How Often Should You Do Speed and Agility Training?
To answer the question “How often should you do speed and agility training?” simply, the short answer is you should dedicate 4 days a week if you are an athlete. This means that two days are dedicated to speed, and two days are dedicated to agility. Or, you can combine these days and do both speed and agility for the entire 4 days. After all, speed training and agility training go hand-in-hand. The great thing about training for either speed or agility is that you are able to get in a full body workout as you train for things such as speed agility and quickness.
How Many Times A Week, And For How Long?
As an athlete, you know that training never ends. Whether you are hitting the gym for a run, weightlifting, or for sports performance training, there is always something that you are working on. As for preparing for a specific sports season, it is good to start training for that sport at least two months in advance to condition yourself. Training for speed and agility is recommended for four times a week to acclimate your body and to develop muscle memory. While some days you may train harder than others, the most important factor in improvement is consistency. By training four days a week, you are familiarizing your body with certain actions so that you can adapt. If you were to train only once a week, it would take your body much longer to hold onto progress that you make.
The Importance of Proper Technique
When training, it is important to take rest periods between drills. While this goes for any form of exercise, speed and agility drills tend to be particularly intense, as it is designed to push your body past its previous limits. Taking frequent rest intervals ensures that you are able to continue training for longer. This is also how you avoid what is commonly known as central nervous system fatigue. If you try to train intensely without taking a break in between, you will find that your body burns out a lot quicker. Especially when it comes to speed training, the key to learning to run faster is in the form of short sprints. Over a longer period of time, you will find that performing these sprints will become easier and easier. Slowly, you can turn these into longer sprints. This is made possible through rest intervals.
The Best Drills for Speed and Agility Training
Whether you are an athlete looking to heighten your sports performance, or simply a fitness fanatic looking to sharpen your skills, speed and agility training can help hone the skills you need to improve.
Top Three Agility Drills
Agility training combines skill with intensity for a workout that prepares athletes to give 100% on game day. The following agility drills are designed to work the leg muscles and core muscles.
There are different ways to utilize a ladder (set parallel to the ground) in order to increase agility. The benefits of doing an agility ladder drill is increased coordination and foot speed. When practicing ladder drills, it is important to keep your eyes up, not focused on the ladder. After a while, muscle memory will kick in. On a soccer field, basketball court, and more, being able to keep coordination and pace while keeping your eyes on the ball and your surroundings is an important skill.
High Knee Drill
Often used by track athletes to build muscle and strengthen tendons, a high knee drill involves bringing one leg (including the foot) up higher than the other knee. This drill prepares the body for other activities such as sprinting and jumping.
Like ladder drills, cone drills can be performed in a variety of ways to improve speed and coordination. At its most basic, a cone drill involves one person maneuvering around cones as obstacles. This drill is great for athletes, as it simulates the maneuvers one would perform in an actual game.
Top Three Speed Drills
While speed agility and quickness often go hand-in-hand, there are specific drills that exist primarily for those looking to increase their speed. It goes without saying that increasing one’s speed is desirable, especially in competitive sports. Speed training enables one to reach their full potential. The following are specific cone drills designed to condition the body to move quickly at full speed.
This drill can be done with either cones or with a ladder. The steps are simple: you are placing one foot “inside” the cones (or ladder steps) one foot at a time, as fast as you can. Do this for one minute at a time. You are given a small space, so your steps must be accurate. Don’t forget that only one foot can be inside at a time! This is a great drill that doesn’t require a lot of equipment or extra steps.
This drill will improve your speed by testing your reaction time skills. In sports, it is often necessary to make quick movements to evade other players’ movements. Cone hops are another simple yet effective drill you can practice at home or at the gym. All you need is one cone. To perform a cone hope, you will stand next to the cone (not in front of or behind) and jump sideways over the cone. Make sure that you are keeping your eyes forward and your head up. In the middle of a game, you should be keeping your eyes on the ball!
This slightly more intricate drill is designed to increase leg strength. You will need five cones, all aligned in a zig-zag pattern about an arm’s length between each one. There should be three cones on your right side and two cones on your left. When you do the drill, you will be bounding off of your right foot, onto your left, and then bounding off of your left to your right. Your feet should never be touching the ground at the same time.
Incorporating Strength Training into Speed and Agility Drills
In order to be a well-rounded athlete, you will need to incorporate strength training into your workouts. Fortunately, most speed and agility drills naturally include strength training as part of the workout. For example, an agility workout you may choose to do is a vertical jump. To incorporate strength into this workout, all you need is hand weights or a medicine ball. You may also use these items when going through cone drills or ladder drills, alternating arms so that both arms are getting attention. Whether you incorporate strength into your agility workout or your speed training, it is an important aspect of your overall sports performance training that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Train At An Elite Houston Gym
Now that you know the answer to “How often should you do speed and agility training?”, the next step is to put that knowledge to action at the gym. You will want to train at a gym that focuses on sports performance training, such as O Athletik. This elite Houston gym offers specialized classes and equipment for trained athletes looking to kick their training up a notch. Check out our class schedule, and find a time that works for you to join in our next “O”gility class.