Speed, Agility and Quickness

Overview

Speed, agility and quickness training isn’t just for professional athletes. It’s a great way for a seasoned fitness enthusiast to continue improved movement through exercise.  Much like plyometrics it causes a reaction to ground forces which increases overall velocity/speed. There is also an increased ability to start or stop movement in all phases or planes of motion. The nervous system is enhanced and has greater ability to efficiently handle demands.

 

man crouched down in a sprinting position outside ready to take off running.
Photo by nappy from Pexels

 

Just like plyometrics this form of training requires a foundation in fitness including a stable body with a strong core. Speed, agility and quickness training can be summed up as:

Speed: velocity/speed of distance over time. 

Or the ability to move in one direction as fast as possible. Speed is measured by stride rate and stride length. Stride rate equals the number of strides in given amount of time. While length equals distance covered within a stride. Speed can be enhanced with training.

Speed training consists of focusing on improving frontside and backside mechanics. They work in synchronicity. The movement from these mechanics and the interaction with the ground provides force from which propels you forward. A neutral pelvis is required. Proper form allows for most efficient use of the human movement system.

For better stability, stopping and driving power assess your frontside and backside mechanics so you can see what areas you need to improve. Frontside mechanics or the triple flexion of ankle, knee and hip will provide better hip-knee extension, glute contraction and backside drive. Backside mechanics or hip-knee extension, gluteal contraction and backside drive provides better pushing.

Agility: quick, powerful movements changing direction, velocity/speed.

Agility training focuses on the ability to start, stop and change direction quickly in good form and posture. This form of training enhances coordination, flexibility, posture, core strength and proprioception. It is also beneficial in preventing injury through stabilization and control. Agility training also increases strength in connective tissue.

Quickness: ability to react and change movement

Quickness training focuses on the ability to react by quickly changing movement with force. It requires a snap-analysis of surroundings such as what you see, hear and feel. 

Speed, Agility and Quickness Training

Speed, agility and quickness training is a great tool outside of professional sports for seasoned fitness enthusiasts. It helps with weight loss, coordination, movement and injury prevention. It’s an invigorating, exciting and effective training method overall because it makes greater use of the muscles in the entire body.

People of all ages with a variety of goals benefit from Speed, agility and quickness training. An excellent training method for:

  • Youth – It’s a natural progression beyond basic motor skills. A great way to continue adaptation. Effective at exposing them to a multitude of demands. Method of physical activity.
  • Weight loss – Through high intensity interval training it is highly effective. SAQ is a great way to incorporate interval training. The increased intensity helps burn fat in a fun and  engaging way. It keeps the heart rate elevated, increases oxidation and caloric expenditure.
  • Seniors – Helps prevents decrease in bone density, coordination and muscle. Aids in injury prevention. Maintains quality of life and daily activity. 

Drills and Programs

When looking at SAQ drills and considering incorporating them into your training program  it’s important to look at your current routine and intensity levels. Your current training load will play a role in the development of a training plan. As previously statedR SAQ requires core strength and stabilization. It has greater demand and increases the chance for injury. Like other parts of this guide speed, agility and quickness training follows the OPT model.

Types of speed, agility and quickness drills:

Implementation

Introducing speed, agility and quickness training into your program is as simple as adding a block of select activities to your routine. Keep it interesting and properly progress through levels and movements. But be sure to have a strong core beginning.