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Training drills

Some training drills to increase specific skills.

Drill tips

Tips for developing speed
  • To develop speed, work on developing gross motor skills more than precision skills.
  • Don’t try to build speed until you have mastered the form of the technique.
  • Speed training requires relaxation during the entire technique, except at the point of impact when the muscles should briefly tense and then relax again.
  • Recovery between executions is essential for improving speed. If you are training a single skill, the time may be brief. If you are training on combinations, increase the recovery time so you do not become fatigued too early.
  • Many experts advise putting speed training early in the workout, so you are not fatigued, and your muscles are fresh. If you are relatively flexible, have good muscular endurance, and can relax easily, this may work for you; however, you may become too fatigued to perform well later in the workout and you may be too tense to achieve your potential. Practicing speed skills near the end of a workout means your muscles are looser so you may be more relaxed; however, you may already be fatigued. Choose the time for speed training that works best for you, early, late, or interspersed in the workout.
  • Keep repetitions of each skill low but the quality of each repetition high. Perform each rep with complete concentration and fully rest between repetitions.
  • As you perform repetitions, you may find that one of the repetitions felt "right." Try to capture and recreate this feeling during all repetitions.
  • Cross-train so you don’t burn out on speed drills or hit a speed plateau. 


  • Power drill. Also called 10-20-10's. Use full speed and full power. Partner holds body shield and you perform 10 roundhouse kicks on one side, then 20 clinching straight knees, then another 10 roundhouse kicks on the other side. Switch sides.
  • Elbow training. Perform elbow strikes on focus mitts as fast as you can (alternate sides each strike). If you do it fast enough, it starts to sound like a train.
  • Neck wrestling. Clinch with your opponent, bent over, each trying to gain the "control" position, with your opponent’s head trapped to your chest. If you get caught, you must perform an escape.
  • Progressive combos. Progress a combination from its first strike and build on it with at least 6 separate strikes. Start with one strike. Repeat 10 times. Then add another strike. Repeat 10 times. Add another, repeat 10 times, etc. For example, 10 jabs, 10 double jabs, 10 double jabs and a cross, 10 jab- jab-cross-hook-bob and weave, 10 jab-jab-cross-hook-bob and weave-cross, etc., etc. Do not forget to add kicks, knees, elbows, etc.
  • Fastest cardio workout ever. For the fastest cardio workout ever, do 24 squats, 24 lunges (12 on each side), and 24 jump squats, all in 90 seconds. 

Medicine ball drills:

  • Circle toss. Everyone stands in a wide circle. Toss the ball to each other getting some "air" under the ball. The ball should be thrown up in the air, not straight at the partners. The whole group does 10 pushups for each time the ball is dropped.
  • Circle thrust. Everyone stands in a circle, close together. Hand the medicine ball around in a circle, changing directions occasionally. When you hand the ball around, do not simply "hand" it to the person next to you, but thrust it into their abdomen. Aim for the abs or obliques. The person being handed to should allow the ball to impact with their abdomen and then take the ball. Don’t catch the ball before it hits you.
  • Partner sit-ups. Partner 1 does a sit-up and is then handed the ball by partner 2, while in the "up" position. Partner 1 holds ball outstretched above his or her head and then does another sit-up, handing the ball back to his or her partner. Partner 1 then does another sit-up, at the end of which he or she gets the ball again. Essentially, partner 1 is doing every other sit-up with the ball. Do 10 to 20 repetitions. The partners then switch positions.
  • Twists. With a partner, stand back to back but far enough apart so there is enough room to twist and hand the ball to the other student. Partner 1 twists to right (keeping feet planted) and hands ball to partner 2, who is twisted to the left. Partner 2 takes the ball and then twists to left and hands ball to partner 1, who is twisted to the left. Repeat. Switch directions.
  • Knees up. Knee the ball up in the air in front as though it were a soccer ball. Alternate knees, trying to keep the ball in the air.
  • Abdomen drop. Drop the medicine ball on the partner’s stomach while he or she is performing sit-ups. As the partner on the floor is doing a sit-up, while he or she is in the down position, the other partner drops the ball onto his or her abdomen. Be careful not to drop in on the partner’s lap or sternum.
  • Box the ball. Both partners wear thick hand protection. Partner 1 holds the ball at about chest height. Partner 2 boxes with the ball as though it were a heavy bag. Partner 1 should change positions of the ball to create different angles and punch levels to cause partner 2 to move around a lot. Partners switch the ball between each round. If any partner drops the ball, that partner must do 20 pushups each time the ball is dropped. Perform 3 rounds apiece, for a total of 6 rounds.
  • Ball jump. Set the round clock for 30-second intervals. Stand with the medicine ball on the floor in front of you. At the start of the round clock, start by jumping over the medicine ball front and back, getting the knees up high towards the chest. Keep this up until the timer sounds, then switch and start jumping over the ball by jumping side to side. Again, jump with the knees up high to your chest. At the next interval, switch to jumping front and back. Keep switching from front/back to side/side.
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