What exercises will help me develop explosive power and speed?

I want to be quicker on the basketball court and soccer field. What exercises should I do to build explosive power and speed? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Quickness isn’t just about how big and strong your muscles are, but how efficiently your brain can communicate with your body. That’s why a type of drill called “rapid response” is so effective—it helps you move fast and under control.

An example of “rapid response” is quickly moving your feet back and forth over a line. It lasts all of about six seconds, but improves footwork, coordination, and quickness. You’ll also become more skilled at disassociating one foot from the other while maintaining proper posture, so you can make sharper cuts and juke past your opponents.

When to use it: “Rapid response” drills prepare your brain and body for activity, so perform them towards the end of your warm-up, either before a training session, practice, or game. Since they’re so fast, you don’t need to worry about them wearing you out.

Sample routine: Try this “rapid response” session as part of your dynamic warm-up. Perform each drill for six seconds, putting forth maximal effort. Rest for about 30 seconds, and then repeat before moving onto the next exercise.

Rapid Response – Base Rotation Rapid Response – Lateral Base Rapid Response – Two Inch Runs to Sprint

— Anthony Slater, head performance specialist, Core Performance Center

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