Most athletes want a faster 40-Yard Dash, but few know how to train for it. Get faster this year by training with drills that train every aspect of your 40. The following three speed drills will help you sprint faster by improving your first step, acceleration and maximum speed.
How to Sprint Faster: 3 Essential Drills
Stride Length Drill
This drill develops your acceleration by training you to take the first few steps quicker. To perform the Stride Length Drill:
- Set up a six-inch hurdle beyond the start line at a distance approximately equal to the length of your foot
- Place another six-inch hurdle the length
The Falling Start
The Falling Start teaches you to take the first step explosively and align your body correctly. To perform Falling Starts:
- Face the course with your feet aligned one in front of the other
- Bend both knees slightly and push your hips back until you’re leaning forward. Allow your arms to hang down
- Raise your hips and allow yourself to fall forward
- When you fall forward, you’ll automatically take a step to catch yourself. This will be the first step of your sprint
Note: Don’t worry about running for distance; just focus on your first few steps.
WATCH: the Ohio State football team demonstrate Partner Falling Starts.
The Flying Sprint teaches you to run at maximum velocity. To make it interesting, have your partner time your sprint from the second to third cone. To perform this drill:
- Set up three cones in a straight line. Place the first cone at the starting line, the second cone at the 20-yard line and the third cone at the 60-yard line.
- Assume your starting position at the first cone.
- Accelerate to the second cone. When you pass this cone, you should be near your max velocity.
- Sprint at full speed for 40 yards to the third cone.
Note: Fully recover before each repetition, which equates to about three to five minutes between each sprint.
The Sprint Workout
To put all three drills together into an effective speed workout, spend three to five minutes with something like Jumping Rope, Heavy Ropes or kettlebell movements to get your heart rate up. Spend ten to fifteen minutes on mobility exercises and speed technique exercises, such as High Knees. After you finish your warm-up, organize the workout accordingly:
- Stride Length Drills: 3-5×1
- Falling Start: 3-5×20 yards
- Flying Sprint: 3-5×40 yards