Best football running back drills

Being a successful football running back requires a combination of strength, speed, agility, and endurance. To excel in this position, players must master a variety of drills that focus on improving their skills and athleticism. These drills not only enhance the players’ physical abilities but also help them develop the mental toughness required to excel in the demanding position of a running back.

One important drill for running backs is the cone drill. This drill helps players improve their agility and change of direction, which are crucial skills for evading defenders. In the cone drill, players sprint between a series of cones arranged in a specific pattern, forcing them to make quick cuts and changes of direction. This drill helps improve a running back’s ability to swiftly navigate through tight spaces and outrun defenders.

Another essential drill for running backs is the ball security drill. Fumbling can have a significant impact on a team’s success, and running backs must learn to protect the football at all costs. During the ball security drill, players practice holding the ball securely while running through a gauntlet of defenders attempting to strip it away. This drill helps build strong grip strength and teaches running backs the importance of maintaining a tight grip on the ball during games.

Effective Football Running Back Drills to Improve Performance

Effective Football Running Back Drills to Improve Performance

Football running backs play a crucial role in the success of any team’s offense. They are responsible for making quick decisions, demonstrating agility, and maintaining a strong level of physicality. To excel in this position, it is essential for running backs to regularly practice specific drills that focus on their skills and abilities.

Here are some highly effective football running back drills that can help improve performance:

  • Cone Agility Drill: This drill involves setting up a series of cones in various positions and distances. The running back must quickly navigate through the cones, simulating game-like movements and enhancing agility and change of direction capabilities.
  • Ball Security Drill: Running backs need to have exceptional ball security to avoid turnovers. This drill focuses on proper hand positioning, grip strength, and overall ball control. It often involves using a resistance band to challenge the running back’s ability to maintain control.
  • Pass Protection Drill: In order to protect the quarterback, running backs must develop the ability to effectively block opposing players. This drill focuses on teaching proper blocking technique, footwork, and body positioning to enhance pass protection skills.
  • Route Running Drill: Running backs often need to be effective receivers out of the backfield. This drill focuses on improving route-running technique, precision, and timing. It involves running various routes and catching passes from quarterbacks.
  • Tackling Drill: To become an effective running back, it is essential to possess the ability to break tackles and gain additional yardage. This drill involves simulating contact and teaching running backs how to maintain balance, use proper body mechanics, and effectively break tackles.

By incorporating these drills into their training routine, football running backs can enhance their skills and abilities, ultimately contributing to their team’s success on the field.

Cone Drills for Agility and Footwork

Cone Drills for Agility and Footwork

When it comes to excelling as a football running back, agility and footwork are essential skills to develop. Cone drills are a popular and effective way to improve these abilities, as they require quick changes in direction and precise movements. By incorporating cone drills into your training regimen, you can enhance your agility, footwork, and overall performance on the field.

One of the most common cone drills for running backs is the L-Drill. This drill involves setting up three cones in the shape of an L, with one cone at the starting point and the other two forming the corners of the L. The running back begins at the starting cone and sprints to the first corner cone, making a sharp turn and sprinting to the second corner cone. They then make another sharp turn and sprint back to the starting cone. This drill helps improve a player’s ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction quickly.

  • Another effective cone drill is the 5-10-5 drill, also known as the Pro Agility Shuttle. In this drill, three cones are set up in a straight line, with the middle cone positioned five yards away from the starting cone, and the final cone placed ten yards from the middle cone. The running back starts from the middle cone, sprints to touch the starting cone, changes direction and sprints to touch the final cone, before finally sprinting back to the starting cone. This drill focuses on lateral quickness, as well as the ability to change direction smoothly.
  • The T-Drill is another cone drill that targets agility and footwork. Four cones are set up in the shape of a T, with one cone serving as the starting point and the other three forming the top and sides of the T. The running back begins at the starting cone and sprints forward to touch the cone at the top of the T, then quickly side shuffles to touch one of the sideline cones, before shuffling back to touch the cone at the top of the T again. Finally, they shuffle to touch the other sideline cone, before sprinting back to the starting cone. This drill helps improve a player’s ability to change direction efficiently while maintaining balance and control.

Incorporating cone drills into your training routine can greatly enhance your agility and footwork as a football running back. These drills allow you to develop the necessary skills to quickly change direction, accelerate, decelerate, and maintain balance on the field. By regularly practicing cone drills, you can become a more dynamic and effective player, capable of eluding defenders and making explosive plays.

Shuttle runs are an effective drill for developing speed and quickness in football running backs. This drill involves running back and forth between two markers placed a set distance apart. By incorporating quick changes of direction and explosive bursts of speed, shuttle runs help improve a player’s agility, reaction time, and overall speed.

To perform shuttle runs, a running back starts in a low stance at one marker and sprints to the other marker as quickly as possible. Once reaching the second marker, the player must immediately change direction and sprint back to the starting point. This back-and-forth motion is repeated for a designated number of times or for a set duration.

During shuttle runs, it’s important for running backs to focus on maintaining proper form and technique. They should stay low to the ground, keep their eyes forward, and generate power from their legs with each explosive step. It’s also crucial to engage the core muscles and maintain a strong upper body posture for balance and stability.

Shuttle runs can be modified to add variation and challenge. For example, coaches can incorporate lateral movements into the drill by having players shuffle side to side between the markers instead of sprinting straight ahead. Additionally, the distance between the markers can be adjusted to increase or decrease the level of difficulty.

By regularly incorporating shuttle runs into their training routine, football running backs can significantly improve their speed, quickness, and agility on the field. These drills help simulate the fast-paced and unpredictable nature of the game, allowing players to develop the necessary skills to evade defenders, change direction quickly, and make explosive plays.

One-on-One Blocking Drills for Strength and Technique

One of the most important skills for a football running back is the ability to effectively block defenders. Strong and technically sound blocking can provide the quarterback with more time to make a pass or create opportunities for the running back to gain yards. One-on-one blocking drills are crucial for developing the strength and technique necessary to excel in blocking.

1. Hand Placement Drill: This drill focuses on teaching the running back proper hand placement when engaging with a defender. The running back lines up across from a teammate or coach who acts as the defender. The running back’s goal is to establish control by placing their hands inside the defender’s pads and driving them back. The drill emphasizes the importance of a low, strong base and using the legs and hips to generate power.

2. Mirror Drill: The mirror drill helps running backs improve their footwork and agility when blocking a defender. The running back and the defender stand face to face a few feet apart, with their hands up and ready. The running back’s task is to stay in front of the defender and mirror their movements without crossing their feet or getting off balance. This drill helps improve lateral quickness and the ability to react to the defender’s movements in real-time.

3. Punch Drill: This drill focuses on teaching running backs how to deliver a powerful punch to the defender’s chest or shoulders. The running back starts a few feet away from the defender and simulates a blocking motion by extending their arms and forcefully driving their hands into the defender’s chest or shoulders. The goal is to generate enough force to knock the defender off balance. Proper technique, such as keeping the elbows tight and using the legs and core muscles, is emphasized in this drill.

These one-on-one blocking drills are just a few examples of the many exercises that can help running backs improve their strength and technique in blocking. By consistently practicing these drills, running backs can become more confident and effective in their blocking assignments, making them valuable assets to their team’s offense.

5 Best football running back drills

Precision Pro Near Flat Space Markers Football Rugby Training Drills Gym blue K-REY-TR420

14 new from £14.88
as of September 29, 2023 12:46 pm


  • Precision Pro Near Flat Markers (Set of 40)

YGORTECH Football Speed Agility Training Set, Agility Ladder, 12 Sports Cones and Football Kick Trainer, Football Training Equipment Footwork Drills for Kids and Adults

3 used from £19.78
Free shipping
as of September 29, 2023 12:46 pm


  • [Complete Sports Training Set] Footwork Drills, improve football skills, this is a comprehensive football training equipment! Each kit includes a 12 rung 6M agility ladder, 12 soccer cones(6 yellow, 6 orange), 1 Football Kick Trainer, 4 steel stakes for added stability, and a carrying bag.
  • [High-quality Material] Speed training ladder made of quality heavy duty nylon and PE material, high strong and durable, very wear-proof, long service life.Football kick trainer is made of neoprene with integration design, making it durable and elastic to withstand thousands of hits and kicks.
  • [Speed Agility Training] Agility ladder and Cones can improve the ability of fast footwork. It practice the flexibility, balance, and coordination of the body. Agility Ladder is the most common training tool to improve athlete’s performance including agility, speed, explosiveness, balance, footwork, and cardiovascular health.
  • [Your Best Football Trainer] Hands-free football kick trainer allows players to maximise the number of touches on the ball,keep the ball around you with this soccer trainer,no more chasing you have more time improving passing, dribbling, receiving and other football skills. Adjustable waist belt, suitable for football training aids for children and adults.
  • [Multifunction] Suitable for PE teachers, coaches, basketball players, soccer players, tennis players, track athletes, rugby players and athletes of all sorts. Can also be used to create a fun obstacle course suitable for kids and adults alike.Can be used as Christmas, birthday or other holiday gifts to friends or relatives who love sports.

Speed Training Kit/Overload Running Resistance & Release/Harness & Resistance Band, Speed and Agility Equipment for Sprint and Football, Basketball, Soccer/Youth and Adult Ready

as of September 29, 2023 12:46 pm


  • GET FASTER: Your speed training kit provides running resistance using speed training harness along with bullet-proof resistance strap to build up power that is instantly released to recruit more muscle fibers for greater leg drive and stride length, giving you increased speed in less time
  • GET QUICKER: When released from dynamic resistance, your body awareness is conditioned to generate greater ground foot strikes, key to generating the power needed to boost first-step quickness and enhance rapid acceleration.
  • 360-DEGREE TRAINING: Because athletic movements are not one-dimensional, YNXing designed your agility training harness with a rugged sliding ring along with multiple D-Rings attachment points so you can train in any direction, for an agility trainer built for real-world moves for football, soccer and basketball, giving your body new levels of game-saving agility
  • TRAIN EASILY: Simply wrap and fasten the Athlete Belt around your waist. Attach the Partner Strap and you’re ready to train. The speed training harness' double buckle design and premium Velcro will comfortably fit youth and adult athletes, and when loosened you will be able to easily step in and out of the belt between uses
  • Excellent Service: This SPEED TRAINER developed by professional athletes and along with professional speed and agility trainers, to enhance your speed and agility training. All parts are covered by a 12-month warranty; message us for details.

Hippowarehouse Personalised Baseball Cap hat Premium Printed 5 Panel OneSize Adults Black

as of September 29, 2023 12:46 pm


  • Adult size with adjustable strap.
  • The highest quality printing methods are used to create the best finish. Sponge clean only.
  • 100% Cotton drill
  • Matching products available in our storefront on selected items.
  • Competitively priced

Football Master ™ Fitness Speed Training Equipment Exercise Aid Set – Includes 6 X 15 cm Speed Hurdles, 1 x 6 metre Agility ladder with 12 Rungs, Carry bag, 10 marker cones For Kids, Teens Soccer

as of September 29, 2023 12:46 pm


  • ⚽ Introducing the ultimate football training kit that's taking the sporting world by storm! The Football Master Agility Ladder and Training Equipment Set is a game-changer, providing you with everything you need to enhance your football skills, improve your fitness, and take your game to the next level.
  • ⚽ This incredible set includes a 6-meter agility ladder with 12 adjustable rungs, 10 football training cones, and 6 tall speed hurdles, all designed to boost your confidence and help you become a better player. Whether you're an amateur or a professional, this training kit will take your performance to the next level.
  • ⚽ With its fully adjustable ladder, you can tailor your workout to your fitness level and training needs, improving your footwork, speed, and agility. The set of 6 tall speed agility hurdles are perfect for improving stride technique, footwork, speed, and acceleration. The fluorescent green hurdles are sturdy and shatterproof, making them suitable for late-night training sessions.
  • ⚽ Whether you're using the agility ladder for match warm-ups or training, it's perfect for improving your foot speed, strengthening your foot muscles, and enhancing your flexibility, balance, and body coordination. With the addition of the 10 Football Master Training Cones, you can create endless training routines, drills, and practices that will have you performing like a pro in no time.
  • ⚽Built to last, the Training Equipment Set is made from high-quality PP material, ensuring it's sturdy, durable, and shatterproof. So, what are you waiting for? Order your Football Master Agility Ladder and Training Equipment Set today and start taking your game to the next level! Get ready to impress your teammates, coaches, and fans with your improved performance on the pitch.

Question and answer:

What are some one-on-one blocking drills for strength and technique?

Some one-on-one blocking drills for strength and technique include the bull in the ring drill, the mirror drill, the pancake drill, the arm wrestle drill, and the sled drill.

What is the bull in the ring drill?

The bull in the ring drill is a one-on-one blocking drill where two players stand facing each other in a ring of players. One player is designated as the “bull” and must try to break through the ring, while the other player must use proper blocking techniques to prevent the bull from getting through.

What is the mirror drill?

The mirror drill is a one-on-one blocking drill where two players face each other and mirror each other’s movements. This drill helps improve technique and footwork by focusing on mirroring the opponent’s movements and reacting quickly.

What is the pancake drill?

The pancake drill is a one-on-one blocking drill where the offensive player tries to pancake or flatten the defensive player to the ground. This drill helps build strength and technique by focusing on explosive power and leverage.

What is the arm wrestle drill?

The arm wrestle drill is a one-on-one blocking drill where two players face each other and grip each other’s arms like in an arm wrestling match. The players must then try to push each other backwards, simulating the strength and technique needed for blocking in football.

What are some one-on-one blocking drills that can help improve strength and technique?

There are several one-on-one blocking drills that can be beneficial for improving both strength and technique. One example is the “Mirror Drill,” where two players face each other and mirror each other’s movements. The goal is to maintain proper blocking form and technique while also trying to overpower the other player. This drill helps improve strength, footwork, and reaction time. Another drill is the “Push and Pull Drill,” where one player tries to push the other player out of a designated area, while the other player tries to resist and maintain their ground. This drill improves lower body strength and teaches players how to maintain balance and leverage against opponents. Overall, incorporating a variety of one-on-one blocking drills into training sessions can help improve both strength and technique.


In conclusion, one-on-one blocking drills are an essential part of a football player’s training regimen, focusing on both strength and technique. These drills enhance a player’s ability to engage in physical battles with opponents at the line of scrimmage, requiring them to generate power and maintain proper body position. By consistently practicing one-on-one blocking drills, players can develop the necessary skills to dominate their opponents, creating openings for the offense or halting the progress of the defense. Whether it be drive blocking, down blocking, or pass blocking, these drills help players improve their strength, footwork, hand placement, and overall blocking technique. Moreover, the competitive nature of these drills replicates game-like situations, preparing players for the challenges they will face on the field. Therefore, incorporating one-on-one blocking drills into training sessions is vital for any football player aspiring to excel in their position and contribute to the success of their team.

Harrison Clayton

Harrison Clayton

Meet Harrison Clayton, a distinguished author and home remodeling enthusiast whose expertise in the realm of renovation is second to none. With a passion for transforming houses into inviting homes, Harrison's writing at brings a breath of fresh inspiration to the world of home improvement. Whether you're looking to revamp a small corner of your abode or embark on a complete home transformation, Harrison's articles provide the essential expertise and creative flair to turn your visions into reality. So, dive into the captivating world of home remodeling with Harrison Clayton and unlock the full potential of your living space with every word he writes.

The Huts Eastbourne