3 Cone Drill
Cone drill exercises offer one of the best ways to build speed and generate power in the hip flexors, especially when these drills are executed with the added resistance of the Kbands. In the video below, the Kbands trainers demonstrate a series of resisted and unresisted three cone drills for NFL combine test outs. Athletes who are looking for ways to build agility and generate explosive speed should pay attention to the technique and body mechanics behind these three cone drill sets and then add them to a complete agility training program.
As with several of the agility drills offered on the Kbands Training website, these cone drill sets are intense, so athletes should make sure each set in the series is separated by a rest period of a full minute. This can support results, prevent overtraining, and build lasting strength without risking injury. While executing these cone drill sets, athletes should focus on driving the knees forward against the resistance of the bands and concentrating the tension and energy of the move in the hips, core and upper legs.
Three Cone Drill Football Workouts: Equipment
These drills will require four plastic orange training cones, which are available for purchase through the Kbands Training website. Athletes will also need a set of Kbands resistance training leg bands, which should be attached to the upper legs with the long elastic band connecting the legs in the front and the shorter band attached in the back.
Two of the cones should be placed on a starting line about three yards apart. The third cone should be placed about five yards in front of the starting line and the fourth should be about five yards to the right of the third. Athletes will begin the drill at the starting line, cover the distance to the third cone, come back to the line, out to the third, around the fourth, back to the third and back to the starting point again.
Three Cone Drill Football Workouts: Body Position at the Starting Line
Athletes should begin the three cone drill by placing both feet on the line, and then moving the left foot back just far enough to align the toe with the ankle bone of the right foot. Then the right foot should step back four inches behind the left. The athlete should crouch with one knee on the ground and place the right hand on the starting line. Then the knee should be lifted so the right shin is perfectly parallel to the ground. Finally, the left arm should be raised until the hand is just above the height of the left hip. This position is important, since it allows the athlete to start the speed drill with the maximum amount of explosive power.
At the starting signal, the athlete will take two full bounding strides toward the third cone. A final hitch step will take the body all the way to the cone, where the athlete can quickly turn and take two more bounding strides back to the starting line. The pattern will be as follows: Two bounds, a hitch step, two returning bounds, a turn at the starting point, and then a high speed sprint around the third cone, out to the fourth, back to the third, and back to the starting line. Follow along with the video for guidance.
Three Cone Drill Football Workouts: Technique
As athletes complete this three cone drill, body position, form, and technique will be the primary drivers of speed development. Simply executing the cone drill pattern won’t be enough to generate maximum increases in strength, speed and agility.
At all times during the drill, athletes should drive the knees forward against the resistance of the bands and hug the cones tightly to improve completion times. Agility increases will come primarily from keeping the cuts tight and working tirelessly against the tension of the bands. In order to maximize these increases, as mentioned above, athletes will need to take the full minute rest periods between each set seriously and allow energy to return to the muscles of the legs and hip flexors.
For a complete three cone drill agility football workout, athletes should complete two sets with the bands in place and then unclip the resistance bands from the straps and complete two more sets with no resistance. In each of the four sets, athletes should focus on maintaining continuous, explosive energy and speed. This may become more challenging as the bands are removed and the legs feel lighter. Athletes need to capitalize on this sensation of lightness and continue to drive the knees forward with full force.
At each bounding move between the starting line and the third cone, athletes should make sure they complete the full move by dropping all the way down and touching the ground. During the sprints, the runner should keep the chin down and lead the motion of the body with the head. And as always, athletes need to recognize the connection between speed and arm engagement. The arms should be working at maximum capacity throughout the drill, covering a full range of motion as the hands move between the hip and the cheek bone. Lazy arms lead to slow feet.