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 have the ability to change direction.
I have gotten feedback from a lot of athletes who are having a tough time improving their speed. Also, coaches have contacted me saying they are struggling to develop their athletes and getting them the results they need. That is why I am going to share three-speed training tips to improve your speed for football so that you can be educated on how to really get faster.
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 you as move your feet. According to Olympic champion Usain Bolt 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. If you are swinging your arms side to side, you can implement the drill below to fix your technique. Remember to keep your shoulders and arms relaxed.
9 Proper Running Technique Tips
Here are 9 essential parts of proper running technique:
- Good, Tall Posture With Head Up
- Keep Neck and Shoulders Relaxed
- Square Shoulder and Square Hips
- Bend Elbows at 90 Degrees
- Feet contacting the ground under your center of mass. Keep your feet under you and move them quicker than you think you should.
- With every stride, elevate your front knee high (“knee drive”) and straighten your back leg fully to deliver full power.
- As you pick up speed and momentum, begin lengthening your strides.
A study was done by “Frontiers in Physiology” proving resistance training enhances stride length. There are a variety of drills you can do to increase your speed are resistance band sprints. Below are two-speed training drills for football players that you can do to build speed and power. Through these drills, you are activating your fast twitch muscle fibers which generate speed and power. Fast twitch muscles are extremely important for football players because they need fast explosive power.
Speed Training Drill #1: Resistance Band Sprints
When you add resistance bands with sprints, it will strengthen your hip flexor muscles which will result in increased force production when you are sprinting without the resistance band. Resistance band sprints increase your lower body power. Be sure to focus on proper technique with your arms while doing this speed training drill.
Perform 5 Sprints x 20 yards with the resistance band. Followed by 5 Sprints x 20 yards without the resistance band.
Speed Training Drill #2: Wall 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. Loop the resistance bands around your legs and start sprinting 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 great results.
Perform 4 Wall Drives x 10 seconds with the resistance band. Followed by 4 Wall Drives x 10 seconds without the resistance band.
Speed Training Tip #3
Be Sure To Add In Plyometrics
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. Some of our favorite plyometric exercises are squat jumps, lunge jumps, single leg bounds, and broad jumps to name a few.
Being fast and explosive is important for all football players. Plyometrics help football players reach max strength and increased speed. A plyometric workout routine is a great modification to sprinting and help 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: Bulgarian Split Squat Jump
When you perform the Bulgarian split squat jump, be sure to keep your knee of the front leg behind the front of your toes. Explode off your front leg and jump as high as you can. Land soft and under control. As soon as you land, quickly explode off the ground again (you want to spend as little time on the ground as possible).
Perform 3 x 10 reps (each leg)
Speed Training Drill #2: Lunge Jumps
Start off in a lunge position and make sure your right knee is over your right ankle. Put your weight on your front foot and explode off the ground as high as you can. 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 about landing light on the ground and create vertical power.
Perform 3 x 10 reps (each leg)
Don’t forget to warm-up before any speed training and take the time to stretch after your workout.
If you are serious and want to improve your speed for football, grab your step-by-step blueprint with the "Flash Speed Program" guaranteed to drop your 40 yard dash time.
To learn more about the program, simply click the Flash Speed Program link above.