Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

STACK Expert Miguel Aragoncillo shows you two linear drills and two transition drills that will improve your in-game speed.

Improve your speed by including these exercises in your sprint workout. They are good for beginners and youth athletes to reinforce their sprinting mechanics.

These drills teach athletes to put force into the ground, absorb force and quickly change directions. Excelling at decelerating and accelerating quickly is what gives advanced athletes an advantage over the average ones. Here are several drills to incorporate at the beginning of your training session to develop speed on the field or court.

RELATED: STACK Fitness Weekly: Interval Sprint Training

Linear Drills

15-Yard Sprint—2-Point Start

This is a great introductory drill for any athlete.

Key Points

  • Perform 3 to 6 times per side, alternating sides.
  • "Jump" out of the starting position to avoid pulling your front foot backward.
  • Look for arm swing; think "jaw to pocket" for your arm path.
  • For an external cue, think of pushing the ground away from you to move forward.

15-Yard Sprint—Side-Standing Start

This is another great introductory drill to help you transition from a lateral or side standing position to a linear movement.

Key Points

  • Perform 3 to 6 times per side, alternating sides.
  • Move with your eyes first, followed by your head. Remember: The head follows the body.
  • Avoid pulling your front foot backward for your first movement; instead, push off your back foot.
  • Stay low and stay at the same height to avoid losing force as you transition from a side-standing position to a forward sprint.

Transition Drills

5-Yard Shuttle into 10-Yard Sprint

This drill teaches you to transfer lateral movement into linear speed.

Key Points

  • Perform 3 to 6 times per side, alternating sides.
  • Stay low during your shuffle and avoid having your feet kick out from under you.
  • By keeping your feet within your center of gravity, you can improve your force production from lateral to linear movement.

5-Yard Backward Pedal into 10-15-Yard Sprint

This drill focuses on deceleration from a backward movement into a forward sprint.

Key Points

  • Perform 3 to 6 times per side, alternating "push-off" feet as you transition out of the backpedal.
  • Lean forward during your backpedal. This allows your movement to remain within your center of gravity, because if you stand up tall while moving backward, you'll fall back.
  • Focus on 3-step and 5-step backpedals to practice deceleration patterns and to make a decisive last step. This will allow you to plant your back foot and push off with zero turnaround to sprint forward.
Ready for more sprint training? Try this pyramid sprint workout.

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