Hip extension is often talked about, and many internet debates exist about glutes/hamstrings, end range, and maximum speed. A connection from the foot to the pelvis exists at top speed and that determines how muscle recruitment is. Since the last Olympics many have pontificated that secrets to running faster exist. Where is the results? Top speed is not easy and world class athletes are not common enough to have them jump to the local track to experiment with. What I do know is that observing the obvious is not popular because everyone wants hope. I hope this exercise will get me faster. I hope this diet will make me leaner. I hope this program will bust through the 10 second barrier. The truth is that specific hip extension strength is completely false with being the holy grail, but it is a key component to early development.
Why? Look at the video. The top sprinters are barely getting perpendicular before toe off. If you are in air you are not contributing to force production. If you are on the first MPJ you are not ripping the track back (horizontally). What about from initial ground contact to toe off? The production vertically matters, as well as horizontal and even lateral forces. Does this mean we should quarter squat? Does this advocate the hip thrust? What it means is that specificity is hyper specific with sprinting, and I think we need to see how the muscle recruitment is happening in both bounds and jumps, not just structural lifts.