Many exercises to increase speed involve a consistent workout and flexibility. It is important to allow all the joints in the legs and hips to move freely, and in a forward motion, to increase leg extension and momentum. When performing exercises to increase speed, be prepared to do a significant amount of stretching of the legs and hips before and after the exercises for safety and to obtain the best results. Be prepared, too, to perform strenuous exercises over the course of several weeks or months to get the most out of exercises to increase speed.
The go-to exercise to increase speed is the lunge. The lunge mimics many of the motions the body will go through when running, as well as developing muscles in the thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. To perform a lunge, stand with the feet hip-width apart, then step forward with the right leg, making sure to keep the hips even and the back straight. Put all the body's weight forward so it rests directly above the right foot. Hold this position, then swing the body's weight backward toward the left leg and return to a standing position. Repeat this motion with the left leg.
Other important exercises to increase speed include the heel raise. This exercise will both stretch the muscles in the calves and loosen the ankle joint for agility. It will also help develop muscles in the calves and hamstrings when performed correctly. Start by standing on a block or platform that is a few inches off the ground. Stand on the balls of the feet with the heels hanging off the block, then lower the heels until a light strain or stretch can be felt in the Achilles tendon and in the calves. Hold this position momentarily, then lift the body's weight upward back onto the balls of the feet. Repeat several times for best results.
If a user has access to resistance cords, which can be bought at a sporting goods store at a low price, hip flexion exercises to increase speed are a good addition to a workout. Secure one end of the resistance cord to a post or other stationary object. The other end of the cord should wrap around the leg near the ankle. Stand with the post behind the back and take a step forward so resistance is felt in the cord. Then swing the leg forward while exhaling. The leg should lift off the ground as far as possible, using the resistance from the cord to work the leg muscles. Slowly return to a standing position, then repeat. Do this exercise several times with both legs.