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31 Jul

5 Tips To Improve Your Speed In GAA

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Posted by Keith Nulty in Train to Win | Jul 2015
speed

Joey Boland is a Dublin senior hurler, holds a BSc in Physiotherapy and MSc Sports Medicine.

Leading the team at Sports Physio Ireland, he’s one of the leading figures in developing and implementing a scientific approach to training and recovery in the country.

For more from the team, check out their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

5 Tips To Improve Your Speed In GAA

1. Mobility Work

Hip mobility plays an absolutely key role in GAA, and indeed in almost every major sport. While there are many factors in deciding how quick you are in a straight line, hip mobility is ultimately key when it comes to the twisting, turning, direction-changing cut and thrust of a Championship game.

GAA never moves in a straight line, so to ensure you can explode towards the ball from any body position and run rings around stiff opposition players you simply have to work on your mobility.

2. One Leg Mastery

Double leg training is great and should obviously form a part of any GAA player’s overall program.

This does not hide the fact, however, that in almost all cases players will have one side or one leg which is underdeveloped by comparison with the other.

While this may not seem to trouble you when it comes to hitting your target in the squat rack, when you find yourself in a do or die sprint for a breaking ball this one-sidedness may be the deciding factor in whether you or your opponent get your hands on the prize.

The key to avoiding this imbalance in the muscles is to work a good array of single leg exercises into your routine.

3. Running Mechanics

As with any aspect of sport or indeed life, you can work as hard as you like, but if you don’t have the basics right you’re never going to reach your potential.

This is nowhere more true than it is when it comes to running mechanics.

Poor running technique can completely obscure a player’s true fitness and speed potential, especially at game time, where inefficiencies of motion cause the body to fatigue in the crucial dying minutes of a match.

4. Power Work

Many people equate power with strength, and while this isn’t exactly incorrect, it doesn’t tell the whole story either.

We all know a fellow GAA player with thighs like tree trunks and calves that look like they were carved out of stone but who wouldn’t beat soil creep in a foot race! This is because power is not just the ability to exert a large amount of force, but to exert a large amount of force over a short period of time.

What you are looking for here is to build up the force your legs can output explosively, when you need to make the dash to get loose for a kick-out or when you need that extra surge to make the block or the hook.

5. Meta-Conditioning

Don’t be frightened by the name, meta-conditioning is essentially a high intensity interval training based approach.

The goal here is 30 seconds on 30 seconds off style exercises, during which you really go hell for leather during the work cycles and learn to recover quickly with short rest periods.

This type of exercise is great for body fat reduction and is a vital “game specific” cardio workout, helping to simulate and prepare for the occasionally manic stop-start game situations you are sure to face.

Some ideas for how to approach these specific types of exercises are shown in the video below. For more, please check out the Sports Physio Ireland website.

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