Quick Need for Speed Strength And Agility Workout

Medicine Ball squat

I feel the NEED! The NEEEED, for SPEEEED!! 

There are plenty of reasons to train for agility and speed. If you are an athlete who plays organized sports, absolutely. (Who doesn’t dream of changing direction so fast you leave your defender in the dust?!) And if you want to generally prevent injury—which should be everyone!—the answer is yes again. Challenging, speed-based exercises work on your balance and agility for better overall health and injury prevention. 

Ultimately, agility and speed are all about your core, hips, and leg strength, so this workout focuses mainly on those, splitting each of the four circuits into one strength exercise followed by a metabolic exercise. For the strength exercises, focus on nice, easy reps. Perform them with good form, and make sure those muscles are feeling every moment. For the speed exercises, focus on fast—but steady—movement.

Strength and Agility Warm-Up

Directions: Complete each exercise for 45 seconds.

Prisoner Squat

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1 – Stand upright with your feet flat and shoulder-width apart and your hands at the sides of your head.

2 – Lower your body toward the floor, pushing your hips back and down, while bending your knees.

3 – Push through your heels to return to the top position, keeping your back flat, your head up, and your hands at the sides of your head throughout the movement.

Standing Bird Dog

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1 – Stand upright with your arms by your sides.

2 – Lower your torso down toward the floor, bending at the waist and raising one arm up in front and the opposite leg straight up behind.

• Make a straight line from the raised hand to your raised foot.

3 – Return upright and repeat with the other arm and leg.

• Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Y Squat

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1 – Stand upright with your feet flat, shoulder-width apart, and your arms extended overhead.

2 – Lower your body toward the floor, pushing your hips back and down while bending your knees.

3 – Push through your heels to return to the top position.

• Keep your back flat, your head up, and your arms overhead throughout the movement.

Lunges

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Back Pedal

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1 – Jog backwards, swinging your arms by your sides normally, concentrating on your foot placement and balance.


Strength & Speed Circuit 1

Directions: Do one full minute of the first strength exercise, followed by :30 seconds of the speed exercise—as fast as you can. Then take a 1-minute break between each round. 

1 min One Leg Stiff Deadlift (Alternate legs)

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1 – Stand upright, holding kettlebells by your sides, with your arms straight and one foot slightly behind the other.

2 – Raise the back leg straight up behind as you lower your torso and the kettlebells toward the floor.

3 – Keep the standing leg straight as you lower down, pushing off it to return to the upright position.

• Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

:30 sec Split Squat Jumps (Alternate legs)

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• Stand upright, with your feet split front to back and your arms at your sides.

1 – Lower your body toward the floor, bending at the hips and knees and leaning your torso slightly forward, with your weight on the front leg.

2 – Push off the front foot and jump up off the floor.

3 – Land in a split squat and repeat quickly.

• Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.

1 min break, then repeat circuit (a total of 3 times)


Strength & Speed Circuit 2

1 min Lunge Pass (Alternate legs)

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1 – Stand upright holding a kettlebell in one hand by your side, with your arm straight.

2 – Take a step forward with the opposite leg, dropping your back knee down and leaning your torso slightly.

3 – Pass the kettlebell behind your forward foot to your other hand.

4 – Push off your front foot to step back to the upright position with the kettlebell in the other hand.

• Alternate sides with each rep.

:30 sec Lateral Toe Taps

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1 – Stand upright with one foot on a ball to one side and the other foot on the floor with your hands at your sides.

2 – Rapidly switch your feet, alternating between tapping the ball and floor in a lateral motion.

1 min break, then repeat circuit (a total of 3 times)


Strength & Speed Circuit 3

1 min Goblet Squat

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1 – Stand upright holding one dumbbell in both hands at chest height with your feet flat, shoulder-width apart.

2 – Lower your body toward the floor, sending your hips back and down and bending your knees.

3 – Push through your heels to return to the start position, keeping your back flat and head up throughout the movement.

Equipment Sub: Plate, Kettlebell

:30 sec Side Lunge Hop

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• Stand upright with your arms by your sides.

1 – Take a step to one side, lowering your body down and leaning your torso slightly forward with your weight on the outside leg, keeping your trailing leg straight.

2, 3 – Rapidly push off your outside foot, hopping to the other side into a lunge.

• Continue hopping back and forth from side to side, lowering down into a lunge on each step.

• Alternate sides with each rep.

1 min break, then repeat circuit (a total of 3 times)


Strength & Speed Finisher

Directions: Complete 3 rounds with NO BREAK

10 Box Jumps

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• Stand upright facing a box or step with your arms by your sides.

1 – Dip at the hips and knees into a semi-squat and jump onto the box, driving up with your legs and arms.

2 – Land on the box with both feet and dip at the hips and knees to absorb the impact.

3 – Jump backwards off the box and rapidly repeat.

20 Side to Sides (10 each side)

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1 – Stand upright with one foot on a bench to one side and your arms by your sides.

2 – Step both feet up onto the bench then one down the other side to the floor.

• Repeat back and forth up and over the bench, alternating with one foot on the bench and one on the floor.

You’re finished! Nice work.


Lacking motivation?! Turn on some tunes and channel your inner champion! You can do it!

Soundtrack Bonus:

  • Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins
  • Mighty Wings – Cheap Trick
  • You’re the best around – Joe Esposito
  • Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar
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Luke Andrus is a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, writer, folk music drummer, husband, and a father. Most of his writing experience is in poetry and fictional short stories, and he also proposed to his wife with a self-published children's book. He is a Narnia nerd with a degree in History, a minor in English, and a semi-obsession with the French language. He believes that fitness is not just about vanity, but about lifestyle, integrity, and the ability to take control of your life.