Get fast on your feet

Build speed and agility by tackling a course of mini-hurdles

Refined technique means precision, speed, power and agility – everything you need to gain the advantage, says Nick Grantham, Performance enhancement specialist:

Mini-hurdles can enhance a player’s speed, agility and explosive power.
With the right drill you can fine-tune your running mechanics and ability to jump and land efficiently.

More after the break

This will give you an advantage over your opponent – you’ll win more foot races and aerial battles.

But make sure you avoid the common pitfalls. First, don’t overdo it. The physical qualities you’re honing require high-quality movements – so make sure you keep the volume low.

Aim for three to five sets. Second, don’t over complicate things. You won’t win a prize for the fanciest drill – keep it simple and use 3-6 hurdles. Too many will hobble your technique.

Third, use the right size; hurdles that are too big are no good. And last, get the spacing correct. Place each hurdle two to three feet apart and remember that taller players are going to need a little more room to manoeuvre.

To get you started, I’ve designed a simple drill for you to use in your training sessions (right). It will help you develop sound running mechanics.

GET YOUR KNEES UP

Set-up
Lay out 6-8 mini-hurdles, with a distance of 2-3 feet between each.

The drill
Start off by walking through the hurdles, focusing on technique over speed. Once you feel confident, run through the hurdles – taking either one or two steps between each. To clear each hurdle efficiently and hit the high knee position, maintain a tall posture using your hips and knees to create a 90-degree angle. Ensure your heels stay under the knee and your toes are lifted.

Progression 
Simply increase the speed with which you execute the exercise, but don’t let the quality of the movements drop as you up the tempo. Technique is everything.

Want some equipment to go with these drills? Lucozade Sport's Kit-Out Project can help. Visit www.lucozadesport.com/kitoutproject to find out more.

For more training tips see:
Ladder to success
Energise your endurance
Build lasting stamina
Rev up your early-season engine

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