Ashley Young: Faster from the first minute

Hit the nitros with the Manchester United and England speedster to leave the opposition standing

“I’m always being told that I’m slower than I look. Any tips to speed up my game?”
Elliot Grey, via email

Ashley Young says:
“Firstly, before you start playing it’s important to get your legs warmed up and the blood flowing.

More after the break

You want to prepare your body for what it’s about to do. If you don’t warm up properly your muscles will be tight.

You won’t be able to run as fast and you’re likely to pick up injuries. Taking on fluids before and during a game is crucial too as it regulates your body temperature and replaces the things that your body loses when you sweat.

There are different exercises that we [Manchester United] do in the warm up, like squats and lunges, but we also get on the exercise bikes before we go out. This helps to get the legs fired up.

Think about your running technique too. I think it’s important to get up on the balls of your feet. Then you’ve got to get low, keep your back straight and head up.

When you’re pumping your arms you’ve got to try and bring your arms back up straight, close to your body. Use them as leverage.

Speed in football is about being quick with and without the ball. An awareness of what’s happening around you is important for both skills.

You’re either looking for the next pass or open space to attack. Balance is also important to being quick on the pitch because when you’re one on one against a defender, you’ve got to run at them with speed and get around them while they’re trying to knock you off the ball.

The same goes when you’re trying to win a foot race for the ball.”

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Also see:
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Ashley Young: Improve your stability on the ball
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