Get Faster Now…with Shaun

Speed and Explosiveness. Those are things that every athlete desires now in the sports world, and many of the better athletes have exactly that. Now everyone wants to get faster, stronger, and more explosive, but nobody really knows the steps they need to take to get there.

Shaun Alexander is by far one of the most explosive running backs in the NFL today and his explosiveness has manifested itself on the gridiron year after year. So I went out and found out what Shaun does during his off-season workouts to become so explosive and here it is for you. Just a few drills that he does over and over again, and eventually you’ll start to realize how much these drills pay off for your athleticism in the end.

Toe Taps

• Bring left knee up in skipping fashion
• Drive left foot down into ground and quickly rebound it back up for second skip
• Perform sequence with right leg
• Repeat for 20 yards

The Payoff: Quicker, stronger force application into ground
Gentry: “There are two things you need to think about when it comes to force application—ground time and air time. Too much of either is bad. If you spend too much time on the ground, you will be sucking wind. If you spend too much time in the air, you will be sucking wind. The object is to obtain quickness in your force application into the ground.”

In and Outs

• Bring left knee up in skipping fashion
• Return foot to ground and bring knee up and out to side
• Perform sequence with right leg
• Repeat in continuous, alternating fashion for 20 yards

The Payoff: Hip flexibility, mobility and strength
Gentry: “If you are static in your hips, you aren’t going to go anywhere, and you won’t be able to make good cuts.”

Hurdler Stretch with Roll Over

• Begin in hurdler stretch with left leg extended in front and right leg bent behind
• Roll over to left and finish in hurdler stretch with right leg extended in front and left leg bent behind
• Continue to roll back and forth for 10 reps

The Payoff: Hip flexor and back flexibility; injury prevention
Gentry: “You notice Shaun doesn’t get hurt very often. Part of the reason is his hip flexor and back flexibility.”

Weave Through Dummies

• Start five yards in front and three yards to side of row of six dummies
• Explode out of stance toward beginning of row
• Weave in and out of dummies by quickly cutting in between each
• Upon reaching end of row, run completely around last dummy and weave back through row
• Sprint out of row for five yards after last dummy

The Payoff: Elusiveness and cutting ability

Gentry: “This teaches you to avoid or run around tacklers. It also trains you to stay low when you are making your cuts. We work many different angles with this so that Shaun is ready whether he has to cut or slide to get by someone. That is why he’s The Ghost, because he’ll slip right by you.”

Speed Ladder

• Perform Ickey Shuffle down length of ladder
• Upon reaching end of ladder, sprint five yards through finish
The Payoff: Foot quickness
Gentry: “Some people think Shaun doesn’t have quick feet, but he does, and you can see it when he goes down the ladder. Anyway, it doesn’t matter what those people think when they see him in the end zone. The man is unstoppable in the red zone.”

Funnel Drill

• Begin in stance at first cone
• Sprint to each cone in specified pattern and powerfully cut to change direction
• Upon reaching last cone, break toward finish and sprint for five yards

The Payoff: Change of direction and cutting ability
Gentry: “When people ask me about Shaun’s ability to cut back and change direction, this is how I respond: ‘He was the leading rusher in the NFL with 1,880 yards, so I think he has mastered that ability. What do you think?’”

Cross Drill

• Begin in stance at center cone
• Sprint to first cone, plant and then sprint back to center cone
• Sprint to each subsequent cone and plant, returning to center cone each time
• Upon returning to center cone after fourth cone, plant and sprint through finish
The Payoff: Change of direction and stop-and-go ability

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