As a running back in the game of football, you very likely already have a certain amount of speed, but there are ways to develop your speed to its full potential. Of course the the dream of every back is to break into the open field and sprint it in for 6, but how do you get into the open field (besides having a great O-line)? By being shifty and agile while having vision of the cut you are going to make after the one you are already making. Yes your coaches will make you learn the different gaps to shoot but many times you need to be creative and athletic to get those extra yards!
Tip 1) Develop Core Stability
Your Core muscles stabilize your spine and hips... Kinda important for a guy trying to avoid guys double his weight tackling him right? I'm not just talking about ding 100 crunches a day either. I'm referring to planks, side bridges, stability ball exercises, med ball work and standing cable rotations.
Tip 2) Develop Basic Plyometric Movements
Plyometric exercises (targeting your lower body) will increase your agility, speed and quickness giving you the reaction time that linebackers have nightmares about. Jump rope 60min (total) every week, master power skips & hop on one leg in multiple directions (stopping at any one direction to check your balance and body position).
Tip 3) Develop Foot coordination
Agility ladders are your friend! When I was training a DB his senior year, who was aspiring go gain a pac-10 scholarship, there was never a training session that went by where I didn't have him use one. I confused his feet on the ladder and forced his body to learn the complicated steps. This new level of coordination and foot speed allowed him his brain to move his feet in the best position possible for the play before he even decided on where he was moving. (...Antoine Cason went on to be a 1st round NFL Draft pick and has made interceptions every year of NFL career, in his 7th season as of this article).
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Written By: Ryan Bishel, BA, PES
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