Improve Speed and Conditioning With These 4 Cone Drills

Skip the fancy equipment and build your speed, quickness and conditioning with four cone drills from STACK Expert Roger Lockridge.

You don't need fancy equipment to help you improve as an athlete. All you need is your body, space and cones. Yes, those annoying cones you see on the road signaling that road work and delays lie ahead. These cone drills can help you improve speed, conditioning, footwork and athletic performance. You will need no more than six cones for these drills, and you can get some from your local department of highways office if they're willing to give them out, or you can buy some plastic ones at your local sporting goods store.

3-Cone Drill

This is a classic football drill. You will need three cones set up 15 feet apart and in the form of a right angle.

  • Start at the bottom cone and sprint to the second cone.
  • Touch the ground and return to the first cone.
  • Touch the ground and sprint around the outside of the second cone, to the inside of the cone to the side. Make a turn around this cone, run around the outside of both this cone and the second cone.
  • Finish by sprinting past the first cone. In video game terms, you go up, down, up, around right, around and left, down.

Run for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time possible.

RELATED: University of Florida Volleyball 3-Cone Drill

4-Cone Drill

This one is a basketball drill. Set up four cones 12 to 15 feet apart, or if you're on a basketball court, set up one cone on each corner of the painted area and foul line.

  • Start at the back left cone.
  • Run to the front cone.
  • Sidestep to the cone on your right.
  • Back step to the cone behind you, and sidestep to the cone on your left, which is the cone you started at.
  • Go back the opposite way and sidestep to the cone on your right.
  • Sprint to the cone in front of you.
  • Sidestep to the cone on your left.
  • Backpedal to the cone behind you, which is where you started.

That is one round. Run this drill for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time possible.

RELATED: Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill

5-Cone Agility Drill

Now we use five cones. Set four cones up in the form of a diamond about and set the fifth cones in the middle. Each of the outer cones should be 10 feet away from the center.

  • Start at the middle cone with your left hand on it. Run to the right cone and touch it with your right hand.
  • Run back to the center and touch it.
  • Repeat this pattern with each cone at the bottom, to the left, and the top, in that order. When you touch the top cone, you're finished.

Run for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time.

RELATED: Get Faster With Advanced 4-Cone Drills

6-Cone Wide Receiver Drill

If you play WR, you already know this one. Set up six cones in diagonal angles 5 yards apart so that the first and last cones are 25 yards apart.

  • Start at the first cone and run around the outside of each cone as fast as possible without losing your balance or speed until you pass the last cone.

Run for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time.

RELATED: Cone Drills for Football Speed

Sample Program

One way to incorporate all four of these drills is to perform five of each with the goal of achieving the best time possible. Rest for one to two minutes between drills, depending on your level of fitness. That is 20 total rounds in anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, which would work as a great cardio program or off-season routine to help with footwork.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | BASKETBALL TRAINING | SPEED DRILLS | AGILITY TRAINING | SPEED TRAINING | AGILITY DRILLS | CONE DRILLS