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Effective Exercises to Improve Your First Step

Effective Exercises to Improve Your First Step

So you weren’t born quick. Here are exercises and workouts to help you become faster, quicker, and more explosive.

Quickness, explosiveness, reaction-ability. All of these refer to how fast your first step is. But is it really possible to improve the quickness and explosiveness of your first step? The simple answers is yes, but before laying out your “Get Quick Now” routine, let’s define some basic misconceptions about quickness training. While doing plyometric drills will increase your explosiveness, doing them over and over again will increase your strength and not your quickness. In order to train your fast twitch fibers (the ones that are responsible for your explosiveness) you should only do sets of 1 rep with substantial rest in between (think 10-15 seconds) for a period no longer than 10 minutes.

Right now you’re seeing, thinking, and then doing. You need to be seeing and doing without that hesitation in the middle. To get rid of that delay, you’ll need to improve your forward knee action, dictated by hip flexor flexibility. What follows is a stretching and speed routine that will remove your internal hurdle.

My Get Quick Now Routine:

1. Static hip flexor stretches will improve forward knee action, which will improve your first step.

a. Sit on a couch with one leg hanging off. Slowly bring the opposite knee to your chest while keeping that knee that’s off the couch in the same position it started in. You should feel a stretch in your hip flexor of the leg that’s off the couch. This will increase hip flexibility when done routinely.

b. Complete 2 sets of 30 for each side.

2. Tennis ball drops, with you standing at first, then later with you on your back, and then finally with you on your stomach.

a. With a partner standing in front of you, have them drop a tennis ball while you try to get to it before the ball’s second bounce. Getting there with ease? Have your partner move back. This should be done not in reps, but with lots of rest in-between to emphasize the speed work, and not the cardiovascular, aspect.

b. Do these for ten minutes total.

3. Hop-hop-explodes, which is exactly what they sound like.

a. Hop sideways, hop sideways again (perhaps over a hurdle or even dots on the ground), and the moment you land after that second hop, take off in a lateral slide (similar to playing defense in basketball). When you land for each hop, imagine the floor is on fire. This is the application of the hot stove neuro-muscular theory. You can also hop forward, hop forward, and then sprint straight ahead to provide some variety to this training technique. Again, these should be done not in reps, but instead with lots of rest in-between to emphasize the speed work, and not the cardiovascular, aspect.

b. Do these for ten minutes total. 

Becoming faster, quicker, and more explosive requires not just hard work, but smart work. Consistently work the three exercises above into your workout routine, and enjoy as your first step becomes Derrick Rose-esque!

And 1R, if you’re looking for supplements to help you as you train your explosiveness, we’d recommend the following supplements:

  1. Optimum Nutrition AmiN.O. Energy – Supports recovery and allows you to train harder and longer with beta alanine
  2. Inner Armour Power-PEAK – BCAAs, glutamine, and hydrolyzed whey speed up recovery time
  3. Cytosport Fast Twitch – Increases power and explosiveness in fast twitch muscle fibers

03 / 01 / 2017 1R