Dorsiflexion the secret to faster sprinting
Dorsiflexion is a relatively knew breakthrough which has taken the sprinting world by storm. It’s a simple adjustment, that once practiced into habit will instantaneously improve your sprinting speed.
Essentially, Dorsiflexion is using the powerful ligaments in your ankle to the bring the dorsal area (top) of the foot upward towards your body, as if you were pointing your toes upwards towards the sky when in a normal standing position.
Peak Speed = Minimal Ground Contact + Maximum Force
The basic science of Dorsiflexion is to prepare your body for minimal contact with the ground, to increase stride speed. This is done by forcing the foot into the optimum position for to providing a greater ‘rebound’ or ‘spring’ effect when striking the floor. Minimal contact is good, but ismply increasing stride speed is not enough. To create the perfect environment for peak speed you need minimal contact PLUS adequate force, which can only be generated with a sufficient surface area. It’s a very efficient equation.
From the very beginning sprinters are taught the benefits of ‘running on the balls of their feet’ yet in practice this can often be taken too literally and result in the runner sprinting on their toes – which does not provide a great enough surface area to generate power output. Dorsiflexion keeps the sprinter truly on the balls of their feet, providing the best surface area for generating force.
So I always run with my toes pointing up?
It’s not quite that simple, but you have the gist of it. Dorsiflexion is most effective in the “stride phase” of sprinting. This where we have accelerated and our body reaches it’s maximum velocity. Really make the effort to pull up your toes towards your body in this phase and take a look at our video here for a “how to” along with some excellent exercises to practice dorsiflexion until it becomes an instinctive habit.
How can I apply this to my soccer game?
SPEED. We could all do with some more of it. When it comes to playing soccer, dorsiflexion will help you reach your very, very top speed. Once that long ball is played in behind the defender and you’re deep into your acceleration, dorsiflexion will act as a natural NOS boost kicking your stride into overdrive. You’ll want this tool in your arsenal every time you step onto the pitch.
This is Individual Soccer Training.. I don’t have a sprinting coach, how am I supposed to practice this?
We have some excellent Dosriflexion training exercises which you can do from home right here!
Dorsiflexion is an awesome drill to practice when you don’t have any facilities or equipment. Our training videos show you how you can literally learn it on the spot. As far as an individual soccer training drill is concerned, Dorsiflexion ticks all the cards and should be started straight away!