One of the reasons why your speed of movement could be letting you down is not training the gluteal muscles. Many of us have become over quad dominant, not been able to engage the glutei muscles effectively will certainly affect your speed of movement, and reduce your balance ability both statically and dynamically.
Noted researcher Dr. Stuart McGill found also that weak glutei muscles are often a source of back pain. In sport the need to be able to sprint fast, change direction quickly or jump high, is essential for a good performance, dysfunction of your gluteal muscles could be slowing you down.
If your Glute muscles aren’t activating properly doing squats will not always be the answer, you will need some supine bridge work and 4 point kneeling lateral knee exercises to get them activated. As an adult using barbell squats, lunges, and deadlifts will then get you stronger but using these exercises for children may not be your best option dependant to some extent on age, development and training ability. Therefore bodyweight exercises and resistance bands may be a better choice, although resistance bands do come in different strengths that will challenge even the best athletes, progression is a key ingredient.
Once the gluteal muscles are functioning and becoming stronger the next process is to add in explosive exercises. This could simply be a long jump or a vertical jump from a static position, a kettlebell hang snatch or an Olympic lift.
Fitting all this in to a weekly routine can be challenging if you are working full time and playing sport a few times per week. Another method we have started to use to improve gluteal function is the new DMS system (Dynamic Movement Skills) which will help teach correct movement mechanics, improve the posterior chain muscles, dynamic balance, body awareness, landing mechanics and initial first step acceleration which can then transfer into better sports performance. The drills are quite unique, using an agility mat and fast feet movement through the drills, which are now being used by premiership football clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal, rugby clubs, golfers, dancers and schools. They work very well alongside the regular strength program or as a standalone program as the system can also be utilised at home. Practising on the mat once or twice per week for 6 weeks can usually see an improvement in better movement.
We will be demonstrating the DMS system shortly