How to Improve Your Acceleration Mechanics | STACK

The Mechanics of Improving Acceleration

December 3, 2012 | Raymond Tucker

Must See Speed Videos


Want to catch a long pass your quarterback just lofted into the end zone? Sprint across the field and make a play on an opponent who's about to score? Or stop your man from making a layup? Then you need to improve your acceleration. Drills are helpful, but to really get that winning edge, you need to learn proper acceleration mechanics. (See also Five Methods to Maximize Acceleration.)

Here are some drills that use a simple progression of mastering one technique before advancing to the next.

Acceleration Wall Drills

These can be performed anywhere. All you need is a wall or an object to put your hands on.

Proper Body Position

  • Stand facing wall on balls of feet with heels slightly raised
  • Lean forward, extend arms and place them on wall slightly below shoulder level with palms flat
  • Lean forward, maintaining straight line from ears to ankles
  • Bring knee up and pull toes up to form good positive shin angle
  • Keep support leg straight
  • Tighten glute muscle of support leg; this is important, because you need to understand how to use your glutes during acceleration

Drill One: Slow Marching

The first drill practices changing legs, ensuring you understand the proper body position.

  • Assume proper body position with right knee up
  • Slowly switch legs by bringing right knee down and left knee up

Drill Two: Rapid Marching

Sets/Reps: 3x10 per leg

In this drill, assume the proper body position and change your legs as fast as possible. Remember to bring your knee up and not your body to your knee. This drill can be performed with a partner or alone. Perform on command of one, two or three.

  1. Bring right knee up, pause, return and bring left knee up
  2. Bring right knee up, return, bring left knee up, return and pause
  3. Bring right knee up, return, bring left knee up, return, and bring right knee up

After you have mastered this skill, play a game and change the order of commands 3, 1, 2 and the speed of the drill.

Drill Three: Continuous Marching

Perform the wall drills as fast as you can for ten seconds. Do three sets, remembering to maintain proper body position and technique.

Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

Foot speed drills are great ways to improve your speed and agility. This is because being able to move your feet quickly is critical to sprinting fast...

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

Reactive Agility: The Next Big Thing in Speed Training

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Step Counting: How Big Men Can Run a Faster 40

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

Get Faster With 3 Essential Speed Training Strategies

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

Increase Your Soccer Speed With 4 Sprint Drills

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

Pyramids: A Sprint Workout for the Strong

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Michael Johnson's Guide to a Faster 40

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

How Sammy Watkins Built His Game-Breaking Speed

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Sprint Speed

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

Soccer Players: Get Faster with the Montreal Impact Workout

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Make Quick and Powerful Cuts Like Adrian Peterson

2-Week Long-Distance Track Workout Training Plan

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash