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4 Drills to Increase Sprint Speed

Hey Sweat Folk, Coach Meg here with some more tips and tricks for this week. I think we can all agree no one likes getting smoked on their sprint speeds. Whether it’s chasing after Eva on those 100s or trying to keep up with Jayme’s Ain’t-No-Thang pace on the 300s, we all want to be faster. So thought we could break down some drills to help you improve your sprints.

  1. Heavy Sled Drags – we are all too familiar with the dredded sled push but have you ever considered getting in front of the sled? When you do well – eureka! You’ll notice you are in the perfect position for your sprint stance. Strap on the harness and add your squat weight to the drag prowler and pull away. Try this for 15-20 yard intervals at full pace. Think of it as running in quicksand which will help you increase acceleration!
  2. Arm Mechanics – “Use your elbows” and “Drive Your Arms”, we hear these commands being screamed in our sleep. Well it’s not just because all the cool kids are doing it. Proper arm mechanics can be super helpful in increase your running speed. Even before you run or get on that ladder practice pumping your arms. Go for hands at eye level and elbow to shoulder height while standing in your two point stance (aka starting position). Mimic this action 5-10 times before beginning your drill. Be sure to keep elbows at 90 degree!
  3. Wall Drives – We’ve all done this with bands or as a cardio burner in mountain climber fashion. Be really focusing on your knee drive can actually increase your sprint speed. Start in your two point stance (just like you are getting ready to start a sprint) about 3 to 4 feet in front of the wall. Begin your first knee drive and fall into the wall. Think of it as a forward sprint trust fall! This will not only teach you how to get that knee drive in but will also give you the feeling of that first start, the falling into the sprint.
  4. Single Leg Broad Jumps – Starting on two feet drive off of and up with your knee drive, land on one foot, then propel into the next leap and step. Getting further and higher each time will help improve your stride length.

Now get out there and run circles around everyone like the Easter Bunny!

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The Clean & Press vs. Snatch: Part 2

We last chatted about how to approach the grip for the clean and press and how it differs from a snatch grip. This week we’ll talk about how the two lifts differ.

The Steps

Clean

For the clean and press the steps will be as follows;

    1. Setup Grip & Stance
    2. Clean Pull
    3. Shrug
    4. Elevate Elbows
    5. Front Squat Rack
    6. Stand Up
    7. Press

Snatch

The steps involved in the snatch will also look similar in the beginning. The steps will be as follows;

    1. Set Up Grip & Stance
    2. Snatch Pull
    3. Shrug
    4. Elevate Elbows
    5. Rack Overhead
    6. Stand Up

The Finish

The clean will finish in a full extension stand where you press the bar overhead. It will be important that the weight you use does not pull you backwards but you can control the barbell. Just like any other lift you attempt, you must engage shoulder, keep shoulder blades down, and engage the core at the top. The snatch will end in a very similar position but be very different in the way you get there. You will use the momentum from the pull (and the hips) to get underneath the bar, ending in a deep squat with barbell extended overhead. To finish the snatch you can come to a full stand. If you were to see both lifts at the end they would look almost identical, but getting there is a very different story.

The next chapter of the saga continues with the different benefits from each lift! See you then!

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Food is Fuel

Hey guys it’s me, Shay!  As I sat down to write this week’s blog, it dawned on me.  No, not the topic of discussion.  The fact that I was super hungry.  But don’t worry, I prepare 12 meals a week for lunches and dinners, Monday- Saturday.  So I’m just going to pop my cod lunch in the microwave and I’ll be eating in T-2 minutes!  It’s amazing what putting aside a few hours one day a week to cook food can do.  It wasn’t too long ago that I would have just sat here starving for a few minutes until I decided to actually cook a meal.  I would grab whatever meat was in the fridge (usually chicken) and I would attempt to quickly season it.  But when I grabbed the chicken I also grabbed a bag of grapes and would slowly but surely finish off the bag while I cooked my chicken.  Then as I look for rice to put on the side, I find some honey roasted cashews in the pantry and munch on those too because, duh PROTEIN!  I continue cooking my chicken, boil water for the rice, and after the longest 30 minutes of my life, my nutritious lunch was ready!  But unfortunately for me and my belly, I wasn’t starving like I thought I was anymore.  You can bet your bottom dollar I still devoured my meal because I was proud that I cooked it, and I wanted to post a picture on Facebook of my #healthy chicken and rice.  Once I could hardly breathe, I told myself it’s okay, it’s just some fruit and extra protein, I’ll do sprints tomorrow at the gym.  The next day I do extra cardio and abs and I feel great!  Until I realize how incredibly hungry I am, even though I just ate a banana before I got to the gym!  I thought since I ate so much yesterday that if I start over, eat a little less and run a little more I’ll feel better!  That was never the case.  This was me almost everyday.  

Until one day I decided to start planning my meals ahead of time just so I wasn’t starving by the time I could actually eat.  After doing that for awhile, I finally gave into social medias newest, most amazing thing ever, “meal prepping”.  I would cook dinners and lunches for a couple of days at a time so I was certain everything stayed fresh.  I was always prepared, and I stopped snacking mindlessly on “healthy snacks”.  This ”meal prepping” thing became addicting, and it quickly became a weekly routine for me.  I found myself staying fuller longer, completely finishing workouts without hearing my stomach growl or getting lightheaded,  I was eating out less and saving money!  

If you’re always busy, which I know most of you are, put some time aside for you.  No one has to be Gordon Ramsey.  I’m just saying take a few hours a week to prepare some nutritious meals. Your belly will thank you later.  You can’t out train a poor diet!  Don’t eat less, just eat smart!

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Let’s Talk About Posture

Hi y’all!  It’s me, Shay here to give you a few tips on how to continue bettering yourself outside of the walls here at Sweat Performance.

Now, unfortunately we can’t all be so lucky to have Courtney yelling in our ears “Don’t be soft!” throughout the day, but you can simply remind yourself by setting alarms right on your mobile device that you all so conveniently have glued to your hands all day.  It is very common to hear myself, Meg, or any of the studs yelling “SHOULDERS BACK” or “CHEST BIG” throughout the duration of boot camps or training sessions.  But how can we make sure to practice this without Danny standing over us, crossing his arms and shaking his head?  By setting alarms on our phones every couple of hours throughout the work day titled “Brendan is always watching you”.  Once the alarms sound, take a couple of minutes to sit all the way back into your seat.  Take deep breaths in and out while pressing your shoulder blades back, keeping your spine against the back of your chair and your chest high and pretty.  If we all continue to do this, we will have better posture than our very own figure skater Meg!  Creating good habits now will set you up for long term success.  Let’s all remember, Rome was not built in a day.  With that in mind, sit tall and proud and remember this lesson next time you slam battle ropes!

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Clean & Press vs. Snatch: Part 1

Some of you reading this will be well acquainted with Olympic lifting and some of you may think you have to be in the Olympics to do Olympic lifting. Well have no fear this article is for all levels of fitness.

Whether you are trying to get better at picking up dumbbells between workouts or perfecting your Turkish get-up, lifting neophytes and cross-fit nuts alike should always be working on form. But always remember, before form comes knowledge…pretty sure that was Confucius. So to take the advice of our fitness-obsessed Chinese forebear we are going to take a deep dive into the difference between the clean and press versus the snatch. There is a plethora of information out there regarding proper form for both Olympic lifts separately but few sources do a side-by-side comparison. Luckily you have such amazing personal trainers at Sweat Performance that will take the time to give you the low-down on both these popular Olympic lifts.

The Grip

The grip for the clean and the snatch are going to vary dramatically. We’ll give you the quick and dirty on how to even begin approaching this lift.

Clean & Press

Instead of always wondering if your grip is correct or the same as your last rep, here is a tip for hand placement on the clean and press. Move as close to the bar as possible so the ankles are touching the barbell. You will create an L-shape with both hands. With the bar in front of you, place the thumbs of the L on the outside of your ankles. With thumbs still on your ankles, reach down to the bar with your pointer fingers. From there you can wrap both hands around the bar. You now have the perfect grip position for your clean and press, plus it will be identical in every rep!

Snatch

There is no cool tip or trick around the grip for the snatch. When beginning a snatch you will want to place your hands all the way to the end of the barbell shaft (before the collar/sleeve where the weights go on). Of course this will be dependent on height and wingspan. For all your five-foot-clubbers, don’t stress if you can’t get your hands all the way to the end of the shaft. As far out as you can go will suffice. There ya go, it’s as easy as Sunday morning!

Voila, you can now move towards that chrome laden stick of pain with confidence! Happy lifting fellow Sweaters!

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