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40 Yard Dash Exercises for High School Football Players

The 40 yard dash is the ultimate benchmark in high school football - in terms of defining speed. If you can't run a sub 5.0 40 yard dash, don't even both trying out for wide receiver or running back. Run a 4.4 40 yard dash and you'll likely be the talk of the town.

While everyone wants a fast 40 yard dash, few understand exactly what goes into dropping that time. Here, The Wizard, will provide a quick overview of what exercises develop a quick 40 yard dash.

In The Wizard's opinion 40 yard dash exercises are broken into 3 categories -

40 Yard Dash Exercises -

1. The Start

2. The Acceleration

3. The Top End

The Wizard defines "The Start' as roughly the 0 - 10 yard phase of the 40 yard dash. "The Acceleration" phase is the 11 - 30 yard phase of the dash. And "The Top End" is the 31 - 40 yard phase of the dash. Keep in mind, while The Wizard is defining the phases as distinct, there will certainly be crossover in terms of the benefits of many of these exercises between phases.

The primary exercises to develop "The Start" phase of the 40 yard dash are strength focused exercises. These strength exercises are going to include weight training, single vertical and horizontal jumps, as well as weighted jumps. In terms of specific weight training exercises - many exercises help develop different aspects of the start, but in particular - squat variations, deadlift variations and calve raises will provide large dividends for your start speed.

The primary exercises to develop "The Acceleration" phase of the 40 yard dash include multi-jumps, bounds, skips, hops, weight arm swings, quick feet drills, depth jumps, and drop jumps. Unlike where "The Start" exercises focus primarily on strength, "The Acceleration" phase focuses more so on power - which is the expression of force at as fast of a rate as possible.

The primary exercises to develop "The Top End" phase of the 40 yard dash include sprints of distances between 20 yards and 60 yards in length with significant recovery between each rep. "The Top End" is focused on speed.

Over the first 10 yards the football player is exerting a lot of effort against the ground to go from a stand still to pick up speed. Over the next 20 yards the athlete is nearing top speed, quickly, but is still focused on gaining speed. Around 30 yards, especially in high school, the football player is near or at top speed and is focusing on hitting and maintaining their maximum speed.

In order to succeed in the 40 yard dash a majority of your workout program should be focused on the exercises listed above. With specific emphasis going towards the area the athlete is currently focused on.

Hope this helps, Happy dashing!

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