Schneller sprinten als Fussballer

Speed ​​training football - sprinting faster

Posted by Nic Keller on

Do you want to be able to sprint faster and finally be the decisive step ahead of your opponent? Many top players are characterized by their speed and thus gain a big advantage. That's exactly why it's important for you to work specifically on your speed as a footballer.


  • Importance of speed training for footballers
  • Football-specific speed
  • Physical basics
  • Strength training
  • Specific training on the pitch
  • Food
  • Test results of a U13 team
  • How effectively can I improve?
  • How can you accurately measure your speed?

Importance of speed training for footballers

If you "only" play soccer on the side and don't have much time for additional training, then you should prioritize exercises with the ball. However, speed training is extremely important for footballers who have big goals and need to work on all aspects to achieve this. To achieve your maximum potential as a footballer, training your speed is essential. Great players like Bale or Mbappé impressively show how their speed can even decide games.

Football-specific speed

When we talk about speed training, you probably imagine a normal straight sprint. However, in football there are a lot of abrupt changes of direction, "stop and go" movements, and especially 1-10m sprints. You should approach the training accordingly and incorporate various elements (more on that later).

Physical basics

I have prepared a very short theoretical block for you so that you understand the necessary background knowledge for the structure of speed training: The muscles are made up of different types of muscle fibers. A distinction is made between slowly twitching (slow-twitch) and fast-twitching (fast-twitch) muscle fibers (Fig. 1). The latter are crucial for speed and are largely innate. These fibers are activated during high-intensity exercise such as sprinting or strength training with a barbell. However, there is a third type of muscle fiber, the intermediate ones, which are very adaptable and can therefore ensure that you become effectively faster with the right speed training. This explains why speed training requires intensive sprints and strength training. We will go into this further in the next point.

Muscle fiber types slow and fast are shown in a graphic

Figure 1: Slow-twitch muscle fibers on the left, fast-twitch ones on the right

Strength training

Strength training is an important part of speed training. Effective speed training includes not only sprints, but also specific strength training. Speed ​​and explosive power are particularly important for sprints. You can train these very well with targeted strength exercises for the torso and leg areas. Well-trained muscles are the basis for all sprints. But if you want to optimize your speed training plan, you should also integrate explosive (perform the exercise with the greatest possible effort and speed) and reactive (sweeping movement and then slowing down with the target muscles and immediately accelerating in the other direction) strength training. As described above, the fast-twitch muscle fibers are responsible for enabling us to carry out fast, explosive movements, such as when running. If you do endurance exercises almost exclusively in a sport like football, there is a risk that too many intermediate fibers will convert into slow-twitch fibers and you will therefore lose speed. In order to counteract this transformation, appropriate strength training is necessary. On the one hand, classic strength training with basic exercises is important in order to optimize the interaction of the muscle fibers and to be able to generate more strength in the shortest possible time. Important basic exercises to build the necessary power are:

  1. Deadlifts
  2. Lunges (lunges)
  3. Squats

With all of these exercises you should work in the low repetition range to train maximum strength (1-5 repetitions) and take enough rest (approx. 2-4 minutes) between sets. You can perform approx. 3-6 sets per exercise. A little less at the beginning and tends to be more with training experience. In order to achieve sustainable progress, you should pay attention to constant progression (increase weight, number of sets, number of repetitions).

Clean execution is also a prerequisite to avoid injuries to the musculoskeletal system.

On the other hand, explosive strength training specifically trains the fast-twitch fibers and ensures their preservation. A combination of basic exercises and explosive strength training is recommended.

You can find some explosive strength exercises for on the pitch in the following video:

By the way, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE to always be up to date.

Specific sprint training on the pitch

A good warm-up is particularly important for speed training; without this the risk of injury is extremely high. You can easily get a strain during explosive starts during speed training if your muscles aren't already warm. Therefore, a good warm-up is part of the program at the beginning of every speed training session.

Since speed cannot be improved when fatigued, it is extremely important to take sufficiently long breaks between exercises. The nervous system must have enough time to regain full readiness for action, as well as the muscle fibers to fully replenish their ATP and creatine phosphate stores.

A rule of thumb:

  • Allow at least 30 seconds of rest for every 10 meter sprint distance

It is also important that you initially internalize the movement sequences of the exercises well and only then complete them under time pressure. Quality before quantity! If this requirement is met, it is important that you complete the exercises at maximum speed. Measuring with a training partner is a good idea here. This is how we push each other to achieve top performance. If you don't have a training partner available, you can also run against the clock and fight against your own record. This makes training more fun and motivation is greater.

In order to address the football-specific requirements, exercises are recommended with:

  1. Running ladder (primarily helps with coordination and not with maximum speed)
  2. change of direction
  3. Stop and go
  4. Explosive elements
  5. Resistance (whereby the exercise shown in the video was performed with a sprint distance that was too short)

The following video presents exactly 5 exercises in this area:

The resistance belt that you need for the 5th exercise and that can challenge you even more is the Recoil 360° .

To further focus on changing direction, the following exercises are recommended:


In strength and sprint training, in addition to optimizing the interaction of muscle fibers, muscle growth can also play an important role. In terms of nutrition, the following must be taken into account: To build muscle for sprints, you should eat more than you burn (a calorie surplus of around 300 calories is enough) so that your body can use the excess energy to build the necessary muscles. If this is not the case, you are wasting potential.

It may also make sense to take creatine as a dietary supplement. The additional intake of Creatine360 has a positive effect on speed strength performance during short, maximum effort, such as a sprint during a game.

The caffeine-containing product Pregame360 can also help you sharpen your focus. Especially if you're a little tired before training, a caffeine-containing product tailored to footballers is a good idea.

If you want to learn all the basics about nutrition for footballers, watch the following video or take a look at the 360Football nutrition guide :

Test results of a U13 team

Within six weeks we carried out 10 training sessions, each lasting 20-30 minutes (a total of 4.2 hours of training time). To keep things simple, we focused on a few exercises with the running ladder, various sprint variations and a short core strength training session. We then measured the 10m and 30m times of nine players before and after the training program.

10 meter sprint table of a youth team

On average, the nine players improved by 0.04 seconds or 1.89% in the 10m sprint.

30 meter sprint table of a youth team

On average, the nine players improved by 0.14 seconds or 2.96% in the 30m sprint.

How effectively can I improve?

As we already know, your speed potential is largely determined by the genetic distribution of muscle fiber types. In addition, our test also seems to have a tendency (in order to make a clear statement, significantly more subjects would have to be tested) that only an improvement in a low percentage range is possible in 10 weeks and therefore no major effect can be achieved even with the specific training compared with endurance, for example. But if you now compare the training effort with the result, a noticeable effect was achieved in a total of ONLY 4.2 hours of training time. What do we learn from this? Speed ​​is still dominated by genetic conditions. But with relatively little effort you can scrape out perhaps 2-3 decisive percentages and get to the ball faster than your opponent.

How can you accurately measure your speed?

When you think about exact speed measurements, you usually think of expensive equipment. Fortunately, there are now inexpensive and practical speed measuring devices that measure to the hundredth of a second. Our recommendation is the measuring device from Jawku , which we use almost every day with our players. The device resembles a watch and works together with the Jawku speed app.

Since we ourselves are completely behind this product and speed measurement can be very important for every footballer and coach, we were able to organize a 15% discount code for Jawku , which is “360football” . You can use this code when purchasing a Jawku measuring device .


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  • Take your diet to the next level too. With tips for regeneration and nutrition and our supplements for footballers .


Fig1: “Types of muscle fasting”


Mastersport” Trainingsworld.

Dennis Sandy. “Speed ​​training” Trainingsworld.

Mark Maslow. “Muscle fiber types” MarathonFitness.

Denis Sandy. “Training tips” Trainingworld.

"Power and speed in football" Swiss Football Association p.5

“Recovery versus overtraining”

"Fundamentals of speed training"

"Training with the coordination ladder"

“Can you train speed” (Böhler, T. 2021)

"Power and speed in football" Swiss Football Association p. 8.9 (accessed September 16, 2015)

“Aerobic-Anaerobic Threshold”

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