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Chris Phillips's picture

Two Ways to Run Faster

Every soccer player strives for speed. And most spend hours in the gym or on the pitch doing speed drills and lifting weights as the primary method to increase speed. But you can't forget about flexibility. Speed is based on stride length x frequency. How far and how fast you stride will determine your speed. These tips will focus on increasing stride length by increasing the flexibility of your hamstrings and hip flexors. 

Improving hamstring flexibility will improve how your hip flexes and knee extends in the contact or front leg. This lengthens the stride in the front leg and allows for better loading in order to prepare for the next powerful stride. Use the supine knee extension stretch to improve hamstring flexibility.

  1. Begin lying on your back and grabbing the back of your leg with your knee bent and thigh perpendicular to the ground.
  2. Extend your knee as far as possible while keeping your other thigh on the ground.
  3. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times for two sets on each leg.

Perform the stretch two to three times a day. To improve the stretch, flex your ankle by bringing your toes towards the ground.

Your next tip to get faster is to stretch out your hip flexors. Not only will this help you get faster, but may also eliminate low back pain while running since your main hip flexors connect to your your low back. Here is how to perform the kneeling hip flexor stretch: 

  1. Kneel on one leg with back straight. 
  2. Rock forward feeling a stretch on the rear leg.

Perform the stretches multiple times a day especially before and after activity and you will see improvement in your flexibility and speed while reducing potential injuries.

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