3 Exercises To Improve Speed, Agility, And Quickness

If you play a field sport like Lacrosse, Football, or Soccer, you already know speed is the name of the game.

All things being equal, the athlete with the best speed and agility will be the most dominant athlete on the field.

Running is literally the one similarity between every single field sport like lacrosse, football, and soccer, so athletes should spend considerable time learning proper speed and agility techniques so they can maximize their technical talents.

Here are three exercises you can do to improve your speed, agility, and become a more dominant athlete on the field. 

 

Improve Your Agility

To improve agility, athletes need to be able improve how quickly they can change directions. To change directions quickly, you have to apply very high levels of breaking forces in a very short matter of time. To make a quick cut, you first have to de-celebrate and absorb force, and then turn that stored energy into force produced to get you out of that cut quickly. Nearly all high school athletes weak link is in their breaking (eccentric phase for science geeks), so this first exercise is designed to improve your breaks in a very specific fashion to your sport.

 

Shuffle To Fake MB Throw

 

What It Does

This exercise improves your lateral  and change of direction by improving how quickly you can decelerate.

 

How It Works

By applying the “fake throw”, you force your body to align itself well and create deceleration forces in a short time period.

 

How To Perform

·      Begin in an athletic position with a 4 to 6 pound medicine ball in your hands

·      Shuffle a few steps to either side, and “chop” across your body with the medicine ball very quickly as you come to a quick stop

·      Shuffle to the other side and repeat

 

Programming

·      3-4 sets of 3 reps each side

·      > 60 seconds rest between sets

·      Perform this exercise at the end of the warm-up or beginning of the workout

 

Improve Your Power

Now that you’ve established a great set of breaks to improve how quickly you can get in and out of your cuts, we can focus on getting your legs more powerful. This will further improve your agility AND your straight ahead speed (called linear acceleration). Aside from basic strength training like squats, split squats, and deadlifts, jumping variations are excellent ways to improve your lower body power in a way that will directly make you faster on the field.

 

Kettlebell Squat Jump

 

What It Does

Improves your speed, agility, and explosiveness by improving how much power your lower body can produce

 

How It Works

Jumping requires very quick, fast twitch contractions to produce a lot of force quickly. When we add the weight of the kettlebell, your legs are forced to produce more force in the same amount of time, which will improve your power.

 

How To Perform

 

- Begin with your feet shoulder width apart

   -  Grab a kettlebell between 15 and 25 pounds (depending on how strong you are) and hold it by the horns

  - Squat down, change directions as quickly as possible, and jump as high as you can

 -  Land soft and repeat, with a full reset between each rep

 

Programming

     3-4 sets of 4-6 reps

-     90 seconds to 2 minutes between each set

-      In the beginning of each workout

 

 

Improve Your Straight Line Speed

Acceleration is much more important than top end speed for field sport athletes. Over the course of a game, most athletes will need to accelerate over 5-20 yards many times, but they might only hit their top speed once or twice at most. Therefore, considerable time should be spent on improving your linear acceleration capabilities.

Loaded Sled Sprint

 

What It Does

Improves your speed on the field by improving both your sprinting technique and force production during sprinting. The sled forces you to get a proper body lean that is necessary for accelerating. This improves your direction of force application. The weight on the sled also increases how much force you impart with each stride, which improves your magnitude of force application. Improving your magnitude and direction of force application will increase how much ground you can cover with each stride, thus making your newfound ability to accelerate past a defender look almost effortless.

 

How It Works

The weight on the sled is impossible to pull without adopting a horizontal body angle. This angle ensures you strike the ground away from you to propel yourself forwards. The weight on the sled makes you create more force on every step, which helps you cover ground.

 

How To Perform

·      Load a sled with between 25% to 50% of your bodyweight and hook yourself up by the waist

·      Start in a 2 point stance with a little bit of tension on the rope

·      Sprint out 10-20 yards, focusing on striking down and away aggressively and long, powerful arm actions

 

Programming

·      Perform 3-8 sets of 10-20 yard sprints

·      Use rest periods of 90 seconds to 2 minutes

·      Perform at the beginning of the workout up to 2 times per week

 

If you want to be a better athlete, you should consider spending more time on your physical attributes such as speed, agility, power, and explosiveness. These three exercises that nearly everyone can do can help improve your speed and agility in only a matter of weeks.

If you want to ensure that the exercises are perfectly tailored to you, or just want an evaluation of where your speed and agility levels lie compared to your peers, you should consider signing up for a FREE PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT

 

 

Or, If You're Still Not Sure, But If You Have Some Questions About Performance Training And Want To See If It Is Right For You, You Can: