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Home Sport-Specific Football Training Improve Backwards Acceleration For Football

Improve Backwards Acceleration For Football

Improve Backwards Acceleration For Football

Backwards acceleration (back pedaling) is important for football players such as defensive backs and outside linebackers. 

I played defensive back in college so I'm definitely an authority on the need for accelerating backwards......We practiced "back pedaling at game speed" every day until it became a natural movement. 

If you play defensive back (especially cornerback) then you need to train your body for efficient backwards acceleration. Defensive backs usually back pedal until the receiver cuts or they back pedal while diagnosing the offensive play. Or, you may be running forward and need to adjust quickly into a back pedal to defend your receiver. Or, you could be in a back pedal and need to quickly turn and run with your receiver running a fly pattern.

There are exercises that you can practice to improve your backwards acceleration. As with all speed exercises, backwards acceleration practice should be done with "game-time effort." You also must keep your shoulders leaned forward in order to maintain dynamic balance and to be able to stop and go forward, go sideways or turn-and-run "on a dime." 

Some common exercises are: back pedal, hip turn and run, hip turn and shuffle, hip turn and crossover and continuous hip turns. Good hip ladder drills are: hip twists, hip in outs, leg swings and hip flexions/extensions.


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Mark Dilworth, Performance Enhancement Specialist and Former NCAA Division I Athlete

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