Speedwork for fall sports

28 Aug

Footwork drills are a critical part of  training for American football and soccer players this time of year as high school and college athletes take to the field.

A great exercise I like to do with my clients is linear and lateral footwork. I typically set up cones, small hurdles or a speed ladder to run this exercise.

You don’t have to have any special equipment to try this out. Just mark out 12 consecutive squares in a straight line, about 1-by-1 foot each.

You’re ready to start. Here’s a drill to try out — the “Ali Shuffle”:

Line up perpendicular to the line of boxes. Depending on which way you are facing, place your inside foot in the first box.

You’re going to jump so that your inside foot lands forward outside the box as you bring your other foot inside. Without pausing, you’ll repeat this motion back and forth, switching feet to travel down the line of boxes as your feet move in and out.

Once you get the end you reverse the motion to travel back down the line of boxes to complete one set.

Repeat twice.

You’ll feel this exercise in your calves and quads. Make sure you move quickly and you should be able to increase your pace as you get accustomed to the exercise.

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