Want to Run Faster? Slow Down First

Want to run faster? Learn how slowing down may actually be the key that unlocks a faster 40.

Whether you're trying to lower your 40-Yard Dash time or gain another step on the cornerbacks in your league, it's important to start your search for extra speed by developing the right mechanics. That's why V.A.S.T. Training's Sherman Armstrong slows his athletes down before unleashing them.

In the first week of speed camp, Armstrong focuses on drills in which athletes run very slowly to work on technique. In one of those drills, the Five-Yard Front-to-Back Sprint, athletes run forward and then backpedal between two cones placed five yards apart.

Athletes run through two sets at a very slow tempo, pausing at each cone so Armstrong can check their form. After the first two sets, they run two more at 50 to 75 percent of max speed with no pauses.

When you use this drill to develop your technique, have a coach make sure you're:

  • Squaring your shoulders and positioning them over your knees
  • Locking your elbows at a 90-degree angle
  • Keeping your knees over your ankles
  • Striking the ground with the balls of your feet under your hips

Start running at full speed only after you've mastered the technique at a very slow pace. While it may seem counterintuitive, slowing down often holds the key to speeding up.

Find more running drills in our Speed Training section.

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