4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

STACK Expert John Cissik offers four drills to improve your foot speed and agility.

Foot speed drills are critical to improve your speed and agility. More nimble feet directly translate into faster sprints and smoother changes in direction.

Here are several drills, ranging from simple to complex, that will make your feet move faster.

Jumping Rope

Jump rope drills are one of the simplest tools to improve your foot speed, conditioning and athleticism. They are best done as part of your warm-up or conditioning session.

When used as the warm up, perform each exercise, one after the other, 10 to 20 times. You can repeat this several times.

  • Stand on your toes with a slight bend in your knees.
  • Keep your knees soft throughout.
  • Hop up and down over the rope. Use your ankles to produce the movement.
  • Alternate hops to the left and right.
  • Hop with your right foot forward and to your left, and your left foot backward and to the right. Alternate with left foot forward. Continue.

Miniature Hurdle Drill 1

Miniature hurdles are between 6 and 12 inches high. Here are two hurdle drills you can use to improve your foot speed.

  • Line up 6 to 10 hurdles spaced apart by twice the length of your foot. If your foot is 9 inches long, the hurdles should be 18 inches apart.
  • Face the hurdles.
  • Keep your knees soft.
  • Place your hands on your hips so you cannot use them.
  • Rise up onto your toes.
  • Using your ankles to produce the movement, hop over the hurdles. Once you are comfortable with the drill, time yourself doing it.

Miniature Hurdle Drill

  • Line up 6 to 10 hurdles with the first placed at a distance equal to the length of your foot. If you have a 9-inch foot, the first hurdle should be 9 inches in front of the start line.
  • Place the other hurdles so they are the following distance from each other: second hurdle, 150% of the length of your feet; third hurdle, 200% of the length of your feet; fourth hurdle, 250% of the length of your feet; etc.
  • Stand behind the start line and face the hurdles.
  • Sprint forward as fast as possible. As you sprint, place one foot in between each hurdle.

The hurdle drills are a great way to finish the warm-up. Do each two to three times.

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Fast-Leg Drill

The Fast-Leg Drill requires no equipment, but you must have correct sprinting technique. For this drill, you need a 20-yard course. There are several variations:

  1. Focus on one leg at a time. Step forward with your left leg. Dorsiflex your right ankle, bring your right foot up to your hip, swing the leg forward and drive your right foot down to the ground. Step forward with your left leg. Repeat the fast-leg motion with your right. After 20 yards, perform the fast-leg motion with your left leg.
  2. Perform the fast-leg motion every third step.
  3. Perform the fast-leg motion for 20 yards, alternating between legs.

Fast-Leg Drills should start with the beginning version. Once you are seriously comfortable with those, progress to the next level.

RELATED: Basic Speed Training Drills for Any Sport

Do these drills two to three times during a speed workout. Advanced athletes should perform the Fast-Leg Drill for 20 yards, then break into a sprint for 20 to 60 yards following.


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