Strength Deficits Limit Speed of Movement

FROM EXPERIENCE we've recognized that most athletes need to get stronger in order to get faster:

          When an athlete comes in to our facility, one of the first thing we do is assess strength. A strength deficit is usually the limiting factor for progressing in a sport. Due to the relationship between strength and speed, if there is a deficiency in one, the other will suffer. Improving an athlete’s strength, will increase the amount of force generated per stride, resulting in faster movement.

         When an athlete’s speed plateaus, one of the main factors is lack of strength. There are multiple layers in strength development such as knowing how and when to program different qualities of strength. It is not just about lifting heavy, or fast, but training various qualities at key times to produce maximum results. For more detail about the qualities of strength and the relationship between strength and speed check out our Need for Speed article.

          This is known as the force velocity curve and encompasses every quality of training. A properly periodized program will attack each of these qualities to allow an athlete advance becoming faster and stronger and In sports a faster and stronger kills.

 

Testing for Deficits

          Identifying strength deficits can sometimes be as clear as an athlete under-performing in standard strength exercises. An example would be a 17 year old athlete not being able to do a single pull-up. Various other strength measurements can be observed here. This site can be used as a tool to generalize the development of an athlete and should only be used for face value and not as a norm or definitive measurement. A simple test to determine a strength deficit, is to assess two different types of vertical jumps and compare the results. The two tests are:

  1. A Vertical Jump with a Stretch Reflex
  2. A Vertical Jump from a Static Quarter Squat

          Each of these tests will provide a height measurement. You can then compare the two results with each other and see if there is significant difference between the two values. The larger the gap between the two tests, the more extreme the strength deficit.

Why to address Strength Deficits:

          It is essential to the athlete to mitigate strength deficits so they can progress to the next level of play. The differences between a Division I Ice Hockey athlete and a Division III  Ice Hockey athlete is their body composition, anaerobic power, vertical jump height, grip strength, and top speed on and off ice. Each one of these components can be increased in the weight room through proper training. Tackling head on the severe strength deficits, will produce a faster athlete who is more capable and prepared for higher level play.

          Finding a strength coach that knows how to reduce strength deficits is the key to furthering an athlete’s development. Refer to our Education in the Weight Room article when finding a new strength coach. The article provides the guidelines to find a qualified strength coach who can help reduce strength deficits and increase athletic performance.


Sources:

     Webster, Emily T., M.S. The Effects of a Division I Men's Ice Hockey Season on Strength and Power. Thesis. University of Connecticut, 2014. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.   (Decrease in performance throughout the course of a season)

     Peterson, Ben J., John S. Fitzgerald, Calvin C. Dietz, Kevin S. Ziegler, Stacy J. Ingraham, Sarah E. Baker, and Eric M. Snyder. "Division I Hockey Players Generate More Power Than Division III Players During On- and Off-Ice Performance Tests." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 29.5 (2015): 1191-196. Web.

     Fleck, Steven J., and William Kraemer. "Designing Resistance Training Programs-4th Edition - Steven Fleck, William Kraemer." Human-kinetics. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

     Linthorne, Nicholas P. "Analysis of Standing Vertical Jumps Using a Force Platform." American Journal of Physics 69.11 (2001): 1198-200. Web.

     Webster, Emily T., M.S. The Effects of a Division I Men's Ice Hockey Season on Strength and Power. Thesis. University of Connecticut, 2014. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.   (Decrease in performance throughout the course of a season)