Make Your Strength Work for You With Footwork Drills

May 25, 2014

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When we train our athletes at Ultimate Advantage Training, we prioritize strength and power. Our athletes crush it in the weight room, but that doesn't matter if they cannot transfer their strength to the field.

To transfer their weight room gains to the field or court, our athletes perform footwork drills that reinforce proper biomechanics and movement patterns, so they can put their new horsepower to use when sprinting, decelerating and changing directions.

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Many athletes and coaches make two serious mistakes with footwork drills.

  1. They overuse them, thinking they hold the key to getting faster (yes, your feet are moving fast, but you'll only improve your speed if you first improve your strength).
  2. They perform the drills for several minutes, thinking, "if I'm not sweating, then I'm not working hard."

We do our footwork drills for a few seconds and rest between sets three to five times longer than the drill—to ensure  we make real speed gains.

Below are a few of our favorite footwork drills.

RELATED: Reactive Agility—The Next Big Thing in Speed Training

Footwork Drills

Hurdle Shuffle

We do this drill quite frequently. You can go through it at any angle to improve movement patterns when moving in multiple directions.

How to:

  • Set up 20 to 25 6-inch hurdles in a straight, zigzag or circle pattern.
  • Shuffle through the course, spending as little time on the ground as possible.

Sets: 6-8

Shuffle and Sprint

This drill teaches you to transition from a lateral shuffle to a forward sprint by refining your hip and shoulder position.

How to:

  • Set up six hurdles in a straight line. Set up another six hurdles in a straight line, 5 yards in front of and parallel to the first line.
  • Stand next to the first hurdle group.
  • Shuffle laterally through the hurdles.
  • Once you clear the last hurdle, sprint forward 5 yards.
  • Shuffle laterally through the second group of hurdles.
  • Once you clear the last hurdle, sprint forward 10 yards.

Sets: 6-8

Quick-Step Drill

This speed box drill improves coordination and increases foot speed at a low height, which is critical for creating speed and movement.

How to:

  • Stand next to a six-inch box.
  • Hop onto the box with both feet.
  • Immediately hop off the box and land softly on the opposite side.
  • Continue hopping back and forth, achieving a quick rhythm.

Sets/Duration: 6-8x20-30 seconds.

Watch the video below to see one of our footwork drills in action.

RELATED: 4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Agility

Rick Scarpulla
- Rick Scarpulla is a highly sought-after strength, speed and conditioning coach who helps develop top high school, college and professional athletes and programs throughout North...
Rick Scarpulla
- Rick Scarpulla is a highly sought-after strength, speed and conditioning coach who helps develop top high school, college and professional athletes and programs throughout North...
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