I hear from coaches about speed on almost a daily basis—training requests like “I want my kids to shoot down the field and catch guys from behind,” “My kids need to be way faster for this league,” and “Our team needs to learn how to sprint with better form.”
Speed is so much fun to work with because you can dramatically improve it with some smart work.
There are two avenues for you to pick up speed: on-field speed (running, drills, sprints etc) and weight room speed. Which is better? Neither. You need both to become faster, but building weight room speed can lead to serious gains. Check out the video player above for a demonstration of the 5 exercises below.
The key factor for sprinting is the ability to drive a really strong force into the ground in a small amount of time. The bigger force you drive with your lower body, the more your entire body moves.
How do you develop that force?
RELATED: Develop Speed Without Leaving the Weight Room
1. Band Knee Pull
- Wrap a band around a pole or any stable anchor point.
- Get in push-up position and wrap the band around your shoelaces. Put some tension on the band.
- Drive your knee as fast as you can toward your chest, resisting the band.
- Hold it there for 2 seconds.
- Drive it back slowly.
- Hip flexor, anterior core, and knee drive.
- You will feel this work your whole body, especially your hips and abs.
- Great weight room speed.
- By training your muscles to drive your knee with your abs and hip flexor, you will train your body to add serious speed to your legs.
2. Forward Power Lunge
- Start with two dumbbells, one in each hand.
- Perform a slow Back Lunge.
- Using that same leg you sent back, drive it fast into a Forward Lunge.
- Simultaneously drive your hands up and clean the dumbbells up to your shoulders.
- Lower-body explosiveness, glutes and quads.
- Because you drive your knees forward fast, it’s a great way to train your glutes to be explosive. The faster the dumbbells and feet move, the better. How do you drive them faster? Power!
3. Heavy Sled Push to Sprint