Movement Culture for Athletes: Speed and Power

Speed and power. They are kind of the same thing. We spoke about this previously, you can find that here.

In the previous post we said. Power is defined as work done over time, so for our purposes it is Strength X Speed. So really simply put, if you want to be more powerful you have to get stronger and/or faster.

If you’re strong, but slow. Focus on speed of movement

If you’re fast, but weak. Focus on strength.

Think of a continuum on one end you have strength and the other you have speed. On either end you have the absolutes and in the middle you have the combination of strength and speed in various ratios depending on how far left or right the activity falls on the line.

So we can divide power into two categories

·         Strength – Speed

These are higher force requirement movements like a 1RM Clean or Snatch, a Tackle, A throw in wrestling

·         Speed – Strength

These are higher speed movements. Like throwing a ball, a punch, sprinting.

Speed- strength is faster. Strength – speed is about overcoming a greater resistance.

That’s the basics of power.

Power in the context of movement… It’s the same. You need to be able to display force and speed in the various movement patterns and chaos that sport demands of you. The power you build in training, moving weights should transfer to your sport. Do you move faster on the tennis court? Do you tackle better on field?

Energy leaks.

You might be able to generate a lot of force, but does your force bleed out before it reaches the desired end point because of your weak links or inefficient positioning. You might have the strongest squat and move the bar really fast, but when it comes to tackling you can’t make those big hits. Why? There could be many reasons but for this example let’s say it’s the fact that you can’t drive off the balls of your feet. When you squat the que has been always to drive through the heels, which isn’t wrong … for a squat. When you have to tackle though you have to drive from the balls of your feet. It you’re not used to this or not strong enough to do this you cannot display the power you developed in the gym fully.

What is power in movement training? Adding force and speed to efficient movement pattern while being able to adapt to and deal with chaos. That is power in a movement context. According to me. Not much different in the execution. Somewhat different in the intent.

Check out our previous post on power we give some more detail and videos here.

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Keep moving, keep learning.