. without the flexibility to perform the front squat, you will have a hard time activating your lower body strength potential.
PLUS, the front squat grips you technically honest since if you cheat by shooting the hips back while the upward action, you may drop the bar or sandbag. The front squat further places less compressive power on the knee than the back squat, while still providing a comparable training stimulus to the muscles.
That makes it an outstanding exercise for the quads and trunk that fits sprint speed and jumping energy for competitors because it allows you to train the body to transfer power during the kinetic chain, as seen in the German study.
Takeaway: Get quicker and jump higher with conventional front squat form. Incorporating front squats in your program provides an incentive for training versatility, and for novice trainees, it can feel more convenient than having a huge bar on the back. It also stimulates the trunk musculature when heavy loads are used.
Squats are a fabulous exercise for your abdominal muscles and excellent core strength means better performance and overall OCR course speed.
A contemporary study of Division 1 college football athletes showed that maximal lower body strength and power as covered by the 1RM back squat was associated most directly with strength in the core muscles.
Takeaway: Do squats for powerful, better-looking abs that will enable you to perform better. For further ab training, deadlifts are a perfect OCR tool and pull-ups (are the king in OCR pulling exercises) for abdominal endurance since you need to stabilize the body throughout the motion if you do them correctly.
Push-ups provide enough static horizontal abdominal training, and glute-ham raises can help strengthen the posterior chain if you have irregularities in the lower back, or hamstrings.
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