Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

STACK Expert George Kalantzis shows some simple linear speed drills and mechanics that all athletes can benefit from.

With the spring months approaching and the NFL Combine out of the way, athletes everywhere are getting ready for outdoor sports.

Good coaches and athletes understand that true speed stems from strong legs and good mechanics. The best lower-body exercises for creating speed will serve as a topic for another article, but today I want to show you some simple linear speed drills and mechanics that every athlete can benefit from.

Wall Drills

Wall drills are great for teaching proper posture and leg drive in the lean-forward position. While supported on a wall, athletes can learn what it feels like to drive their knees forward with force and extend properly through the hip.

March/Skip Drills

Once athletes have mastered the wall, they can move on to Marching and Skipping in place. These are great drills to reinforce proper posture and allow athletes to feel proper knee drive and hip extension while generating force into the ground.

Sled Drills

The last set of drills allows athletes to hone in on proper position and awareness while accelerating. You should be aware of your body position and proper mechanics.

Putting It All Together

Now that you've seen the basics, here's how something simple can be put into your training.

Movement Day 1

  • Load and Explode - 3x8/leg
  • High-Knee March - 3x10 yards
  • High-Knee Skip - 3x10 yards
  • High-Knee Skip to Sprint - 3x10 yards
  • 20-yard Sprints - 4

Movement Day 2

  • Prowler Sled March - 8x10 yards
  • Prowler Sled Drag - 4x10 yards
  • High-Knee March Hands Overhead - 3x10 yards
  • High-Knee Skip Hands Overhead - 3x10 yards

Quick Reminder

Although these drills will help you become a better athlete, you must practice sprinting if you want to get faster. Ensure that you have proper rest and recovery between sets, and strive for good quality sprints rather then quantity.

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