How to Improve First Step Quickness & Acceleration
Athletes, you can earn yourself more speed, power and explosiveness, but running through agility ladders and cone drills won’t do the trick. Although those types of workouts help make you more athletic and improve hand/foot/eye coordination, you’ll have to take a more dialed in approach to develop true speed.
After reading this article and watching the 3-minute video you’ll be able to incorporate at least 3 effective drills that will improve your first step quickness and linear acceleration. We use these drills and many others with our athletes at JVH Performance coupled with progressive strength work and the results are incredible.
In this particular video the focus is to improve linear acceleration. The first drill is called a Wall Drill and can be progressed or regressed depending on the athletes sprint mechanics. The objective is to understand and execute the right body angle and linear acceleration sprint mechanics in order to produce maximum amount of force with the right firing patterns. Simply put, it’s a great way to ‘practice’ the most efficient technique during the acceleration phase of your sprint. Be sure that your foot contact is behind your hips BC you’ll produce the most force with a glute→hamstring firing pattern during this phase. If your foot contact is underneath or in front of your hips you will be slower due to improper firing patterns.
How to incorporate into your training | As part of your dynamic warm-up or directly after. 2-count Wall Drill- 3 sets x4-6 reps or until mechanics and/or speed fail.
The second drill requires a Prowler or heavy sled. You will basically mimic the same exact mechanics you did during the acceleration Wall Drill, but move a heavy load. Adding in the sled makes your muscles recruit your high threshold motor units or fast-twitch muscle fibers. That stimulus along with the right body angle and sprint mechanics will definitely improve your first step explosiveness.
How to incorporate into your training | Directly after your dynamic warm-up, 5 sets x 3-5 yards, full recovery between each set.
The last drill is called a Get-up & Go. It’s simple and requires zero equipment. As long as you understand the right body angle for acceleration you can’t really mess this one up. We’ll perform this drill from all different positions, but this one is specific to linear acceleration. Push yourself up as you simultaneously bring your knee and toe up then drive out for 5-10 yds.
How to incorporate into your training | As part of your dynamic warm-up or directly after, 5-8 reps with full recovery between reps.
Watch this 3-minute video with instruction on how to do each one
Add these to your training ASAP if you want to improve your explosiveness and first step quickness. Part two of our three part Speed Series will be on my YouTube channel by the end of the week. For videos like these and more subscribe to my channel!
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