4 Essential Drills to Increase Linear Speed

Improving linear speed is a critical aspect of athletic performance. Whether you’re a sprinter, soccer player, or football athlete, increasing your linear speed can significantly enhance your on-field performance. Here, we outline four essential drills designed to boost your linear speed by focusing on vertical force production, hip hyperextension, synchronization, and efficient stride mechanics.

1. Power Skips for Height


Power skips for height focus on vertical force production, crucial for reaching top speed by developing unilateral vertical force. This drill emphasizes driving the knee up forcefully, which is essential for improving top-speed mechanics.


  • Starting Position: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Movement: Skip forward, driving your knee up as high as possible and simultaneously pushing off the ground with the opposite foot.
  • Arm Action: Swing your arms in opposition to your legs, similar to a running motion.
  • Focus: Concentrate on achieving maximum height with each skip, ensuring that your knee drive is powerful and controlled.


  • Enhances vertical force production.
  • Improves knee drive mechanics, critical for top speed.
  • Strengthens the lower body, particularly the hip flexors and glutes.

By consistently incorporating power skips for height into your training, you’ll develop the explosive power necessary for rapid acceleration and maintaining high speeds.

2. Power Skips for Distance


Power skips for distance emphasize horizontal force production. This drill involves a pulling motion with the straight leg, enhancing hip hyperextension and efficiency during top speed mechanics, which is crucial for accelerating and maintaining speed.


  • Starting Position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Movement: Skip forward, focusing on covering as much ground as possible with each skip. Drive one knee up while extending the opposite leg behind to maximize distance.
  • Arm Action: Use a vigorous arm swing to aid in propulsion and balance.
  • Focus: Aim for long strides, ensuring that each skip propels you forward significantly while maintaining proper form.


  • Improves hip hyperextension and horizontal force production.
  • Enhances stride length and efficiency.
  • Develops the muscles responsible for forward propulsion, such as the hamstrings and glutes.

Incorporating power skips for distance into your training will help you achieve a more powerful and efficient stride, leading to improved acceleration and speed maintenance.

3. A Skip


The A Skip drill aims at synchronization and rhythm, focusing on the synchronization of thigh and hip movements to achieve proper hip hyperextension. It emphasizes a stabbing action into the ground for efficient stride mechanics.


  • Starting Position: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Movement: Skip forward while lifting one knee to hip height and then driving it down into the ground with a stabbing motion. Keep the opposite leg straight and swing your arms in coordination with your leg movements.
  • Arm Action: Maintain a rhythmic arm swing, moving in opposition to your legs.
  • Focus: Ensure that each step is deliberate and powerful, with a focus on driving the foot into the ground to create forceful push-offs.


  • Enhances synchronization of thigh and hip movements.
  • Improves rhythm and timing, essential for efficient running mechanics.
  • Develops the ability to generate force quickly and efficiently.

The A Skip drill is fundamental for athletes looking to refine their stride mechanics and improve overall running efficiency.

4. B Skip


The B Skip drill emphasizes a pulling motion instead of a stabbing action. It focuses on knee elevation and hamstring relaxation to optimize stride mechanics without creating a braking effect, crucial for both acceleration and top speed.


  • Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Movement: Skip forward, lifting one knee to hip height and then extending the leg forward before pulling it back down to the ground. The opposite leg remains straight during this motion.
  • Arm Action: Swing your arms in opposition to your legs, maintaining a relaxed and rhythmic motion.
  • Focus: Concentrate on a smooth and controlled pulling motion, ensuring that the knee rises high and the hamstring relaxes during the extension phase.


  • Optimizes stride mechanics by eliminating the braking effect.
  • Enhances knee lift and hamstring flexibility.
  • Improves the ability to maintain speed over longer distances.

The B Skip drill is essential for athletes aiming to fine-tune their stride mechanics and enhance their ability to accelerate and maintain top speeds efficiently.

Training Approach

Integration into Training

These drills are foundational in every speed session. They should be integrated into training routines with a focus on both volume and technique refinement. Consistent practice of these drills ensures that athletes develop optimal linear speed capabilities.

Volume and Technique Refinement

  • Warm-Up: Begin each session with a thorough warm-up that includes dynamic stretches and mobility exercises.
  • Drill Sequence: Perform each drill for a set distance or number of repetitions, focusing on proper form and technique.
  • Rest and Recovery: Allow adequate rest between sets to ensure full recovery and maintain the quality of each repetition.
  • Progression: Gradually increase the intensity and volume of each drill as athletes become more proficient.

By following this structured approach, athletes can effectively enhance both their speed and efficiency of movement, leading to improved performance on the field or track.


Incorporating these four essential drills—Power Skips for Height, Power Skips for Distance, A Skip, and B Skip—into your training regimen can significantly improve your linear speed. These drills focus on developing the key components of speed, including vertical and horizontal force production, synchronization, and efficient stride mechanics. By consistently practicing these drills with a focus on technique and progression, athletes can achieve their speed potential and gain a competitive edge in their respective sports.

For a more comprehensive training program and individualized coaching, consider working with a qualified sports performance coach who can tailor these drills to your specific needs and goals. Happy training!





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