Hip Flexor Muscles Used in Sports Training

There are 7 hip flexor muscles on each side of the body  and they are prominent in nearly all sports activities, such as running, kicking, jumping and play a role in swinging a bat, golf club or tennis racket.
Before we identify them, it might be helpful for some of you if we also refer to them as thigh flexor muscles.  This is because it may be easier to visualize the movement of the thigh at the hip joint rather than trying to figure out what is taking place deep inside the hip joint itself.
With that in mind, the first two muscles, the psoas and iliacus, are perhaps the more popular ones as they are heavily involved with doing situps and hanging knee raises.
Sometimes these two muscles are referred to as the iliopsoas since the muscle belly of the psoas and the muscle belly of the Iliacus converge together and form one common tendon of insertion.
The next two muscles, the Sartorius and Rectus Femoris are the longest of all of the hip flexors, or thigh flexors, and the Sartorius is …

Drive Phase of Sprinting and Running: Muscles Involved.

If you want to improve your running speed it will be helpful to know the 3 phases of the running process and the muscles used in each phase. By understanding this you can train all the muscles used when running for faster running speed.
This post will focus on the drive or push phase of running and identify the muscles used in the push phase. Speed training exercises that focus on these muscles can be found in the links below.

The drive phase of sprinting begins when the knee is perpendicular to the ground as seen in Figure 1 below:
Figure 1.  Drive phase starts when the knee is perpendicular to the ground.

The drive phase ends when the entire leg is extended behind you.  See image below.

Both the starting and ending positions of the drive phase can be seen side by side in the image below:

The drive phase is powered by three basic muscle groups; the hip extensors, which involve your glutes and hamstrings, your knee extensors, or quadriceps muscle and your ankle plantarflexors, or cal…

Types of Resistance band exercises for sports training

Types of Resistance band exercises for sports trainingWhen it comes to athletic speed training workouts with resistance bands in any sports training program there are basically two ways that people like to use them. One of them is by putting their muscles through repetitive concentric and eccentric contractions.  This would be similar to the motion you would do during a biceps curl exercise with weights, except that the dumbbell is replaced with a resistance band. Concentric Muscle Contraction: The concentric part of the exercise is when the muscle contracts, or shortens while undergoing resistance.  Eccentric Muscle Contraction: The eccentric part of the exercise is when the muscle lengths while undergoing resistance. This occurs when the arm is returned back to the side of the athlete. As you can imagine using the band with this strategy, the end of the motion is harder than the beginning. This is due to what is known as the variable elastic resistance within the band which simply mea…

Increase your Running Stride Length and Turnover Rate

Increase your Running Stride Length and Turnover Rate One of the best ways to increase your running stride length and turnover rate is to develop strong hip flexor muscles.  These are powerful and long muscles located in the front side of each of your hips.
Your hip flexors are some of the longest and strongest muscles in your body, but they are essentially dormant in most athletes, meaning, they have never been activated for speed or exercised properly for any athletic function other than walking.

Some of them, begin high up in your lumbar spine while others start out low on the pelvis; and, they all cross the hip joint.  Most of them attach to your thigh while one of them, the Sartorius, is so long that it attaches just below the knee.

.They get called into action every time one of your legs gets fully extended behind you.  Above we can see the athlete’s left leg is now fully extended behind him.  This stretches the hip flexor muscles in front of his left hip and now they are ready for…

How to Use Resistance Bands for Speed Training

How to Use Resistance Bands for Speed Training
We get lots of questions on how to use resistance bands for speed, especially when it comes to helping people run faster in any sport and as part of their speed training program for soccer, football, track and most any other sport where speed matters.
Questions like how, or, where to attach the speed bands so they won’t easily break when while using them.  We recommend attaching them to an immovable object (relative to your own strength) such as a steel pole as well as one that doesn’t have any sharp edges that may tear your band.

Another question we often get is, “how much effort you should use?”  We recommend using between 70-80% of your maximum strength for each isometric exercise and to get an idea of how much effort this is, you should feel like you need to take a break after holding a steady (static) position with the band for about 10 seconds.  If you can hold it longer than, say, 15 seconds you probably are using less than 70% effort…