3 Drills You Need to Do to Increase Your Lateral Speed

3 Drills You Need to Do to Increase Your Lateral Speed

So many of a football players steps are actually lateral steps.  This is why lateral speed and quickness are so important.  Lateral speed is essential for the running back trying to find a running lane or for a linebacker scraping  to make a big play.  Offensive and defensive lineman must possess lateral quickness in order to be effective in the trenches and in order to make plays downfield.  Lateral speed is especially important for wide receivers and defensive backs because they are expected to make plays in open space.  I have a few drills that I'd like to share to help players increase their lateral speed and quickness.  If you do these exercises 2 to 3 times a week, you should see an improvement in your athletic ability to change direction.  

Lateral Resistor Ladder Drills

Place resistant bands comfortably around your ankles and complete sets of ladder drills.  Add these drills to your training routine to develop better feet and increase your lateral quickness.  This has historically remain a drill kept for WRs and DBs, but every player should be doing ladder drills 2 to 3 times a week...even if its for only 10 minutes.  Remember that you will get better with practice so please do not quit just because you are not good at it at first.  

Lateral Speed Shuffle

Complete 10 or 20 yard side shuffles as fast as you can to get your body used to moving sideways and to further develop your hip muscles.  Make sure to keep your hips low in an athletic stance.  You can speed shuffle either 5 yards or 10 yards back and forth.  Be sure that you are sliding in a straight line and that your feet do not cross over each one another on the shuffle.  

Run the 3-cone drill

The 3-cone drill is primarily run to evaluate the agility, lateral speed, and quickness of a player.  Usually, the more explosive you are, the faster you will be in the drill.  It is one of the key drills used at the NFL combine to measure a player's lateral speed and explosiveness.  One way that you can help develop your lateral speed and quickness is to get better and faster at the 3-cone drill.  Get in the habit of doing at least 10 sets of this drill a couple times a week.  

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