Complete Speed Workout Essentials

Speed Workout

Athletes know that speed workouts are necessary to get faster, but there's a lot more to these workouts than simply running. You need to teach your body to put more force into the ground.

The key to any successful speed workout is to increase power. The more powerful you are, the faster you can put force into the ground. Squatting 400 pounds won't cut it. You need to do every exercise explosively. (Learn how to increase power.)

Below is a blueprint for a one-hour speed and agility training session. This comprehensive workout will make you faster by increasing your power, making you a better overall athlete.

Perform the workout one or two times per week. Rest for one minute after each segment.

Dynamic Warm-Up

(8-10 minutes)

Instead of static stretching as a warm-up, perform athletic movements that activate your muscles and increase your range of motion.

  • Forward and Backward Runs (gradually increase speed)
  • High Knees
  • Butt Kicks
  • Forward and Backward Skips
  • Lateral Shuffle
  • Carioca


(8-10 minutes)

Once your muscles are warmed up, it's time to increase the intensity with exercises designed to develop explosive lower-body power.

  • Power Skips (maximum height)
  • Power Skips (maximum distance)
  • Lateral Skaters
  • Split-Squat Jumps
  • Squat Jumps
  • Ankle Hops
  • Broad Jumps


(8-10 minutes)

The next series of exercises emphasizes lower-body strength, balance, and core stability.

  • DB Walking Lunges (forward, backward, lateral)
  • Planks
  • Single-Leg Balance Drills


(8-10 minutes)

Agility drills should reflect the demands of the your sport and focus on acceleration, deceleration, change of direction and reaction. Agility drills can use cones, hurdles, and/or agility ladders. Perform each drill at max speed.


(8-10 minutes)

The final segment of this speed workout includes running drills that increase endurance.

  • Sprints (including Resisted and Assisted Sprints)
  • Interval Runs
  • Shuttle Runs


Brian Lebo Brian Lebo - Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping athletes improve...
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