When playing sport of virtually any kind, footwork is a vital component that can literally be the difference between success and failure.
As an athlete, you will no doubt want to perform to the absolute best of your abilities, which is why it’s so important that you take the time to focus on your explosive speed and your footwork.
By working on your explosive speed you will be able to run faster, while working on your agility training will help you with your footwork. It’s easy to sit here and talk about the importance of agility training, explosive speed, and footwork, but actually improving upon these things is where things get a little trickier.
If you want to be the best athlete, or even if you’re just wondering how to be a faster runner, working on footwork and explosive speed is essential, which is where we come into the mix. Below we’ll be looking at 5 secrets for faster feet and explosive speed.
Okay, this may sound far too obvious, but when it comes to explosive speed, sprinting is one of the best activities you can. Ironically, improving upon explosive speed will also make you a better sprinter, so you get the best of both worlds.
In terms of how to run faster, like anything, practice makes perfect which means that the more you sprint, the better at it you will become and the faster you will be.
Speed running and sprinting on a regular basis will help to condition your muscles for high intensity exercise, plus you will also activate more fast twitch muscle fibers as you do so, which are responsible for explosive speed and power.
Squats are one of, if not the most, functional exercise in existence and if you want to improve upon your foot speed and explosiveness, squats are an exercise you must be doing when training. Squatting is very beneficial because, as a compound exercise, it will recruit multiple muscle groups simultaneously as you perform it, so you will get more from the exercise. Instead of isolating just one muscle, you are instead working on several at once.
You can do barbell squats if you wish, though wall squats, bodyweight squats, dumbbell squats, sumo squats, Hindu squats, and other squat variations are still highly beneficial. As far as explosiveness goes, squats will again target your fast-twitch muscle fibers so your lower body muscles in your legs will help you to generate more explosive speed and power. This will make you a faster runner, a better jumper, and more besides.
Agility Ladder Training
Another very beneficial form of training for anybody looking for faster feet and more explosiveness, is agility training via an agility ladder.
Agility training is performed by NFL teams, professional sports teams, athletes, Cross Fitters, gymnasts, and many more besides.
The good thing about agility training is the fact that you can source agility ladders from numerous reputable companies for very affordable prices, so you can do it down at your local gym if you’d like, or simply set the ladder up in your back garden and do it on your grass in the sunny weather.
Agility ladder training is beneficial as it will work on your footwork, and of course your agility in general.
Not only that, but you’ll again improve upon explosiveness as the idea is to barely let your foot touch the ground between each ladder rung before you’re up and onto the next one.
You can do forwards drills, shuttle drills, side-to-side drills, bear crawls, and many more with agility training, so be sure to pick up an agility ladder if you are serious about improving upon your footwork and explosiveness.
Made to outmaneuver opponents on game day. The sports ladder was designed to help athletes improve their acceleration, lateral speed, and change of direction.
If you really want to run faster and have quicker feet, hill sprints are one of the best speed trainer exercises you could ever wish for.
With hill sprints, the idea is to basically sprint up hill as powerfully and as quickly as possible. Ideally you want an incline of between 15 and 30 degrees, though to be honest, any incline will be beneficial.
The basic science behind hill sprints is that, thanks to the short overload against there resistance, you will develop more strength and power in your legs which will enable you to run faster.
You can do hill sprints outdoors if you can find a suitable hill, or steps, or alternatively you can just set your treadmill at an incline and perform them on there. Hills prints are a form of high intensity interval training as you sprint for 5 – 10seconds before resting for 30 seconds and repeating for as many rounds as you can manage.
Finally, the last tip for anybody looking to run faster, have quicker feet, and build upon their explosive strength levels is resistance running.
With resistance running, the basic idea is that you run with some form of resistance upon you. This resistance could come in the form of a weighted vest, ankle weights, or a resistance belt.
A resistance belt can be attached to two athletes, or alternatively you can attach one end to the athlete, and another to some form of resistance and have the athlete run against the resistance provided.
Resistance running is absolutely fantastic for anybody looking to work on their balance, their explosive speed, their leg power, their jumping power, and their speed and quickness.
Basically, if you can run quickly with a heavy-ish weight attached to you or strapped to your back, ankle, body, or waist, when the resistance is removed, you should obviously be able to run even faster.
Many gyms have some form of resistance running apparatus, though as mentioned, if not, there are also plenty of pieces of kit you can purchase for use at home that will help with speed running and help you to run faster.