Hip Flexor Training
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JumpUSA.com Topic #473
The Benefits of Hip Flexor Training
Most athletes have heard of the hip flexors at one time or another, but most athletes have never trained or been explained the importance of this muscle group. The hip flexors play a very important role in acceleration and top sprint speed. If you want to be as fast as you can be you must train your hip flexors along with the rest of your lower body.
So why are strong and explosive hip flexors so important? Let me explain. The hip flexors are primarily responsible for the forward swing and knee drive of the legs. The harder the initial contraction of the forward swing, the faster our legs will be repositioned for the next stride. The faster this can occur the faster we will ultimately be. Optimally we want our knee drive to be at 75-90 degrees when sprinting, if we can get to this point we are in the best positon to optimize our stride length and put the most possible force into the ground. However, most athletes do not even come close to this 90 degree goal. This could be due to things such as technique and flexibility but more often than not, it is strength.
A recent study has revealed that people who underwent hip flexor training for 8 weeks decreased their 10 yard time by .2 seconds, their 40 time by .3 seconds and their shuttle run time by a whopping .6 seconds! (Deane et al.)
So how can you increase your hip flexor strength, running speed and agility? One of the best ways is to perform the exact drill you are trying to get better at with a light load. For example, if you are trying to improve your 40 yard dash time you need to apply a light load at the hip flexors and perform your sprints at full speed. The only device on the market that can accomplish this perfectly is called The Accelerator. The Accelerator applys a light load perfectly at the hips and at the waist to let your lower body fire at full speed with a light load. When you use this device for a few reps and then remove it, you will feel like you are shot out of a cannon! By following an organized and scientifically sound program for a few weeks and using The Accelerator you will increase your speed and agility.
A great program to incorporate The Accelerator into is Cris Carter's FAST Program Speed & Agility Manual. It is a 6 week program that trains every part of athletic performance, but it is not for the weak of heart, or mind!
-Matt Gates, FAST Program
Deane, Russell S., Chow, John W., Tillman, Mark D., Fournier, Kim A. “Effects of Hip Flexor Training on Sprint, Shuttle Run, and Vertical Jump Performance” The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Volume: 19 Issue: 3 Pages: 615-621
Lateral Flexion with Bands and Medicine Ball - With your hips on a Medicine Ball to elevate your upper body, use any anchored elastic cord and do lateral crunches.
For Sport Specific Tips like these that will help you improve and excel in your sport, visit SportSpecific.com