The force velocity curve is an important concept for coaches, trainers, athletes, & strength & conditioning specialists to understand how speed, power, & strength are connected. Understanding the relationship between the three can help us maximize an individual's performance & potential. In this blog post, we will explore what the force velocity curve is & why it is important to understand to help reach peak performance!
What Is the Force Velocity Curve?
The force velocity curve is a physical representation that shows how muscular force changes as muscle velocity increases. In other words, it demonstrates the relationship between how much force you can generate (force) with various movement speeds (velocity). As you move faster, you generate less overall force; as you move slower, you generate more overall force. This phenomenon is known as the “strength-speed tradeoff” – as one goes up, the other goes down. The graph below depicts the force velocity curve & shows example exercises that correlate with the curve.
Why Is It Important?
The importance of understanding the force velocity curve lies in its ability to help coach's maximize their athlete's performance potential by understanding how to select the right methods & exercises for program design. As you can see looking at the graph above, if the goal is to increase speed or power output, you must place a focus on designing a program accordingly by selecting exercises on the velocity part of the curve. Using plyometrics, sprint training, dynamic effort & explosive strength methods are a great way to increase speed & velocity.
Furthermore, if the goal is to increase maximum strength or force output, one will want to build a program around mechanical tension development, hypertrophy, & motor pattern improvement using max effort & sub maximal effort methods.
The force-velocity curve is an important principle in sports performance training as it helps athletes, coaches, trainers, & strength & conditioning specialists understand how speed, strength, & power are connected. By understanding this relationship between load, velocity and max force output one can tailor a program filled with specific exercises to help maximize individual performance outcomes. With this knowledge under your belt you are now better equipped than ever before unlock your full potential! Let's work!
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