The acceleration pillar march is a drill that can create context for acceleration sprinting and improve anterior chain stability all at once. The bang for your buck is ridiculous. It was born from a wild "one workout stand" shared between the classic acceleration wall drill and Martin Rooney's infamous Swiss Ball Neck Front Hold. While you may not want to label me the match maker or love guru just yet, I honestly believe these two made something beautiful when they connected.
This drill creates a feeling that reflects the "oak tree trunk" position we want from athletes when accelerating. Improving core stiffness allows for better posture, power output and torso position while sprinting.
I routinely cue athletes to rise up like an airplane off a run way during the acceleration pattern. The athletes crown is essentially the nose of the airplane. I cue my athletes to keep the head out in front while accelerating for the first few pushes. I also like the cue "cut the wind with your hair" and always use the analogy "be a good pilot." A pilot who flies an airplane like a helicopter will experience turbulence and make grown men cry in their seats. Likewise, bad sprint pilots will make their coach cry and lose time rising up when they should be rising out.
Contact sport coaches should see this drill as a career saver as well. With the concussion epidemic consuming football, the acceleration pillar march proves to be a great ground based drill for neck, torso, and hip stability. A ground based exercise that incorporates hip, core, and head health = WINNING!!!
Cues: "Head to heel solid as steel" "Solid as an Oak tree trunk" "Feels like a plank" ...Brace, stay stiff, make double chin, push into ground, drive head through pillar, squeeze glutes, keep neutral spine, knee up toe up, keep a double chin
Use as a postural reinforcement drill in warm up before sprinting or as a finisher at end of workout. Use during sprint workout as trouble shooting for the athlete that has trouble maintaining posture.
*A coach or teammates hand will work in place of pillar or wall