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Wall Slides For Top End Running Speed

by Phil Campbell - Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness for Time Crunched Adults

Developing fast-muscle fiber with plyometrics

This plyometric drill has been called wall slides, glass wall, and fast feet. Wall slides are halfway between the high knee drill and the butt slaps drill.

While moving forward, the knee is brought upward and high (fast). The foot is limited to coming up in a straight path directly under the body.

This drill is called the “wall slide” because you visualize an imaginary wall (from head to toe) directly behind you as you move forward. And the foot slides up and down the wall quickly.

See how the foot slides up the wall in the following illustration.

Plyometric Wall Slides drill

This is a great drill for athletes of all ages. Nate Robertson, my training partner, and I are both age 50.

This drill is great for those wanting to increase top end running speed. It teaches the feel of the “fly phase” of sprinting. The fly phase begins after 30 yards or so. Athletes not trained in how to convert from the initial “drive phase” of running, will significantly deter their top end speed. And this drill will help the "turbo" gear of running at top end speed.

Running speed is not simply an issue of genetics. Speed is a learned skill. And it can be developed - at any age.


All Ages Benefit from Plyometrics

Children can increase bone density, strength, and power through plyometric jump drills, (Jumping improves hip and lumbar spine bone mass in prepubescent children: a randomized trial, 2001, Fuchs).

Adolescent girls that participate in plyometric training increase bone density, (Effects of plyometric jump training on bone mass in adolescent girls, 2000, Witzke).

Premenopausal women maintain strength and power with plyometric training. Continued training also reduces important risk factors later in life, (Detraining reverses positive effects of exercise on the musculoskeletal system in premenopausal women, 2000, Winters).


Adding plyometrics to your workout

The Ready Set Go Fitness plan uses standing and dynamic (moving forward) forms of plyometrics that involve quick, powerful, repeated movements of the stretch-shortening muscular cycle. The first few sets in the plyometric workout call for the traditional karate kicks - front, side and back. Then, follow the karate kicks with the dynamic drills.

Initially, perform only one set of the dynamic plyometric drills covering 10-yards in distance. And progressively build to two sets of 15-yards with a walk-back recovery in-between.


With all plyometric drills, there should be lots of leg action (up and down). However, the progress forward should be equal to the speed of walking.

 

 

Scheduling plyometric drills


Plyometric drills are a regular part of the Synergy Fitness program beginning at Fitness Level Two. Plyometric workouts should be performed one day a week. Advanced athletes in the Fitness Level Five category have plyometric drills scheduled for two days a week.

 

Have a great day!

 

Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE
Author Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness for Time-Crunched Adults

 

National Library of Medicine links to research:
Research Summary 1
Research summary 2
Research Summary 3

NOTE: The purpose of this article is to expand thinking about fitness as an informational source for readers, and is not medical advice. Before attempting the Synergy Fitness program, the Sprint 8 Workout, or any high-intensity exercise program, consult your physician. This is not just a liability warning; it's wise to have a baseline medical exam before beginning a fitness program. Make your physician a partner in your fitness improvement plan.

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