Speed training is necessary for an athlete that plays football to maximize performance on the gridiron come game day. The game of football is about speed. Football requires an athlete to be fast, agile, explosive, strong and can change direction.
Speed Training Tips To Improve Speed For Football
We have gotten feedback from many athletes who are struggling to improve their speed. Also, coaches have contacted us saying they are struggling to develop their athletes and get them the desired results. That is why we will share three speed training tips to improve your speed for football so that you can be educated on how to get faster.
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Speed Training Tip #1: Focus On Your Running Technique
A critical point when it comes to sprinting is “arm action.” You want to move your arms as fast as you move your feet. According to Olympic champion Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills, “Arms should be loosely held at right angles and driven back at the elbow as far as possible. On the swing back forwards, pump your hands to shoulder level.”
In other words, you want to drive your arms back and forward for momentum. You can implement the drill below to fix your technique if you swing your arms side to side. Remember to keep your shoulders and arms relaxed.
Here are 8 Important Tips For Proper Running Technique
- Good Posture With Head Up
- Keep Neck and Shoulders Relaxed
- Square Shoulders and Square Hips
- Bend Elbows at 90 Degrees
- Feet contacting the ground under your center of mass.
- Keep your feet under you while moving fast.
- Elevate your front knee high (“knee drive”) with every stride and straighten your back leg to deliver full power.
- As you pick up speed and momentum, begin lengthening your strides.
Speed Training Tip #2: Resistance Training Is Key
A study by “Frontiers in Physiology” proved resistance training enhances stride length.
There are a variety of drills you can do to increase your speed with resistance bands.
Below are two-speed training drills for football players that you can do to build speed and power.
Through these drills, you activate your fast twitch muscle fibers which generate speed and power.
Fast twitch muscles are essential for football players because they need fast, explosive power.
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Speed Training Drill #1: Resistance Band Sprints
Adding resistance bands with sprints will strengthen your hip flexor muscles, resulting in increased force production when you are sprinting without the resistance band. Resistance band sprints increase your lower body power. Focus on proper technique with your arms while doing this speed training drill.
Perform 5 Sprints x 10 yards with the resistance band. Followed by 5 Sprints x 20 yards without the resistance band.
Speed Training Drill #2: Wall Leg Drives
One of our favorite acceleration drills is wall drives. Make sure you are at a stable wall to place your hands on. Take a few steps back until your body reaches a 45-degree angle. Begin by driving your legs up in a place as fast as you can. Focus on driving your knees up at max effort. This speed training drill will increase your acceleration and give you outstanding results.
Perform 4 Wall Drives x 10 seconds
Speed Training Tip #3 Add Plyometrics To Your Workouts
Plyometric workout routines are all about utilizing a max amount of force in a short amount of time.
There are many plyometric exercises you can do to increase your speed.
Our favorite plyometric exercises are squat jumps, lunge jumps, single-leg bounds, and broad jumps.
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Being fast and explosive is vital for all football players. Plyometrics help football players reach max strength and increased speed. A plyometric workout routine is an excellent modification to sprinting and helps improve agility and deceleration.
Plyometric exercises increase lower body power and increase fast-twitch muscle fibers. This will result in a greater stride length when sprinting. Below are two plyometric exercises to increase speed for football players that you can do to build explosiveness and speed.
Speed Training Drill #1: Pogo Jumps to Sprint
When you perform the pogo jumps jump, be sure to keep your knees slightly bent. Explode off your toes, staying light on your feet. As soon as you land, quickly explode off the ground again (you want to spend as little time on the ground as possible). After 3-5 pogo jumps, explode into a 10-20 yard sprint.
Perform 3 x 5 (10-20) yard sprints.
Speed Training Drill #2: Lunge Jumps
Start in a lunge position and ensure your right knee is over your right ankle. Put your weight on your front foot and explode as high as possible. While in the air, change your lunge stance, so you land with the opposite foot forward. When you land, drop low into a lunge (back knee about 3” off the ground) and quickly drive off the front foot again. You want to get as much height as possible! The purpose of this drill is to land light on the ground and create vertical power.
Perform 3 x 10 reps (each leg)
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Use these speed training tips by adding these exercises to your training workouts.
Suppose you’re a serious football player looking to play at the next level. You can access our sports performance training programs, football drills, workouts, and the Gridiron Recruiting Center inside “The Gridiron Academy“ to help you with your football recruiting.
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