Before we take a look at the best speed and sprint training equipment, let me firstly explain some of the terminology you might come across when looking to improve your speed.
As well as speed and sprint training, you may also come across the term “SAQ.”
“SAQ” simply stands for speed, agility and quickness.
SAQ training is highly effective for both professional athletes and those simply looking to get in shape. SAQ is also a pillar for functional fitness – helping people move more confidently.
SAQ training is a system aimed at developing motor abilities through short, intense drills that involve quick acceleration and deceleration while moving backward, forward or side-to-side. These movements help demonstrate speed, agility and quickness.
The 3 elements of SAQ are fundamental for overall fitness and measuring SAQ is a good indicator of what areas of fitness you need to improve. SAQ goes beyond the importance of absolute speed over a given distance, and includes the value of agility and quickness. These are equally as important for sport and overall fitness.
Improving speed, agility and quickness arms you with explosive multi-directional movements. This is beneficial for sports, fitness and general day to day living.
The list of equipment below is designed to help you train and develop all aspects of SAQ training.
Speed Training Equipment
Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the best fitness gear and equipment to help improve speed.
Power sleds are a fantastic piece of speed training equipment that helps train for explosive speed.
Power sleds can either be used to pull or push. If you pull them, you’ll attach a hardness around you and run with the sled behind you. Doing sprint training with this kind of resistance will make normal running seem so much easier. You can also choose to push the sled. This is aimed at developing strength and explosive power in your legs.
Power sleds come in many shapes and sizes so you can find one to suit your individual training needs. You can add your own weights to power sleds to make it more challenging. Just put bumper plates on the central area of the sled and you’ll create more weight to push or pull.
Our recommended power sled opposite is a really easy-to-use bit of gear that you anyone can use (even with limited space).
Recoil Resistance Trainer
Recoil resistance trainers create added resistance for SAQ training and help force the muscles to work harder.
Recoil trainers can be used in a variety of ways and are an extremely versatile piece of exercise equipment. They can be attached to an stabilizer or someone can hold one end. They help build strength and provide excellent conditioning for sprinting, leaping, shuffling and SAQ movements.
Any kind of jumping or running training can be improved with the use of recoil trainers.
Recoil resistance trainers would also be a highly recommended piece of personal training equipment.
Resistance bands can be incorporated into so many different workouts and exercises.
You can utilize resistance bands for full body workouts but in terms of SAQ training they can be used around the legs to make side-to-side movements, squats and jumps more difficult. The added resistance they create will force your muscles to work harder.
Weighted vests and weighted clothing/gear has somewhat lost it’s popularity in recent years, however, they can be a secret weapon for performing well on competition day.
Around the world, professional sports teams will rely on weighted vests to help give athletes harder training situations which will help them perform the same exercises and movements better when they don’t have the weighted vests on.
Weighted vests are particularly useful for speed exercises during SAQ training. Sprint training and running with weighted vests will ensure your body and muscles are adapted for more than they need to be.
Agility Training Equipment
Agility training equipment helps an athlete become more agile and nimble on their feet. This helps in any sport and learning how to move in a controlled yet dynamic way will ensure you excel in any fitness or sports challenge.
Ladders are very popular in sports such as football, as they help develop that quick first step. Being able to move your bodyweight in a quick and controlled way with help you perform exercises and workouts at a better standard.
Speed and agility ladders help improve agility and can be incorporated into wider exercises training plans.
Agility ladders can also be very useful for improving functional fitness as we get older. This piece of exercise equipment requires good balance, stabilizing strength and reactive movement – all of which are important for movement.
Don’t forget the basics when it comes to SAQ equipment. Cones are an easy and simple way to map out effective agility workouts.
Cones comes in different shapes and sizes but they all serve the same purpose. They are designed to create a training plan that utilizes quick movements and encourages your body to focus on agility and controlled body movements.
Skipping ropes pack a punch in terms of versatility and effectiveness for training.
Skipping is about learning how to control your body efficiently. Skipping ropes help develop agility and quick steps. This will help in any SAQ training, as well as pretty much any sport.
High Step ladder
High step ladders are very similar to regular ladders but elevated. This elevation means your legs need to deploy explosive power to launch yourself over each ladder.
High step ladders force you to jump higher and thus targets the ability to move quickly as well as being able to jump and leap in a small tight space. This is very useful for developing functional fitness and SAQ training.
Boundary Poles are a great tool for developing agility and adaptable speed. Athletes must weave in and out of the poles as quick as possible.
This movement will ensure you can excel at any SAQ training that requires agile movements in quick time.
This type of movement will help in overall movement so is fantastic for general fitness for the over 50’s.
Slider boards are very popular in sports and physiotherapy rehabilitation but they can also be useful in developing better agility and quickness.
The slider boards are great at improving side-to-side strength and stability. This is vital for agility and quickness movements.
Slider boards are commonly used in a lot of sports like basketball where athletes needs to develop very quick and explosive side-to-side movements.
Quickness Training Equipment
Quickness training equipment is designed to help develop improved quickness for sports and exercise. Being able to move quicker and faster will mean you can perform any physical activity easier.
Speed chutes help provide extra resistance for sprint training. The resistance caused from the chutes will mean that your body has to work harder to pick up the same kind of quickness required to do the training. This makes it a very useful piece of equipment for speed and quickness training.
Hurdles are a useful piece of equipment for improving quickness. They are great at creating an extra component to your sprint training.
Including hurdling into your sprint training will mean your body has to develop more control in motion as you combine running with jumping.
Master hurdles and you’ll find most SAQ training a lot easier.
A stopwatch is a key piece of fitness gear to ensure you can track and monitor your progression.
Quickness training is all about becoming faster and quicker in specific workouts and exercises. You want to ensure you can record and monitor this as effectively and reliably as possible.
Speed training equipment is important in helping you achieve your goals of being quicker, more agile and all-round fitter.
SAQ training is a fundamental aspect of sport and fitness so looking to develop your SAQ training should be a priority. Regardless of whether you’re training in you’re garage, or playing professional sports, take advantage of speed training equipment to help optimize your SAQ performance.