How to Increase Speed and Agility for Football | STACK

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...

Stanford Routt's Track-Inspired Football Speed Training

September 26, 2011

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After an off-season that saw the departure of Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders fans might have worried about the status of their shutdown secondary. If so, the emergence of Stanford Routt has quieted their fears. The transition is nearly seamless. After two weeks, opposing quarterbacks have only completed four of 14 passes in Routt’s direction, 28.5%, the lowest percentage of any NFL defender, according to STATS, Inc.

Routt’s natural talent is undeniable. He excelled at football and track—running the 60- and 200-meter sprints—at the University of Houston. He credits track for helping him develop into the football player he is today. “Running track made me a faster football player,” he says.

Although Routt possesses tremendous athleticism, he did not sit idle during the off-season. He focused on correcting his weaknesses with an intense training program inspired by his collegiate track career. “Playing cornerback and so much man-to-man coverage, there is a correlation between the two sports,” he says.

Performing his track-inspired workout four days per week, Routt focuses on a different goal each day. The workout includes sprints, agility and conditioning—all critical for the cornerback position. Routt particularly emphasizes conditioning, because he needs to be able to mirror speedy receivers for four quarters. “You have to work on your conditioning,” he says. “If your heart isn’t beating in a workout, then how will you play in a game?”

Incorporate this program inspired by Stanford Routt’s track-based training into your own workouts to increase speed, agility and quickness. Perform the workouts before your three weightlifting sessions each week, as follows:

Conditioning
Perform before your first strength workout of the week.

  • 200-Meter Sprints: 1x4-6; rest 2-3 minutes

Agility/Quickness
Perform before your second strength workout of the week.

  • Jump Rope: 3x30 seconds; rest 30 seconds
  • Pro Agility Shuttle: 1x3-4 each direction; rest 1-1:30 minutes
  • Mirror Drill: 1x3-4; rest 1-1:30 minutes
  • Broad Jumps: 2x6-8; rest 1-1:30 minutes

Top Speed
Perform before your third strength workout of the week.

  • Flying 40s: 1x4-6; rest 2-3 minutes
  • 60-Meter Lunges (finish with 20-meter hard sprint): 1x3-4; rest 2-3 minutes

Conditioning
Perform on a non-lifting day.

  • 2.5 mile slow jog

Photo:  Courtesy Chime PR Group

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...