STRETCHING FOR SPEED
Stretching is one of the key elements of speed
By Greg Shepard
Published: Fall 1998
A stretching program should never be used solely for a warm-up for other activities. It is an exercise regimen itself like lifting and running. A stretching program should be done to increase flexibility and range of motion. It must be worked daily both in the off-season and the in-season. Flexibility exercises should mean hard work, sweat and concentration of exact and perfect position. The vast majority of schools and athletes can make big improvements in their flexibility program.
The best approach is to have a united school-wide philosophy and program with all athletes and coaches. Every athlete should do the same program regardless of their sport. Use the BFS 1-2-3-4 stretching program which is specifically designed for speed and jumping power. We have this available in our manual, the Total Program book or on video.
Kevin Devine, pro football's fastest player, believes that stretching is certainly one of the key elements in developing speed. "If you don't stretch hard everyday," states Kevin, "you will never be as fast as you could be. My favorite stretch is the hip flexor stretch because it increases my stride length."
Kevin not only excelled in football in high school and at the University of California but he was also a champion sprinter. He improved his speed every year. Kevin smiled knowingly, "you stretch to win. It's that simple."
Shown in this article are some of Kevin's favorite stretches. His football speed video shows all of his stretching exercises plus his complete speed development program.
Kevin demonstrating the Hip Flexor stretch. Eyes straight ahead just like sprinting. Hands on knees. Sit tall and spread the chest for maximum results.
Kevin’s Hip Flexor: Stride out to where the front leg is perpendicular as shown. The upper torso should be straight as in sprinting. To activate a full stretch of the hip flexors force the hips as far forward as possible.
Kevin shows another way to stretch the quads. Important: Do not squeeze the back foot into your hips. You will get a better stretch if you force your back foot away from your hips.
Kevin demonstrates another way to stretch his calves, achilles tendon and back leg.