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How Do I Improve My Speed, Agility and Quickness?

Sprinting is a common part of conditioning drills.
Jumping rope can help athletes develop their endurance and hand-eye coordination.
Sprints can improve speed and agility, which is critical to a variety of sports.
Sprinting forwards and backwards can help improve a football players speed, agility, and quickness.
Speed and agility training drills help soccer players perform better in a game setting.
Runners may use athletic watches to monitor their speed, distance, and heart rate.
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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2014
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One way to be a better athlete is to improve your speed, agility, and quickness. You can do so by adding certain exercises and drills to your workout. Running 50- or 100-yard (46- or 91-meter) dashes, jumping rope, and practicing yoga are several ways you can improve your speed, agility, and quickness.

Sprint between two cones to improve your speed, agility, and quickness. Start out small and set the cones 10 yards (9 meters) apart. Dash from one cone to the next, timing yourself. Run back to the first cone and sprint again. Continue until you can't go on. As your speed improves, set the cones farther apart, first to 20 yards (18 meters), then 50 yards (46 meters). You can also vary the way you sprint. For instance, if you play American football, try sprinting backward as if you are trying to catch a ball thrown toward you.

Another way to improve speed, agility, and quickness is to work with a partner. Have the partner lead you as you both run. The partner determines the pace of the run and should vary his or her speed between sprinting and jogging. It's up to you to keep up. Following a leader will improve your reaction time, making you a stronger and faster athlete.

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When you are agile, you are able to change position and avoid obstacles quickly. One way to improve your agility is to run through an obstacle course. Set up several cones in a zig zag pattern and time yourself as you run through them. You can also set the cones in a straight line and slalom through them. If you play basketball, try dribbling the ball around the cones. Dribble the ball with your feet around the cones if you play soccer.

Good balance is key to speed, agility, and quickness. You can't be fast if you can't stay upright. Improve your balance by practicing yoga at least an hour a week. Several poses are designed specifically to improve balance, such as the eagle pose. Stand on one foot and wrap the other leg over your knee and around your calf. Weave your arms together and hold them in front of your chest. Hold the pose for 10 seconds and then switch sides.

Try a plank pose to improve balance in your arms. Lie on your right side, keeping your shoulders and hips aligned. Push up with your right arm so that your body is at a 45-degree angle with the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides.

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pastanaga
Post 3

@MrsPramm - If someone is really serious about this, I'd suggest they see a personal trainer about it. Even if it's only for a couple of sessions, they should be able to evaluate where you are and where you want to go and give you exercises to get you there.

I've known people who increased their speed by tremendous amounts without doing that much more exercise, just because they were following a tailored routine.

MrsPramm
Post 2

@clintflint - This is where a running group can be very good for people, as they will have a variety of different paces to choose without feeling like they are leaving anyone behind.

Running isn't the only way to increase your speed however, and probably won't increase your agility all that much. You really need to do some exercises that are specific to what you want to improve. Looking at different sports drills is a good idea, as they are usually aiming to improve quickness and agility.

clintflint
Post 1

If you want to improve yourself by running with a faster partner, make sure that you pick a partner who isn't too much fitter or faster than you are, otherwise it will be frustrating for you both.

It can be very motivating and lead you to try much harder without realizing it, but there are limits to what you can do and if you are with someone who is used to going faster and further, they aren't going to be happy about slowing down to keep pace with you.

Alternatively, you could agree that they shouldn't change their pace, even if you fall behind, but some people might find it difficult to keep to that.

My sister does a lot of running and she finally had to just refuse everyone who wanted to run with her because she always ended up slowing down.

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