- 10 Best Speed and Agility Cone Drills
- 3 Cone / L-Drill
- Pro Agility Shuttle
- Cone Alley v.1
- Cone Alley v.3
- 6 Exercises to Improve Agility
- 6 Agility Exercises to Try
- Hurdle Drills
- Agility Balls
- Balloon Drills
- Cone Drills
- Medicine Ball Drills
- Improve Speed and Conditioning With These 4 Cone Drills
- 3-Cone Drill
- 4-Cone Drill
- 5-Cone Agility Drill
- 6-Cone Wide Receiver Drill
- Sample Program
- Fast Footwork Cone Drill
- Conditioning Drills: Fast Footwork Cone Drill
- 8 Drills For Building NFL-Style Speed and Explosiveness
- 1. Circle-Around-The-Cone Drill
- 2. Fast Feet Drill
- 3. High-To-Low Drill
- 4. Speed Ladder Change-Of-Direction Drill
- 6. Single-Leg Hops
- 7. Single-Leg Swiss Ball Squats
- 8. Single-Leg Band Jumps
- 3 Cone Drill | NFL Combine Test | Football Player
- Improve NFL Combine Testing Times | Running Fast
- Agility Cone Drills That’ll Skyrocket Your Speed (and Calorie Burn)
- 4 Drills That Will Improve Your Agility
10 Best Speed and Agility Cone Drills
Speed and agility training drills are designed to work all your leg and core muscles, as well as the tendons in your body. It is important to train at a level that is equal to your game intensity to help increase your performance and to minimize injury. Cone drills build leg strength and explosion on their one, but it is your intensity and rep scheme that will change the workload.
These are the 10 Cone Drills we will break down:
- 123 Back
- Pro Agility Shuttle
- Run Shuffle Run
- Cone Alley V1
- Cone Alley V2
- Cone Alley V3
- Staggered Shuttle
- Run Shuffle Shuffle Run
The X-Drill works multiple sports postures; change of direction, change of footwork and change of angle.
This is a reaction drill that you can do with a training partner or coach. The goal is to react with speed and sprint to the correct cone. You have to think and accelerate, this is a great way to simulate the defensive aspect of sports. The video shows how to set up the drill and how to perform it.
3 Cone / L-Drill
The 3 Cone or “L-Drill” is one of the most popular combine drills used to measure speed and agility. This drill requires multiple changes of direction in a small space. For more info, check our blog on the in depth instructions on this drill here.
Pro Agility Shuttle
Also known as the 5-10-5, this is the most popular combine drill used to measure quickness and agility. This drill requires 3 cones, with a series of complete changes of direction. See our in-depth technique training on this drill here
The ability to transition in and out of a lateral shuffle is very important in sports like baseball, tennis, basketball and football. This drill works on getting in and out of this position with speed.
Cone Alley v.1
There are three versions of cone alley, all with the same cone set up. The first version works on getting in and out of the backpedal with a slight angle.
Version 2 of cone alley adds a hip rotation by cutting in and out of a cross over. All three versions of Cone Alley work great with the OverSpeed Trainer 360 for added training.
Cone Alley v.3
Version 3 of cone alley adds a lateral shuffle to a spring and crossover run. This is a highly dynamic drill for all sports.
The staggered shuttle is an abbreviated version of the pro agility shuttle. This is a quick change of direction that forces you to get your footwork set into a powerful position.
A shorter version of Run-Shuffle-Run, you are working on changing direction with a lateral shuffle. This is another great drill for defensive players and has added training effectiveness when used with the OverSpeed 360 Training Cable.
Speed agility training should be a combination of exercises that boost explosive velocity, agility, coordination and cardiovascular endurance.
The training moves in this program will make a faster, stronger, and all around more robust athlete. These speed drills are largely plyometric exercises that not only decrease reaction time, but also build stability in ankles, knees, and hip joints to help avoid common sports injuries.
These exercises for quicker feet are excellent for any sport, but especially beneficial for those who play soccer, football, rugby, volleyball and basketball. Any athlete who must move quickly and do frequent direction changes on the court or field will benefit immensely from regularly doing programs like this one.
Do this routine while wearing a weighted vest for a more intense challenge and a significant improvement in performance.
How to do this plan
Start with 15 minutes of cardio to warm the muscles and help prevent injury and strains. Do each exercise for the set number of repetitions, making sure to repeat the exercise on both sides of the body when necessary. Do the entire workout 2 to 3 times through before stretching thoroughly.
15 Single Leg Lateral Hops (on each leg)
15 Squat Jumps
15 Single Leg Ventral Hops (on each leg)
15 Lateral Jumps
15 Jumping Lunges (alternating)
15 Agility Dots (each leg)
15 Mountain Climbers
Cool Down & Stretch
Do this sports training workout 2-3 times through three times a week, starting a few months before the season if possible.
Always stretch thoroughly after exercising to prevent injuries and strains; this is especially true for athletes who use a wide range of motions in a vast number of dynamic and sporadic situations.
6 Exercises to Improve Agility
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, weekend warrior or grandfather-in-training, agility exercises should be an important part of your workout routine. Agility is the ability to move quickly and change direction with ease. This describes both physical and mental agility. As we age, or just become complacent in our daily routines, both our mental and physical agility suffers. Here are six exercises that you can do to be quick on your toes and sharp as a tack. Be sure to check out all the benefits of agility training.
6 Agility Exercises to Try
Using an agility ladder, select a method of moving through the ladder. For example, you might start with a high-knee march forward through each box, and then progress to a lateral scissor if you’re more advanced. To target your upper body, move through the ladder with your hands while maintaining a push-up position. Once you have this move mastered, speed it up and recite the words to your favorite song, the alphabet or the pledge of allegiance as you move through the ladder. It might seem simple, but this move will get your heart rate up and your brain working.
Using either 6- or 12-inch hurdles (these can be cones, yoga blocks or whatever you have on hand), set five to 10 hurdles up in a row, parallel to each other. Moving laterally, start by going over the first hurdle with a high step and pausing in a stork stance before moving back to the starting position. Then move over the first two hurdles, pause and go back to the start. Continue this until all five to 10 hurdles have been traveled (1, 1 2, 1 2 3, 1 2 3 4, etc.). Count your hurdles out loud (both ascending and descending numbers) and remember to pause on one leg before moving back to the beginning. Also, don’t forget to switch directions. When you become more advanced, speed up the hurdle steps and take out the pause.
Using small agility balls, bounce them either to a partner or against a wall if you’re working out solo. Because the agility ball shape will send the bounce in varying directions, use a safe space where you won’t run into anything or anyone. Practice catching the ball with two hands, then with your dominant hand only, and lastly, progress to catching it with your non-dominant hand. Hand-eye coordination activities help increase mental stimulation and chasing this tiny tool around is great for the heart and legs. I dare you to not smile while doing this one!
Using two different colored balloons, pick an order in which you will contact them (e.g., yellow then blue). Either alone or with a partner, hit the balloons in their selected order while keeping them in the air. For more of a challenge, perform one bodyweight squat in between each balloon contact, and then hit the next balloon. If you’re really feeling frisky, try doing a burpee in between each balloon contact. Remember, hit the balloons in the same order and don’t let them touch the ground. This is a great drill to do with your children or grandchildren; for added fun, increase the number and color of balloons.
Set seven cones up in the pattern shown. Using the letters M, N, I, T, Y, select an order in which you will create those letters with your pattern of moving through the cones. Touch each cone that creates the letter as you move through each pattern at a pace that is appropriate to you. Depending on your fitness level, you may choose to walk, skip, jog, sprint or shuffle. After you have completed each letter with your movement pattern, change the order of the letters and try it again. For an increased cardiovascular challenge, try facing the same direction as you create each letter and move the cones farther apart. If you’re working with a partner and like a little competition, time yourselves going through the pattern, or trade off turns for each letter.
Medicine Ball Drills
Using a moderately sized medicine ball (a weight that is appropriately sized for your fitness level), stand facing a concrete (or otherwise stable) wall about 2 to 5 feet away, depending on the length of your arms. Throw the medicine ball in a chest pass toward the wall as you move laterally 10 to 20 feet. Reverse directions and move laterally back to the starting position as you do the medicine ball chest passes against the wall. Make sure to do one chest pass for each sideways step. For added difficulty, move quickly in a shuffle and squat down to an athletic stance. Quickly change direction at the end and return to the starting position. Keeping your feet from crossing each other as you concentrate on catching an object will increase your cognitive activity as well as improve your cardiovascular health.
Improve Speed and Conditioning With These 4 Cone Drills
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You don’t need fancy equipment to help you improve as an athlete. All you need is your body, space and cones. Yes, those annoying cones you see on the road signaling that road work and delays lie ahead. These cone drills can help you improve speed, conditioning, footwork and athletic performance. You will need no more than six cones for these drills, and you can get some from your local department of highways office if they’re willing to give them out, or you can buy some plastic ones at your local sporting goods store.
This is a classic football drill. You will need three cones set up 15 feet apart and in the form of a right angle.
- Start at the bottom cone and sprint to the second cone.
- Touch the ground and return to the first cone.
- Touch the ground and sprint around the outside of the second cone, to the inside of the cone to the side. Make a turn around this cone, run around the outside of both this cone and the second cone.
- Finish by sprinting past the first cone. In video game terms, you go up, down, up, around right, around and left, down.
Run for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time possible.
RELATED: University of Florida Volleyball 3-Cone Drill
This one is a basketball drill. Set up four cones 12 to 15 feet apart, or if you’re on a basketball court, set up one cone on each corner of the painted area and foul line.
- Start at the back left cone.
- Run to the front cone.
- Sidestep to the cone on your right.
- Back step to the cone behind you, and sidestep to the cone on your left, which is the cone you started at.
- Go back the opposite way and sidestep to the cone on your right.
- Sprint to the cone in front of you.
- Sidestep to the cone on your left.
- Backpedal to the cone behind you, which is where you started.
That is one round. Run this drill for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time possible.
RELATED: Kevin Love’s Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill
5-Cone Agility Drill
Now we use five cones. Set four cones up in the form of a diamond about and set the fifth cones in the middle. Each of the outer cones should be 10 feet away from the center.
- Start at the middle cone with your left hand on it. Run to the right cone and touch it with your right hand.
- Run back to the center and touch it.
- Repeat this pattern with each cone at the bottom, to the left, and the top, in that order. When you touch the top cone, you’re finished.
Run for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time.
RELATED: Get Faster With Advanced 4-Cone Drills
6-Cone Wide Receiver Drill
If you play WR, you already know this one. Set up six cones in diagonal angles 5 yards apart so that the first and last cones are 25 yards apart.
- Start at the first cone and run around the outside of each cone as fast as possible without losing your balance or speed until you pass the last cone.
Run for time and repeat for the desired number of rounds for the best time.
RELATED: Cone Drills for Football Speed
One way to incorporate all four of these drills is to perform five of each with the goal of achieving the best time possible. Rest for one to two minutes between drills, depending on your level of fitness. That is 20 total rounds in anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, which would work as a great cardio program or off-season routine to help with footwork.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock
Fast Footwork Cone Drill
Conditioning Drills: Fast Footwork Cone Drill
Athletes interested in building speed and lateral quickness will benefit from conditioning drills that drive the hip flexors and demand rapid direction changes. Agility starts in the core, but core strength alone can only take an athlete so far. Without fast feet and honed reflexes, athletes may have trouble executing the light-speed direction changes that support performance on the field.
To develop footwork and mental as well as physical agility, athletes can pair the resistance training benefits of the Kbands with cone drills like the one demonstrated in the video below. Both coaches and athletes can observe the video and follow along with the Kbands trainers as they take the viewer through a two person drill designed to condition the body for rapid changes and challenging footwork.
Conditioning Drills: Equipment and Set Up
Before beginning the drill, partners should determine who will call out the direction changes and who will execute the drill. The athlete running the cones will need to attach the Kbands resistance bands securely around the upper legs with the label facing forward and the metal rings on the outside. Once the straps are in place, the athlete can clip the resistance bands to the metal rings with the longer band in the front and the shorter band attached to the rings in the back.
Meanwhile, the athlete in the direction-calling position can lay three orange training cones down in a line about five to six yards apart. (Both the cones and the Kbands resistance bands can be purchased through the website at Kbands Training.com).
Conditioning Drill: Resisted Footwork Sets
When the bands are in place and the cones have been laid down, the first athlete will begin the drill by standing just behind the center cone. This will be called cone number 2. The cone to the athlete’s right will be called number one, and the cone to the left will be called number three. When the starting signal is given, the athlete will begin to backpedal, or sprint in a straight line directly backwards away from the cone.
The other athlete (the “coach”), will allow the runner to backpedal for a distance between five and twenty yards, and then will call out and point to any of the three cones. As soon as the coach calls out a cone, the runner will sprint for that cone, reach the destination and then backpedal directly away from that cone at top speed. After the runner covers a sufficient distance away from the cone, the coach will call out another number and send the runner sprinting toward the new destination.
As the two partners complete this footwork drill, the coach should be sure to allow the runner to back up fully before calling out a new direction, and runner should stay alert to directions and make the changes while staying in control of body position, balance, and technique. During the backpedal, the eyes should stay up and the chest should stay open and full, not closed.
The knees will also play an important role in the success of these footwork drills. As the Kbands place resistance on the runner’s range of motion, the knees will tend to stay closer to the ground and the width of each stride will naturally narrow down. To gain maximum benefits from both the Kbands and the drill, the runner will need to work hard against this resistance, which means lifting and driving the knees and keeping the stride width wide and the range of motion complete during the sprint. If the resisted drills are being executed properly, the athlete should feel strong pressure in the hips and core after each round.
It’s also important to keep these conditioning drill sets short. Each session should last no longer than 15 seconds, since these conditioning drills are designed to develop fast feet and agility more than endurance. Runners should be moving at top speed during the entire 15 second period, so if speed begins to flag, the knees begin to drop, or the chest begins to close off during the backpedal, the drill has probably gone on too long. Athletes should stop at fifteen seconds and rest for a period of a minute to a minute and a half before launching into the next set.
Conditioning Drills: Unresisted Footwork Sets
After completing two to four footwork drills with the resistance bands in place, runners can unclip the bands and secure them to the metal rings to keep them out of the way during the next unresisted set. The unresisted drill will be completed exactly the same way, and for the same length of time as the resisted conditioning drills. But runners will experience the drills in a new way and will have to maintain technique, focus, and speed while dealing with the neurological changes that occur after the resistance bands are removed. The body will feel unnaturally light for a period of two or three minutes, and during this time, athletes will need to work to drive the knees and keep the limbs under control without slowing down.
Conditioning Drills: Final Notes
Conditioning drills and cone drills like these target agility and should be incorporated into any training program designed to generate fast feet and body control during rapid direction changes. For best results, athletes and coaches should vary this drill with a long list of alternative cone drills available on the Kbands Training.com website.
Varying a footwork training program can keep the reflexes sharp and can keep athletes motivated and focused on the unique demands of each individual drill. Meanwhile, adding and removing the resistance of the Kbands can train the body to stay balanced and centered as the hip flexors increase in strength and tone. Visit Kbands Training.com for more training resources and additional information about the Kbands, KB Powerbands, and KB Duo Suspension training system. Versatile training tools like these can be set up anywhere and can help both athletes and coaches take their agility and performance goals to the next level.
8 Drills For Building NFL-Style Speed and Explosiveness
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Perhaps this fact is no more apparent than in football. A football field is only 100 yards long and 53.33 yards wide. The faster a player can navigate that space, the more dangerous he will be.
One player who knows the importance of speed? Treston Decoud. The former Oregon State cornerback was recently drafted by the Houston Texans thanks to his combination of size, speed and athleticism. “Speed is everything—speed kills. That’s what a lot of NFL coaches, college coaches, high school coaches look for,” Decoud told STACK.
Decoud hones his speed under the guidance of speed and conditioning coach J.J. McCleskey, a former cornerback who played six seasons in the NFL and is now director of training movements at ME Sports in Madisonville, Louisiana. McCleskey firmly believes efficiency and explosiveness are two pillars of speed. “Speed is everything in the National Football League, but being able to be efficient with your speed. In and out of cuts, those transitional parts. Everyone talks about running the 40, but you never run a 40 in football. Being able to start and stop and be violent coming out of your transitions is important,” McCleskey says.
McCleskey also knows that an athlete can never reach his full speed potential if one leg is stronger or more powerful than the other. That’s why he emphasizes single-leg training during his workouts. “We’re trying to get both legs even. Most people’s right leg is stronger than their left leg. So we really want to concentrate on single-leg movements. You play football, you play other sports, on one leg,” McCleskey says. “Speed is measured by how much force you put into the ground. If I’m running and my right leg is stronger, I’m decelerating because my left leg isn’t putting the same force into the ground. Just getting that left leg stronger will get you considerably faster.”
To build NFL-level speed and explosiveness, integrate these drills from McCleskey into your training.
1. Circle-Around-The-Cone Drill
This drill is about body control and the critical transition that occurs between short-area footwork and sprinting.
The setup here is simple—all you need is one cone right next to you and a pair of cones about 5 to 8 yards downfield as your finish line.
Begin on either the left or right side of the cone. To start, shuffle in front of the cone before backpedaling behind it. Move as quickly as possible while maintaining good form. Once you’re around the cone, burst forward and accelerate through the finish line.
- Stay tight to the cone as you circle it.
- Keep your feet inside the frame of your body.
- Try to avoid taking any false steps.
- Keep your shoulders square as you circle the cone.
Sets/Reps: 6 total reps (3 moving left around the cone, 3 moving right around the cone)
2. Fast Feet Drill
This drill focuses on teaching your feet to move quickly in tight areas. Performed correctly, the drill improves your balance, footwork and acceleration mechanics.
Set up one cone at the beginning of the drill. Five yards in front of that cone, set up a pair of cones side-by-side and staggered just a bit to the right of the first cone. Five yards in front of those cones, set up a pair of cones as your finish line.
Begin on either the left or right side of the first cone. Circle around that cone as fast as possible while keeping your shoulders square (just like the Circle-Around-the-Cone Drill) before accelerating to the pair of cones in front of you. Transition to a backpedal between that pair of cones before accelerating through the finish line.
- Stay tight to the cones.
- Sprint in a straight line between the cones.
- Sprint 3 yards past the last cone.
Sets/Reps: 6 total reps (3 starting on the left of the first cone, 3 starting on the right of the first cone)
3. High-To-Low Drill
This drill focuses on the transition from a sprint to a backpedal (and vice versa).
Arrange four cones in a straight line, about 2 feet apart. Five yards beyond the final cone in the line, set up a pair of cones as your finish line.
Begin about 8-10 yards back from the first cone. Skip into the drill, emphasizing arm action and high knees. Once you hit the first cone, lower your center of gravity and run to—but not past—the fourth cone. At the fourth cone, switch to a backpedal. Run backward to all the way to the first cone. Then sprint to the third cone. When you reach it, backpedal to the first cone. Repeat the pattern for the second cone, then sprint from the first cone through to the finish line.
- Skip into the cone setup.
- Keep your hips square to the finish through the entire drill.
- Keep your chin over your toes during the backpedal.
- Backpedal and transition at each cone in the set-up.
Sets/Reps: 3-5 total reps
4. Speed Ladder Change-Of-Direction Drill
This drill helps you develop faster feet and the ability to turn and run on a dime.
Lay down a speed ladder in an open area. Eight to 10 yards beyond the end of the speed ladder, set up a pair of cones as your finish line.
Starting at the beginning of the speed ladder, either backpedal or move laterally through the ladder. No matter the variation, follow the same pattern—two feet in, two feet out. Once you complete the final rung of the ladder, turn and accelerate through the finish line.
- Walk through the drill first, then perform as fast as possible.
- Go through the ladder both laterally and backwards.
- Stay tight to the ladder and keep your hips low.
- Turn and explode into the sprint at the end of the drill.
Sets/Reps: 4-5 reps of each variation (backwards, laterally to the left, laterally to the right)
5. Left-To-Right Jumps
This drill focuses on single-leg explosiveness and balance.
Using nine mini-hurdles, mimic the set-up shown above. Make sure the hurdles create 90-degree angles with one another.
Start in front of the first mini-hurdle standing on one leg. Hop over the first hurdle, then immediately hop over the hurdle to your right. Hop back over that same hurdle to get back in the middle of the drill, then immediately hop over the next hurdle in front of you. Follow this pattern until you clear the last hurdle, then burst through the finish line. Hop on only one leg throughout the drill, then repeat the sequence with your opposite leg.
- Stay balanced with your chin over your toes.
- Be quick off the ground.
- Explode into a sprint at the end of the drill.
Sets/Reps: 6 total reps (3 on each leg)
6. Single-Leg Hops
This drill focuses on rapid turnover and teaches you to produce a tremendous amount of ground force through your foot.
Arrange eight mini-hurdles in a straight line. Allow roughly a yard of space between each mini-hurdle, though this number can be adjusted based on your size and skill level (hurdles that are closer together will be slightly easier).
Start in front of the first mini-hurdle, standing on either your right or left leg. Hop over each hurdle, emphasizing quickness off the ground and explosive arm action. Once you clear the last hurdle, burst into a 10-yard sprint.
- Focus on rapid turnover and quickness off the ground.
- Explode in the sprint as you clear the final hurdle.
- Allow for full recovery between sets.
Sets/Reps: 3 sets on each leg
7. Single-Leg Swiss Ball Squats
This drill focuses on single-leg strength and stability. If one of your legs is weaker than the other, your sprint speed will be seriously hamstrung (no pun intended).
Grab a Swiss ball and find an open spot on a flat piece of wall. Put the Swiss ball against the middle of your back. Pressing against the Swiss ball and standing on either your right or left leg, lower yourself into a Single-Leg Squat. Once you master the movement, add light dumbbells.
- Keep your back flat against the ball.
- Squat until your thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Begin with no weight and progress from there.
Sets/Reps: 5×8 on each leg (superset with Single-Leg Jumps)
8. Single-Leg Band Jumps
This exercise helps you learn how to generate an awesome amount of single-leg power and explosiveness with the help of an exercise band.
Find a sturdy beam or pull-up bar that gives you plenty of clearance for jumping. Loop an exercise band around it and pull the slack through. This should create a “handle” for you to put your elbows inside as you hold the band.
Loop the band around your elbows and grab hold of it with both hands. Assume a single-leg position. Lower yourself into a Single-Leg Squat (also known as a “Pistol Squat”) before launching yourself off the ground and into the air.
- Squat down slightly past parallel.
- Keep the weight on your heel as you lower.
- Explode upward and land softly.
Sets/Reps: 3×3-10 on each leg
The 4-cone box drill combines running, shuffling and backpedaling to help maximize your movement.
To start this drill, place four cones about five yards apart from each other to form the shape of a box.
Start at any cone and run toward an adjacent cone, following the shape of the box. When you reach the second cone, plant your outside foot and side shuffle to the third cone. Upon reaching the third cone, again plant your outside foot and backpedal toward the fourth cone. Finally, with an athletic turn or pivot, sprint past the original starting cone to complete the drill.
Your focus should be on staying low and balanced through each movement. Work on quick, smooth transitions as you change directions and as you transition from running to shuffling, to backpedaling and back to running.
Complete the drill in both directions around the box. Time yourself or have a coach time you when completing this drill. Strive to bring your time down as you improve your athleticism.
The 4-cone box drill can help you to master all the moves made on the football field.
3 Cone Drill | NFL Combine Test | Football Player
Improve NFL Combine Testing Times | Running Fast
The 3 Cone Drill is used every year to test football players at the NFL Combine. Players who come to the NFL Combine out of shape and have slow times find themselves lower on the draft sheets. It is important when football players train to be better athletes that they work to decrease their times in every football drill offered at the Combine. Football players athleticism is tested by their times, not just their season stats. The 3 Cone Drill is great for testing agility and explosiveness out of the three-point stance. Watch the video below, and learn the techniques that can help lower your 3 Cone Drill times.
Training to Run | 3 Cone Drill | Cone Position
The 3 Cone Drill is easy to set up. Football players must grab 3 cones. Set the first cone down and walk in a straight line for 5 yards to set the second cone down. Now the football player must take a 90° turn to the right or left and place the third cone 5 yards from the 2nd cone. If the football player is standing at the first cone he should see the cones in the shape of an L. It is important that football players train with the third cone on both the right and left sides. Working only one direction will hinder the bodies opposite muscle groups from gaining the same training benefits. Complete reps on both sides to make an overall better trained football athlete.
Now that the cones are set up, it’s time to talk about the football player’s path. When the football player is ready to begin, he must start in the three-point stance. The football player should place his hand even with cone 1. The timekeeper will start the clock on the football player’s first movement. The football player must remember that he cannot move until he is ready to explode and move quickly through the drill. The football player’s first step should be to gain ground. If the football player’s right arm is on the ground and his left leg leads his right, his first movement should be a weight shift to the left foot with a first step to the right. This enables the football player to gain ground on his first step rather than staying in the same position and wasting time with an unnecessary weight shift or step.
Technique Is Key
The football player has now left the starting three-point stance. The football player must remember to begin the drill on the far side of cone 1. This means that all 3 cones will be in between the football player and cone 3. As the football player leaves the three-point stance he will approach cone 2. At cone 2 the football player will keep his weight centered, touch the imaginary line out from the cone and head back to cone 1. The football player will again touch the imaginary line by the cone and head back towards cone 2. As the football player approaches cone 2, for the 2nd time, he will hug the corner and immediately accelerate to cone 3.
At this position the football player must get low and maintain his center of balance while exploding around cone 3 and head back towards cone 2. It is important for each football player, when training to run faster, to stay as close to the cones as possible. Maintaining a low center of gravity, while keeping the feet underneath the football player’s center of balance will help athletes accelerate through the drill. When the football player rounds cone 2 he must accelerate through cone 1. A good rule of thumb for all football players to remember is to run 2 to 3 yards past the ending cone. This will decrease the chance of slower times when pulling up at the end of the drill and finishing all the way through.
Running Faster | Agility Technique
When football players are working to decrease their times in the 3 Cone Drill it is important to work on body position at the turns. During the first two turns the athlete is combining a forward sprint with a lateral turn. Notice in the video above that the football player touches the cone with the same hand as the lead foot. Football player’s
times will be slower if they move past the cone and touch with their trailing arm. Let’s say cone 3 is to the left of cone 1 at the starting position. The football player will leave the three-point stance from cone 1 approaching cone 2. As the football player reaches cone 2, he must lower his center of gravity, and touch the line right in front of his right foot. Next the football player must shift his weight back to his left foot and begin gaining ground towards cone 1. On the turn, the left foot does not take a step first, it simply takes the weight shift and drives off the ground leaving the right leg to take the first step. The same sequence of events happens at any lateral turn. The foot that is closest to the line is the one the athlete must touch their hand with. Moving past the cone will only leave football players with slower times.
As for additional turns, like the turns from cones 2 to 3 or 3 back to 2, football players must stay as close to the cones possible. Keeping a center of balance with a low center of gravity will help keep football players close to the cone. Taking wide turns or leaving the outside leg wide will only prevent football players from gaining ground towards the finish line. Any wasted movement from side to side will increase the 3 Cone Drill time.
Running Workouts | Kbands Strength Training
The video above shows football players an athlete training with Kbands. Kbands can help increase running speed by strengthening hip flexors, glutes, and improving hip stability. All athletes can feel immediate benefit when taking off Kbands. The muscles recruited during the use of Kbands will improve football player’s ability to run faster. Kbands allow athletes to improve their strength and hip stability while training in the exact same fashion their sport requires. Building strength in the weight room is one thing, but building strength as a runner will improve athlete’s football performance. The best way to train with Kbands, is to complete resisted reps followed immediately by un-resisted reps. In doing this, football players will feel a featherlike feeling in their legs. This portion of the workout is when an athlete must make sure to work at 100% intensity. This will ensure the football player will use all of the muscles recruited to train the body to work at maximal effort with all available muscles. The human body is made to adapt. Not all muscles fire it once to complete any specific movement, but by increasing the amount of resistance needed to complete a task, football players can train their bodies to perform at peak potential.
First, complete 6 to 8 resisted reps for time. It is important when doing the 3 Cone Drill football players always work to increase their time. After the 6-8 resisted reps, football players will immediately unclip the resistance and move directly into 6 to 8 additional un-resisted reps. Push the pace, and always work at maximal effort. To run faster, football player must alter their muscle fiber type. Slow twitch muscles must become fast twitch muscles. This is only done by muscle recruitment and overloading the muscles’ abilities. Work at 100% intensity to increase your speed and become a better football player. Looking for a full Speed and Agility Package. Look to our Athlete Performance Pack for a set of Kbands and our full athlete training program. Build your core, speed, and agility with our full workout athlete training session.
Agility Cone Drills That’ll Skyrocket Your Speed (and Calorie Burn)
Photo: Getty Images
Your HIIT routine could be doing double duty to elevate your fitness gains, and it takes only a patch of grass, sand, or pavement to upgrade from those spintervals, says trainer Jacqueline Kasen from Anatomy at 1220 fitness club in Miami Beach. (In the mood for sprints? Try this fat-burning track workout.)
“By using cones in a HIIT workout, you’re focusing on fat loss as well as agility training and motor skills,” Kasen says. These drills require you to move in all three planes of motion-forward/backward, laterally, and rotationally-recruiting multiple muscles, cranking your heart rate, and engaging your brain. Not only does this equal a high-calorie burn, but it will also fine-tune your body mechanics and control so you move quickly with strength and precision. (Also try this 4-minute Tabata to boost your agility and power.)
Kasen’s exclusive routine here packs all those benefits between just five plastic cones. Although it requires some fancy footwork, the key is to get breathless by the end of each drill. A good rule of thumb: If you don’t need the entire minute between rounds to recover, you’re not pushing hard enough. Do these drills once or twice a week, and you’ll quickly appreciate just how much you’ve raised your game in your other workouts too.
You’ll need: A timer, an open strip of space about 25 to 30 feet in length, and five cones. (No cones? Swap in everyday items like sneakers.)
How it works: Do the dynamic warm-up. (It should take about 10 minutes.) Then do each of the agility drills, alternating 30 seconds of work and 1 minute of rest for the number of sets indicated.
Total time: 30 minutes
- Five walking inchworms (Hinge at hips to place palms on ground; walk out to plank. With straight legs, walk feet to hands and stand.)
- 10 toe touches on each side
- 20 butt kicks, alternating sides
- 10 hamstring reaches on each side (From standing, extend left leg forward with heel on ground; fold forward to reach right hand to lightly pull left toes. Switch sides; repeat.)
- 10 leg swings on each side
Place two cones on ground about 1 foot apart and stand directly between them. Quickly step right foot over and outside of right cone, then left foot over and outside of left cone. Immediately step right foot back to start, followed by left foot. Continue for 30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute. That’s 1 round. Do 4 rounds, alternating leading foot each round.
Scale down: Rather than hopping over cones, use them as guides to hop feet in and out.
Place five cones on ground in an X position about 1 1/2 feet apart. Each wedge of the X is one box. Facing away from center cone, start by standing on right leg in box at top of X. Hop diagonally back to right, into the next box. Next, hop to bottom box, then left box, then back to top box. Continue clockwise for 15 seconds, then reverse and go counterclockwise for 15 seconds. Rest for 1 minute. Repeat on left leg. That’s 1 round. Do 3 rounds.
Scale down: Hop with both feet.
Place five cones on ground in a zig- zag line about 3 feet apart from one another. Stand behind first cone, diagonally to its left, with zigzag line of cones extending before you. Push off left foot (swinging arms behind you) and bound forward and to the right. Land on right foot next to first cone. Push off right foot to bound forward and to the left, landing on left foot next to second cone. Continue this pattern. At the end, turn around and repeat in opposite direction. Continue for 30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute. That’s 1 round. Do 2 rounds.
Scale up: After landing on one foot, do not touch other foot to ground before bounding in opposite direction.
Forward and Back Shuffle
Leave cones in same position as in previous exercise. Face parallel to cones, standing to the left of the leftmost cone. Shuffle forward and around to the right of first cone, then back- ward and around second cone, then forward and around to third cone. Continue in this weaving pattern. At end of cones, reverse shuffle move ment back to start. Repeat for 30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute. That’s 1 round. Do 4 rounds.
Scale Up: Do a burpee when you reach the end of the line.
- By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo
4 Drills That Will Improve Your Agility
Agility is the ability to move quickly in any direction, particularly as you stop abruptly from moving on one path to start again on a different one. When agility skills are mastered, you can accurately and rapidly change course, which involves the application of acceleration, stabilization and deceleration, all at the appropriate times. Agility training is commonplace in athletic competition preparation. For example, a basketball player demonstrates agility when he sprints down the court at a high speed (acceleration), quickly brakes (deceleration and stabilization), and cuts to the left and jumps (acceleration) to make the shot. As described in this example, the ability to develop and harness speed is also a component of agility mastery. Hence, athletes often devote time to speed training, which incorporates moving rapidly from one point to another in the shortest timeframe possible.
It’s easy to conceptualize why athletes would spend time on this type of training, but is a focus on agility important for non-athletes as well? The answer is yes, and it stems from the need to perform daily functions with ease and confidence. While most of us navigate through our days in a predictable manner, there are times when we may need to regain balance (e.g., after stepping off of an unseen curb) or move quickly in an unpredictable pattern (e.g., dodging traffic). Adding agility training to your exercise program may help you successfully and confidently respond and adapt in unpredictable situations.
In a practical sense, I like to add agility drills to my clients’ training programs to help them develop better balance, coordination and quickness. Another significant benefit is that training for agility brings a sense of fun and playfulness to a workout, which I find especially important for continued motivation. Agility training techniques include side-stepping, turning and shuttle running (i.e., forward and backward running to and from designated markers). So, how agile is your client? To find out, try the following drills at the beginning of your client’s next workout, immediately after the warm-up. Each drill takes about 20 seconds or less to perform. Take about 20 seconds of rest between attempts. Feel free to have your clients perform the drills more than once as they learn the patterns and gradually work up to faster speeds. Add agility drills to your clients’ workouts twice a week.
Note: Speed and explosiveness are components of advanced drills. Be sure to gradually work your clients up to full speed by practicing drills that are initially performed at submaximal speed to ensure proper technique. In addition, agility training should be avoided if your client currently has a lower-extremity injury or instability, as abrupt stopping and turning pose a risk to unstable joints.
1. Lateral Shuffle
Set two cones 5 to 10 yards apart. Facing the same direction the entire time, side step while shuffling between the cones, touching each cone with the outside hand. The goal is to stop at the cone and return without letting the feet cross over the area marked by the cones. Count the number of times your client can shuffle back and forth in 20 seconds.
2. Shuttle Drill
Set three cones in a line, 5 yards apart. Straddle the center cone. To start, turn and run right (5 yards) to touch the right cone with the outside hand. Then turn and run left to the far left cone (10 yards), touching it with the outside hand. Turn again and run through the middle cone (5 yards). Have your client attempt this drill three times, trying to decrease his or her time.
3. Figure-8 Drill
Keep the cones in the same configuration as the shuttle drill above. Start behind the far right cone. Run a figure-8 pattern through the cones as many times as possible in 20 seconds.
Set three cones in a line, 5 yards apart, and one cone 10 yards from the middle cone to form the letter “T.” Starting on the baseline, run forward to the middle cone, touch it with the left hand, then side shuffle right to the right cone, touching it with the outside hand. Proceed to side shuffle to the far left cone, touching it with the outside hand. Side shuffle back to the middle cone, touching it with the outside hand, and then run backward through the starting line. Run the course in both directions. Count the number of times your client can run the drill in 20 seconds.