Isolated Acceleration Workout Ideas

Posted by Marc Mangiacotti

These are acceleration workout options that I will send to my student-athletes that are at home during this tough time. I thought these ideas may be helpful share.

Sometimes athletes can’t always do a true acceleration workout because of space and access to equipment. However, there is always a way to check the box. These are acceleration workout considerations for athletes with limited space and equipment.

Acceleration ideas that can be done in the backyard or any other space that may be available.

Drill Options:

Wall Drill x 10
Skate Start x 2 pushes
Hop-Hop-Splits-Skate Start x 3 pushes
Crouch Start x 4 pushes
Bow-Touch-Go x 5 pushes
Donkey Kick Start x 6 pushes
Push Up Start x 7 pushes
Rollover Push Up Start x 8 pushes
3 Point Start x 9 pushes
4 Point Start x 10 pushes

If you do not have the ability to do a workout after these, then the drill sequence can be done more than once to turn this into a workout.

Workouts options:

Pick 1 option or do a Plan B option

1) 6-10 x repetitions of 10-20m of straight leg bound into 20-40m build up with 3’ recovery.
2) 4 x 10m, 20m, 30m with 2-3’ recovery between repetitions and 5-6’ between sets.
3) 4 x 10m, 20m or 30m (odd reps without resistance and even reps with resistance – light sled, tire, or simply run into the wind). The athlete should follow the same rest parameters as the workout above.
4) Repetitions of low hurdle hops followed by a 15-30m acceleration with 2-3’ recovery. If you don’t have hurdles, just go through the motion of jumping over hurdles then accelerate.
5) Short hill accelerations of 10-30m using the same rest parameters as workout # 2.

Plan B acceleration options if you can’t go outside:

Stationary bike with resistance. Add enough resistance that you have to work really hard, but not so much that you are not pedaling fast.

These can be done on an Assault Bike if you have access to one.

A) 2 x 10”, 2 x 15”, 2 x 20”, 2 x 15”, 2 x 10” with 60 seconds recovery between repetitions and 3 minutes between sets.
B) 3 x 3 x 10” with 60 seconds recovery between repetitions and 3 minutes between sets.


Do you have a medicine ball or something else you can throw?

Explosive Medicine Ball Throws can be done three ways.

The first way is to throw and chase the med ball on throws that allow for an acceleration afterwards.

The second way is to add in a hop-hop before each throw (always hop forwards).

The third way is to just do the throws as it is written.

Note: If this was going to be all an athlete does, then the athlete should do all three ways. If it is done after an acceleration workout, then do the throws as they are written.

1) Straight Up Throws x 4
2) Med Ball Slams x 4
3) Overhead Forward Throws x 4
4) Below Legs Forward Throws x 4
5) Caber Toss x 4 (4 on each side)


Need something with minimal space?

Explosive In-Place Jumps Circuit that promotes a full range of motion at high intensity. These can be done for 15-20 seconds with 1 minute recovery.

1) Butt Kick Jumps
2) 180’s (rocket jump with a turn in the air)
3) Speed Skaters
4) Tuck Jumps
5) Squat Freeze Jumps
6) Lunge Jumps
7) Air Triple Jumps
8) Step Up Jumps

Explosive body weight circuits to promote full range of motion.

Each exercise should be done for 12 repetitions with 1 minute recovery. Each exercise should be done at 100% intensity. The athlete should want the 1 minute to recover.

1) Push Up with Clap
2) Rocket Jumps
3) V-Sit Ups
4) Mountain Climbers
5) Glute Bridge
6) Speed Skaters
7) Dips
8) Back Hypers with a Twist
9) Leg Toss
10) Single Leg Glute Bridge
11) 4-Count Thrust or Burpee

There are many ways to check the box.

Below is a YouTube playlist containing bodyweight exercise progressions  that our strength coaches started to put together for our student-athletes. Beth Lazarus and Emily Sargent use text books, soup cans and other household items to get in the work.

Bodyweight Program YouTube Playlist








Marc Mangiacotti - Marc Mangiacotti enters his seventh season as an assistant coach with the Crimson for the 2018-19 school year. He oversees the men’s sprinters and hurdles for Harvard University. He is a USA Track & Field Level I and II certified coach in sprints, hurdles, relays, jumps and combined events. Mangiacotti came to Harvard after a two-year tenure at Brown University. During his time in Providence, R.I., he made a big impact on the Bears’ sprinters, coaching five Ivy League champions that combined for nine league titles. He also coached 15 athletes that earned All-Ivy League credentials and saw his group break four school records.

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