Five Exercises That Improve Your Speed and Agility

woman doing agility exercise

Whether you’re an athlete, a weekend warrior, or a fitness expert, speed is equitable to power. When you have the speed, you are hard to beat. A football receiver uses speed to run down a pass. A basketball player needs it for a fast break. Baseball hitters need to run at full speed for a home run and tennis players need speed to return a serve. Is it any wonder that athletes who have the speed are often one of the greatest players in their respective sports?

Are people born with innate speed? Or, can they develop it over time? You can develop speed with enough practice and exercise. It is important to remember, though, these things when trying to improve one’s speed: flexibility, strength, skill development, and fast and short sprints. These four things will help your body adjust to the demands of speed training, so make sure to focus on these, too.

One technique to speed training is measuring your improvement. You can get a basic radar gun for this. It will measure how fast you can run. Think of it as the same radar guns the police use to see if you’re speeding. It will help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Lunges

This improves many areas of your body such as the core, legs, and hips. When you do the basic lunge, your position is like that of someone who is making a sprint. That is for the power position of the lunge. It’s important to have the proper body form when doing this exercise because it can hurt the lower part of your legs plus your knees. Before you advance to the other positions, make sure you’ve perfected the basic position. The advance positions are lateral and reverse.

Run Several Sprints in a Row

One way to improve your speed is to constantly practice. That means doing sprints across 10 to 50 years. The number of sprints you can do, and the distance for each sprint, will vary depending on your fitness level. Beginners can do 10 sprints of 10 yards with rest in-between. Those who have the speed and strength may do 10 sprints of 50 yards without rest. Make sure to rest only for a few seconds because too much rest will make your muscles unprepared for the longer sprint.

Do this regularly. If possible, do the sprints every day so your muscles are more prepared to go the distance when you actually need speed for your workout or sports. Add to the number of yards you will do once you’re ready for more.

woman running

Side Throws

You need to strengthen your core if you want to improve your speed. One way to make this happen is to do side throws. Basically, you have to stand with your side to the wall about three feet away. Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest with your arms extended. Throw the ball to the wall by bringing the ball across your body and rotating your torso. You have to catch the ball as it rebounds from the wall. Return to the starting position.

There is a possibility that you might injure your shoulder because of this. If you should suffer a shoulder or elbow injury, have it evaluated by a licensed physical therapist. A therapist will get you back on track as soon as possible.

Reactive Crossovers and Shuffles

You will need a partner for this exercise. The idea is your partner will tell you to change direction in an instant and without notice. This will not only be a physical activity, but a mental one, too. You’ll have to react instinctively the moment your partner asks you to change direction and movement. As with other exercises, there’s always a risk for injuries, so make sure you’re truly focused on doing it. Eliminate distractions, so you can focus on your partner’s instructions. This will help improve your footwork and mental agility.

Jump Rope

This is another amazing way to increase your speed. It exercises the legs so that they can react better when you need to increase your speed. Aside from the regular jump rope, you should also do a one-legged jump rope to strengthen your lower legs. Of course, do this only when you are confident about the physical strength of your body since doing anything one-legged may cause injuries.

But whatever exercise you decide to do to improve your speed, don’t forget warm-ups and cool down. These alone will prevent injuries from getting the best of you. There is nothing worse for your progress than getting sidelined by your injuries.

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