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Fast Feet Exercises To Improve Foot Speed (Develop Agility)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Last updated: April 13, 2023

Adding the fast feet exercise to your workout routine is an excellent and simple way to get your blood pumping, heart rate up, and fast-twitch action going in your muscles.

However, as a personal fitness coach for more than a decade, I have seen people get the technique and timing wrong, making this exercise less effective than it should be.

So, our team got together, and we tested some different techniques and timing options to gather relevant information for this post.

Here's how you should incorporate quick feet exercises into your workout plans.

Quick Summary

  • The quick feet, aka fast feet, exercise involves lifting one foot at a time off the ground at high speed, like running in one spot.
  • Increasing your foot speed in this way can help with many other athletic performances and sports, especially any actions that require fast changes in direction.
  • Because the quick feet exercise doesn't require any equipment, it's also an ideal way to do high-intensity cardio at home.

How To Do Fast Feet Step By Step

Feet in starting position

Doing the quick feet exercise might look like a simple task, but I suggest you read these instructions carefully to get the most out of it:

  • Get into an athletic stance with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your core tight throughout, and make sure you fully engage it before you start moving your feet.
  • Get onto the balls of your feet, leaning slightly towards your toes.
  • Now, lift up each foot at a time just a few inches off the ground while keeping your hips low and in position.
  • As you raise each foot, bring up the opposite arm to get into the full motion that a sprinter would be in.

You want to keep this exercise going for as long as possible, and you'll intensify it if you stay low and lean forward slightly.

What Are The Benefits?

Performing fast feet exercise close up image

The main benefits of the quick feet exercise are that you don't need equipment, you'll learn it in no time, and it's a great way to target your legs and core.

In comparison to jumping rope or doing burpees, this workout requires less skill and coordination. You'll get into the rhythm once you get your feet, legs, and arms coordinated.

Because you don't need any equipment, circuit training is a beneficial way make it an ideal way to get your muscles pumping for a warm-up or as a station.

The other major benefit is that it's a great way to work on fast-twitch fibers in your quad, hamstring, and calf muscles [1].

"In the simplest terms, fast-twitch (type II) muscle fibers are built for short, powerful bursts of energy—that's in contrast to slow-twitch (type I) muscle fibers, which are built for endurance activities like long-distance running or biking."

- Mohamad Hassan, PT, DPT

Variations And Alternatives

Alternative version of fast feet

Here are two quick feet variations that I like the best, and they don't involve a jump rope or complicated ladder drills.

In And Outs

For this, you get into the same athletic position as with quick feet.

But instead of running on the spot, you step your feet out more than shoulder-width apart and then step back in.

And, of course, you do this as fast as possible.

March In Place

Here's a great tip I got from my college rowing coach. Start by doing quick feet for 30 seconds and then switch to 20 seconds of marching in place at a slower pace.

This will allow your heart rate to slow down a bit again, and then you can jump right back into quick feet for another 30 seconds [2].


What Does Fast Feet Exercise Do?

The fast feet exercise is a great way to work on speed and agility in the legs. This is particularly important for sprinters or athletes playing sports where sudden changes of direction are critical for successful competitiveness.

Does Fast Feet Make You Faster?

No, doing fast feet exercises alone will not make you faster. You will need to do a lot of other strength workouts to build up the right amount of muscle mass to give you explosive power in your legs.

Start Adding The Quick Feet Exercise To Your Workouts

Developing quicker feet and better agility should be a priority for most athletes. And the added bonus of the fast feet workout is that you'll bring your heart rate up for a great cardio exercise without impacting your knees.

To get more out of this workout, I’d advise you to add one of the pre-workout supplements we tested to your stack:

These won't make you faster or help you bulk up overnight, but the small improvements will add up over the weeks ahead.


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