Explosive speed is an attribute that can elude even the most elite athletes. Although some players just seem to be born with speed, less genetically fortunate athletes can develop a more explosive first step with the right type of training. Whether you want to improve your agility or your explosiveness, you’ll want to try these exercises, demonstrated by Captain Brandon Godsey of the Ohio National Guard.
Sled Pulls are great for both soldiers and athletes who want an extra spark for that all-important first step. If a weight sled is available to you, perform this speed drill to quickly build lower-body power.
- Eliminate slack from sled cord
- Explosively drive legs into ground to accelerate
- Sprint as fast as possible
Sets/Reps: 10×15 yards with 30- to 60-second rest
Check out the video above.
Mini Hurdle Jumps
If you have access to mini hurdles, you can work through a number of drills to improve your quickness and agility. If you don’t own mini hurdles, you can perform the drill with any one-foot-high object.
- Keep feet together
- Explode powerfully over hurdle
- Land with soft knees in athletic position and jump again as quickly as possible
Sets/Reps: 3-5×30 seconds with 60-second rest
5-Cone Agility Drill
This is a proven classic for developing agility and achieving peak sprint performance. Have a friend or coach time you so you can measure your progress.
- Create square with four cones and place one cone in center
- Begin at middle cone and sprint to and from each outside cone
- Plant on outside leg and explosively change direction
Sets/Reps: 3x drill with 90-second rest
Lack the equipment for these exercises? Check out this bodyweight leg circuit in the video above for a solid workout you can perform at home.