September 28, 2016 | 4 minute read
Published in Active Meaningful Years
When it comes to foot speed and agility, there is no quick fix. However, before we dive in, it's important to understand that if your feet are quick and agile, that doesn't mean that your overall agility and speed will increase – In fact, some of athletes who have fast feet, are very slow off the start.
It's not about how fast the feet move, but rather how much force goes into the ground. Force into the ground equates to forward motion. So if you are actually looking to get faster, you should really be looking into your vertical jump. So if you want to get faster, or stronger, you should be trying to improve your vertical jump, not making your feet faster.
The best solution for slow feet, is to get stronger legs. Lower body strength is the real key to speed and to agility. The essence of developing quick feet lies in single-leg strength and single-leg stability work. If you cannot decelerate, you cannot accelerate, at least not more than once. (See: 3 Ways to Make Fitness Stick)
Split Squat - Perform this exercise by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step into a lunge position and elevate your back leg onto a bench behind you. Lower yourself until the back knee touches the floor and then explode back up to the start position. This exercises works your glutes, hamstrings and vastus medialis while also developing flexibility in the hip flexors. Perform 5-15 repetitions per set.
Glute Ham Raise - Find someone or something to hold your feet down with your knees on a pad of some sort. Next arch your back, keep your chest out and slowly descend downward. You will feel this extensively in the hamstrings. Use your hamstrings to pull your body back up to your starting position. Use your hands as much as you need to avoid hurting your back. Perform 5-15 repetitions per set.
Deadlift - Deadlifts are a superior strengthening exercise for the glutes and hamstrings and also develop whole body power through their influence on the traps, grip and upper back. Load up a barbell, keep your feet shoulder width apart, bend down and grab the bar and use your glutes, legs, and hamstrings to lift the bar. Make sure you keep your back straight, and use your legs to lift. Perform 3-8 repetitions per set.
(See: 8 Laws of Lifting Bigger)