[SPEED] Best Drills for Linear Speed
When I speak to athletes and ask them what area of training they consider most beneficial, nine times out of ten, they’ll say speed. And whether it’s a targeted drill to train their specific weaknesses or a more general drill that focuses on improving overall speed…
Linear speed progressions are key to becoming a more dynamic athlete.
And I emphasize the word progression because there are so many drills out there… It’s tough to know what drills out there are best for you. Plus, it’s easy to fall into the trap of repeating the same linear speed drills over and over again.
Eventually they lose their effectiveness.
As the athlete, you need to make sure you progress your linear speed drills to keep the body guessing.
So, with all of that said, I’m putting this post together to show you some of the best linear speed drills and go over how I progress them.
These speed drills are perfectly suited for an off-season training schedule. If you use these drills properly, by the time game time comes around you’ll be in the best possible position to showcase your athletic speed.
Drill 1 – Straight Leg Bounds
This exercise is crucial as it effectively mimics the touchdown phase when the foot strikes the ground all the way to the take-off phase on the backside.
When you work the motor pattern of your foot striking the ground combined with getting through hip hyperextension and exploding in the take-off… You have a great drill to work both top speed and acceleration.
Straight leg bounds is also a great training exercise as it works hip separation. When I say hip separation, I you’re teaching the body to flex one hip while the other is extending. This is a critical motor pattern in the sprint.
Drill 2 – Thigh Pop
The progression from straight leg bounds is the thigh pop drill.
You’ll notice this exercise is extremely similar to straight leg bounds. However, in this linear speed drill, you need to pay attention to popping the thigh and shin forward while keeping your back leg long.
The focus is on driving forward and popping that thigh forward. And by flexing in the hip, while staying long and not cycling in the backside, you will really work that hip separation I spoke of above.
Drill 3 – Alternating Bounds
The final progression in this series of linear speed drills is alternating bounds.
It differs from the previous drills as the focus is on stabbing the foot into the ground rather than pulling with the glute.
So, rather than just hanging your foot up there and then pulling it down, we’re actively stabbing our foot back to the ground. This elicits a positive shin angle.
This exercise is more geared towards the acceleration phase but also has great carry over on top speed as well.
Speed Drills Customized for You
I just shared a simple linear speed progression with you. If you’re looking to improve your top speed and acceleration I highly recommend you include these three linear drills in your training program.
To see how I introduce these powerful drills in MY programming, join my 14-week program by clicking the link below.
Inside, you’ll find a series of speed drills that will serve as medicine for the weak components of your sprint. Plus, you’ll find plyometrics to add more pop in your step, absolute strength training to improve your force production, and a bunch more.
Even better, the 14 Week Athletic Speed System is available for an unprecedented discount.
Sprint on over to the link below to grab your copy before the price jumps up: