It is imperative that competitive functional fitness athletes develop speed strength.
What is speed strength? Speed strength plays a vital role in competitive functional fitness athletes skill sets. It is important for coaches to develop an understanding of speed strength to ensure their ability to program effectively for competitive clients and prepare them for their sport-specific needs. Take an in-depth dive into speed strength with sample programming in our guide to Speed Strength.
The concept of speed strength has developed alongside competitive functional fitness. Speed strength is the ability to absorb and transmit forces rapidly. The daily application of speed strength is very limited because of the sport-specific nature. Speed Strength training involves specific skills training and does not often involve maximum expression because of the aggressive nature of the movements. In a program, Speed strength training would involve movements such as plyometrics, medicine ball throws, and barbell cycling. To train speed strength effectively there is a minimum strength requirement needed to be capable of tapping deeply into the central nervous system. To build this minimum strength requirement absolute strength needs to be developed as part of a foundation essential to performing speed strength to the fullest potential. A base of absolute strength allows for effective recovery from expressed contractions at a high rate typical of speed strength movements. Training on this part of the Strength Continuum can benefit clients through developing their ability to decelerate and therefore preventing injuries that typically occur during a change of direction or impact filled landings. The skill of speed strength can benefit anyone but, because of its sport-specific application is not an essential part of the strength continuum to develop for the fitness enthusiast.