Pick One

I’d like to get everyone’s opnions on the single best upper and lower body strength movements for acceleration and the single best upper and lower body strength movements for max speed. Reasons why would be great.

Upper strength:
Bench press

Lower strength:
Back squat
Sled/Hill sprints

Upper Power:
Explosive mb chest pass

Lower Power:
Depth jump
Hurdle hop
Jump squat
Flying sprints

Lower body:
hills/ stairs/ plyometrics

Upper body:
boxing / rebound reps

(I think my opinion is the same for both acceleration and max speed)

It depends, are you looking for Max V exercises for a 16 year old female with a training age of 0? If that is what you’re asking, I suspect people’s answers may differ. It is important to be as specific as possible.

For an untrained athlete, hills are great because the learning curve is minimal and it naturally places you in an excellent position to accelerate.

Perhaps explosive medball throws are the safest way to build power early in an athlete’s training, and it would probably have crossover effects for softball as well, which I believe you mentioned as your daughter’s primary sport.

Before any of this, I would concentrate on putting a decent warmup together and mastering power speed drills, as they will help with mechanics.

I’m sure others will have more to add!

I forgot about MB exercises…

So do you differentiate between acceleration and max speed or in this model does strength equal acceleration and power equal max speed?

Boxing - that’s cool. I didn’t expect to see that.

why just one? and as T-Slow put, it depends on factors.

Have you got


Well, it wasn’t necessarily for her but you definitely bring up a good point re: training age. I think you can have different definitions for training age as well. My daughter for example has “trained” for injury prevention since age 8. Over the years that training focus has not shifted to but has incorporated a more direct performance enhancement component as well. Her warmup has changed over the years as well and varies according to the activity that she is preparing for. Ankle, hip, and tspine mobility are always part of the warmup. Various shoulder mobility movements and multiderctional squats and lunges are included. Arm action has always been a part but it has taken sprinting on the track to appreciate its importance. A skips and power skips have been the primary linear drills that she has used in the warm up. She’s done hill sprint at differnt times through the years. Med balls have been used also but we will probably emphasize it more. She’s done quite a bit of lifting doing a pretty good variety of lifts. She hasn’t done much benching for various reasons but we might start doing some. She hasn’t done much cleaning and don’t anticipate her doing any. The closest she has done is high pulls and jumps with barbell in her hands. I say all that to say that although she has never run track or practiced for track I would not say her training age is 0 but I wouldn’t say it was 8 either.

I wasnt suggesting just one was necessary I was just interested in hearing others opnions. I do not have that bundle yet. I do have Strength and Speed and the master set of ebooks. The reason I was curious is because I noticed what seemed to be a reliance on a few movements in those materials. I was also curious about what depth Charlie considered a half squat to be.

Upper Body - Push Ups

Legs - Hills and Sprinting

Upper body- Bench+pull ups
Lower body-Sleds+fly’s+squats

T-slow is right, you have to consider your goals.

What are you training for? A 40 yard dash? 100m? mile run? marathon?

If its a 40 then its the squat hands down
100m for at least a novice sprinter would be just sprinting
the further the distance the less strength training needs to be involved IMO

Beginners are the hardest to say, “just one” - A lot of beginners cant even do a proper push up, or chin up…
Then you got to look at stability issues (not swiss balls or bosu though)

Then there are tightness issues.

Then you need to make sure, if you’re doing Push ups or Benches, you do some back work also - or you get monkey shoulders…

If you do plyro’s without enough basic Strength work - you may run into problems.

IF you don’t do any plyros and too much weights - other issues arise.

half squat would be just about parallel

That’s what people say but it’s usually above parallel. I know there was a video posted before of ben’s 600lb squat and it was a a good bit above parallel. In fact it seems the deeper people squat, the slower they are. Most top athletics guys are not squatting to textbook depths.

2.42 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-K5An8qf1Q

Since all force must pass through the centre, get the core stablized and strong before you do much of anything else.


Risk vs Reward!

they’re playing with fire!!!

It seems that the deep squat is more conducive to a good start. Evidence of this would be the oft quoted ability of olympic lifters having a better or equal start than olympic sprinters. I don’t know if it’s necessary to put your butt to your heels but it seems that parallel would come close to matching the joint angles present in the start.