Exercise of the Week: The Wall Start

When we think about the great athletes, we hear about how strong, how fast, how well they can cut and change direction.  What we don’t hear is how well they accelerate.  The greatest athletes aren’t necessarily the fastest.  They are typically the ones that can accelerate the best.  That is…the ones who can create horizontal direction and gain ground with the most efficiency.

One of my favorite drills to teach proper acceleration mechanics is the Wall Start.


Key points:

  • Use back arm to rip through toward wall to start motion
  • Drive back knee forward toward wall
  • Create positive shin angle
  • Keep up foot behind knee and dorsiflexed on finish
  • Create triple extension (ankle, knee, hip) of drive leg
  • Straight line from shoulder to ankle during finish

Use this drill as a warm-up, part of a superset, or as an individual exercise with resistance to create more power during the first step.

The drill can also be done from varying athletic positions:

  • Lead off position
  • 4 point stance
  • 2 Point stance

If you or your athlete has hand, elbow, or shoulder issues, do not perform this exercise until they can do a Wall March without a discomfort or pain.