D1 Football Agility Workout
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4 Key Exercises To Improve Agility
Thinking about agility, we have to focus on applying a large amount of force into the ground to be able to decelerate quickly so that we can then accelerate quickly out of the cut. All of them to be mentioned drills need to be looked at through that lens. We have to be strong enough and have enough power output to help decelerate and then accelerate out of the cut. All of the drills have to look at how we can slow down the fastest to then accelerate the fastest out of that position. Agility and juking come down to stopping as quickly as possible and reigniting the engine to accelerate.
Let’s look at the exercises.
1. Double Leg Bound Stop On One Leg
Just like it sounds, the athlete will jump off two legs for a distance of two yards and land and pause on a single leg. The movement will prepare the body for cutting. It will train the body to stop and be able to change direction rapidly. We want to decelerate as quickly as possible.
Make sure to have several jumps that allow for an equal amount of landings on every single leg. We want to do at least 5 sets of 2 to 3 reps for each landing leg. Pay attention to the stability demonstrated in the landing. We can see which leg is a little weaker and which is stronger. Noticing the feedback of the weaker leg, in the weight room, we can use an exercise like single-leg squats to try to eliminate the energy link that occurs on the weaker leg.
To make this movement even more advanced, we can use the hydro-weight. Putting the hydro-weight in front of the body helps teach the body to drop the center of mass and keep the body behind the plant leg.
2. 10 Yard Sprints
Simple, easy movement. The goal is to focus on driving forward for as long as possible to project the body forward. Projecting the body horizontally forward will trigger the amount of energy being put into the ground over the distance which will decrease the time needed to cover the distance. Ideally, we can count the number of strides it takes to the 10-yard line. The fewer strides typically indicate more power being put out.
One thing to remember with acceleration with jukes and agility is the ability to cover the distance extremely fast indicates the ability to accelerate and decelerate quickly. Ten yards is the perfect distance to increase the speed for acceleration.
While driving forward, think of driving the hip forward, retracting quickly from the hip to cover more ground with the swing leg. We want to also drive the knees higher in the first two or three strides to power through. Drive the knee and push the earth away!!!
Try to find the baseline of how many strides it takes to cover the distance. As technique improves, there will be a more productive impulse through more force being applied over a slightly longer period will lessen the number of strides to cover the distance.
3. Staircase Cooper Drill
The first exercise involved stopping as quickly as possible. The second exercise involved applying as much force as possible over a distance. This third exercise is a specific cutting drill to help footwork and foot speed to get the shin angle into position to juke opponents. It transfers great to the athletic world for sports like soccer, football, and basketball.
Set up 5 mini-hurdles on the ground. Organize the hurdles so that they visually look like a staircase by alternating a hurdle that is aligned horizontally to being and followed by a hurdle aligned at a right angle vertically. With the hurdles set up, the drill is straightforward–forward, cut; forward, cut; forward cut, and sprint out the finish. Make sure to do the drill that the cut is performed in both directions.
4. Angle Run
Similar to running a curve for sprinters, but for football players or basketball players, think about trying to get the edge. To get to the edge, a lot of speed is necessary. We need to learn the skill of running on the angle.
Make sure to run the angle in both directions. Try to be smooth. Understand that the body’s center of mass will be leaning over the inside leg so pushing from the glute will be more present.
Use these drills to improve agility and juking ability. Focus on this once or twice a week, feeling the positions. Remember to count your strides and focus on decelerating as quickly as possible and accelerating as quickly as possible.
Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
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