Resistance Exercises to Increase Speed with Leg Bands
To be competitive in every sport you have to be fast. Maintain a great center of balance and quickly move to the ball or away from a defender. Athletes if you want to get in a little extra speed training during the off season or on your rest days then working out with Leg Resistance Bands will increase your speed even while you recover from your harder workouts. Coaches this is also a great group workout to challenge your athletes to be more competitive and push each other. Speed is important in every sport. In football you must avoid a defender and get down the field. In tennis you perform short steps, stop and move quickly to return the tennis ball. Working to increase your speed by performing resistance exercises using leg bands is easily performed on your off days.
This series of drills will work to improve your speed. Your fundamental footwork skills and your acceleration during play will also be trained. You will need a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and a Speed and Agility Ladder or Speed and Agility Cones. If you use a Speed Ladder you will work in the first square. If you use Speed Cones set them up in a triangle. Place the Leg Resistance Bands on just above your knees with the long strap in front and the short strap in the rear. The rings should be on the side of your legs. Using resistance bands during workouts will enhance your muscle activation and help as you work under constant tension. Get into a good athletic stance and start with the first resistance exercise for speed.
The first drill you will perform a quick shuffle step, stepping through and then over the ladder rung or cone configuration, drop your hip and turn and accelerate down the field in reverse sprint. Remember as you get to the turn phase you must work on your arm action, driving the shoulders around. Accelerate with the back arm to speed the hip rotation. Engaging your arms will make your rotation faster and get you quicker to the sprint phase of the drill. You will feel this angle in your muscles as you open your hips and drive with your glutes. The burn lets you know you are getting the benefit of the drill. Perform 6 reps of resisted and unresisted on each side. First leading with the right foot and then the left foot from the opposite side of the set up.
After completing the first drill in this leg speed with resistance routine then we will move into the Over and Back Drill. This second drill is a more extreme footwork routine that focuses on fundamental footwork. Starting on 1 side of the ladder you will quickly step over and back through the Speed Ladder leading with the right foot and then sprint out and away from the ladder. You will drop the same hip as the lead foot while stepping through the ladder. Don’t take long step outs with the lead foot. Make the step short and quick to help generate speed on the take off. The increased speed should help get your legs burning and build the response you want in game situations. Fast feet and legs help to out maneuver a defender and get down the field to complete the play. In basketball it helps in driving the ball to the basket on a quick take away. Perform 6 resisted and unresisted sets with each leg before moving to the last drill. Remember to keep a good athletic stance, strong center of balance with your chest over your hips even while they are rotating. In addition to working to increase leg speed we are also working on maintaining a strong center of balance. If the chest is not over the legs then it will take longer to get up to max speed because you have to first achieve your center of balance before sprinting.
The final individual or group challenge to increase leg speed using resistance bands is the sprint outs. Start on one side of the Speed Ladder, shuffle across with a jab step forward, as if faking out a defender, then shuffle back through the ladder and perform a forward sprint out quickly from the ladder or cone configuration. This movement mimics your game play working to out move a defender. During a tennis match you must quickly stop, move laterally, and then quickly sprint to the ball so you can perform the return volley. You must maintain your acceleration and balance as you move through the Speed Ladder while performing the sprint outs. Again perform 6 resisted and unresisted sets of this drill leading with both legs.
In addition to leg speed, these drills also help to work on chest position, hip rotation, and arm action while training. Chest position is key during agility exercises for speed. If you let the chest or hip alignment get off balance you will be slow in the take off. Keep the chest over the hips during the entire movement so that you are ready for explosive movements. These drills also focus on quickly rotating your hips in the direction you want to move your body. Quick hip rotation will give you an edge over your opponent because you can move your body into the direction you want to run and then start your sprint away from the opponent. Finally these drills work your arms during speed training. Fast arms mean fast legs when training for speed. The leg speed will keep up with your arm speed as you are training or competing. Always keep your arms moving quickly. During the unresisted sets in these drills your legs will be able to move faster so it is important to also make your arms move faster.