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Sprints and Cone Drills for a Trim and Strong Body

Try this 20-exercise functional-fitness workout – featuring sprints and cone drills – to help your body get trim and strong.

These exercises can produce positive, visible results in your physique. They are for both men and women and can be modified to match any fitness level.

The printable list of exercises and the motivational video lower within this article can help you get started.

If you do these exercises weekly, don’t be surprised if you begin to look and feel better!

Sprints Are What Have Been Missing From Your Weekly Exercise Regimen

Many people who remember to do lower-intensity steady-state cardio each week will forget to include an anaerobic, higher-intensity, shorter-burst cardio workout.

And that’s a shame.

Because higher-intensity intervals are more effective for using fat cells for energy while improving leg shape and strength.

Sprints, speed drills, and cone drills are what have been missing from your weekly workout regimen. Here’s why they’re so good:

  • You can burn more calories with sprints.
  • Sprinting is an excellent way to wake up a sluggish metabolism so that it can burn fat cells for energy more efficiently.
sprint day jumping drills
  • Sprints, cone drills, and plyometric jumps help increase agility, balance, and core strength – all while improving heart and lung conditioning.

These 20 exercise ideas sprints should prove helpful for your next once-a-week anaerobic day.

Sprints and other higher-intensity interval training exercises involve short (but intense) bursts of physical activity in which oxygen demand surpasses oxygen supply.

Since sprints can be intense, it’s essential that you carefully warm up your joints and limber your spine beforehand:

  • It’s also a good idea to unstiffen your hips and gently lengthen your calves and hip flexors before you begin.
  • As always, ask your medical doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen – including this one.

One simple way to tell if your heart rate has reached the anaerobic zone is if you’re breathing heavily.

During sprints (and immediately after), you should be breathing so heavily that conversation is difficult – and singing impossible.

Challenge yourself to move fast enough that you feel like you’re working almost as hard as you can.

On a scale of 1-to-10, that would probably be an “8” to “8.5.” You never want to push yourself so hard that you experience dizziness, nausea, or numbness. Also, you don’t want to be so short of breath that you accidentally swallow lots of air (which can give you painful gas later that night).

Sprinting can put positive stress on the central nervous system. Therefore, recovery is required.

Many people find that sprinting once each week is enough (however, if your body is still sore seven days later and needs more time to recover, give yourself that extra time to rest).

The idea is to challenge your body, but not so much that you suppress your immune system or injure an ankle.

What follows is an anaerobic workout that emphasizes sprints. Beginners are encouraged to modify this workout as needed (sometimes, less is more).

Fat-Burning Drills Using Sprints, Cones, Agility Footwork, and a Speed Ladder

Here are 20 exercises to get you started on a muscle-toning, calorie-blasting workout:

  • Each circuit is done three times.
  • Do each exercise within the circuit consecutively without rest, then take a 2-minute rest before repeating.
  • After you complete your third time through a particular circuit, you move on to the next circuit in the series.

Though you’ll see I use equipment in the photos and video, you really need very little.

Toys can make a workout more fun but they are not strictly necessary. The hurdles, hopscotch grid (speed ladder), battle rope, box platforms, and cones are optional.

Even the stability ball used in the warm-up is not essential. The exercises can be done ball-free by isolating the abdominals carefully and creating a quality contraction of the muscle fibers.

Circuit One: Preparing for Sprints (Stability Ball Warm-Up)

abs crunches feet on ball

Straight-Legged Crunches with Feet on Ball

  • Place your feet up on a stability ball.
  • Press the heels of your feet down into the ball.
  • Keep your legs straight, but without locking your knees.
  • Press your lower back firmly into the mat.
  • Draw your navel in tightly as you compress your rib cage, even as you try to maintain length in the spine.
  • The contraction of your abdominal muscles causes your shoulder blades to rise up off the mat.
  • Keep your elbows pulled back-and-open, as you exhale all the air out of your lungs.
  • 20 repetitions.

Ab Rollers on Ball

ab rollers with ball
  • Start in a plank position with your forearms on the stability ball – your knees, however, stay on the mat.
  • In this held plank position, stay active. No sway back. Glutes and abdominals engaged.
  • Initiating the movement from your abs, contract the muscles – pulling your waistline up to the sky with intensity.
  • The contraction causes you to roll the ball toward you (about half way) as you exhale fully.
  • 20 reps.

Ball Plank on Elbows

ball plank on elbows
  • Forearms on the ball, full plank with knees elevated off the ground.
  • Keep your abdominals pulled up-and-in fiercely.
  • Be certain that your pelvis remains centered – no arching.
  • Hold for 30-seconds.
  • Be especially mindful of your lower abdominals – those are the muscle fibers located below the navel. Keep those sucked in very tightly.

To ensure that you’re warming up fully, you may want to do a light jog for one minute each time you end the first circuit (that’s what I do). This will help ensure that you’re sufficiently mobile for the jumping that comes up in the next new circuit.

Let the Sprints Begin! Second Circuit:

When doing side-to-side movements, it’s wise to wear good shoes with ample lateral support. Be mindful on sprint day not to roll an ankle. Stay energized and highly focused.

Skaters (Alternating Leg Jumps, Side-to-Side)

skaters jumping exercise for legs
  • Jump side to side on alternating legs (like how Olympic ice skaters look when they’re racing).
  • Challenge yourself to jump a bit wider than is comfortable.
  • While jumping, keep your core muscles active.
  • It’s tempting to hold your breath while jumping but breathe throughout the movement.
  • 20 jumps.
knee-ups HIIT

Knee-Up Sprints

  • 30 knee ups, traveling forward.
  • Sprints should feel a bit difficult. Challenge yourself to get the knees higher than what is naturally comfortable.
mature athlete over fifty during sprints workout
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  • Challenge yourself to move faster than what is comfortable.
  • Be mindful of how your foot lands on the ground each time. Unless it hurts your knee, the toes should point directly forward – also avoid rolling your body weight onto one side of your foot.
single-leg four square hops HIIT

Single-leg Foursquare Hops

  • On one leg, hop your foot in a square formation, twice.
  • Switch to the other leg. Repeat.
  • It’s tempting to keep your hands on your hips, but you’ll find that you balance much easier with your arms to the side or up.
  • Concentrate. No sloppy ankles.
butt kicks leg day

Butt Kicks

  • Butt kicks (hamstring curls) traveling forward.
  • Really kick your butt. Go for range of motion!
  • 30 kicks.
  • Challenge yourself to move faster than what is comfortable.
hopscotch jumps HIIT

Forward Jumps (2 up, 1 back)

  • Huge hop forward, with a smaller hop back.
  • If you don’t have a hopscotch ladder, do six jump sets.
  • Turn around, and do the same jumping sequence on the return trip.
side hurdles drills sprints

Side Hurdles

  • Hop over each hurdle quickly, facing to the side.
  • Go up and back, then turn the other direction and do it again.
  • If you don’t have hurdles, count out ten hops in each direction.
forward hops exercise sprints drills

Forward Hops

  • 12 single, quick hops forward (or if you have a hopscotch ladder, the length of the ladder).
  • No return trip. One time only.
iron cross sprints drills

Traveling Iron Cross

  • 12 toe touches (opposite hand to toe) as you travel forward.
  • With each toe touch, try to lift the foot up above hip level.
  • Travel forward with large steps as you go.
  • Use your abdominal muscles, too – not just quads and hip flexors.
Battlerope jumps sprints drills

Big Jump Forward (Feet Together Mid-Jump, then Apart to Land)

  • Start with feet wide, then jump up high and clap your feet together.
  • Return landing in the feet-wide position.
  • With each high jump, travel forward.
  • 10 big jumps in quick succession – or the length of a battle rope.
  • With each high jump, travel forward.
  • 10 big jumps in quick succession (or the length of a battle rope).
outdoor sprints anaerobic

30-Yard Sprint

  • Run as absolutely fast as you can for 30 yards.
  • At the end of 30 yards, don’t brake too quickly (this is important) or you might trip.
  • Decelerate gradually after reaching the 30-yard mark.

Third Circuit of Sprints:

side to side leg jumps sprints drills

Side-to-Side Leg Jumps

  • Both legs together, jump side to side.
  • Jump a little wider than what feels naturally comfortable.
  • Move quickly.
  • 15 jumps.
rrunover hurdles sprints drills

Runover Hurdle Sprints

  • Facing forward, run quickly over 10 hurdles.
  • Turn around and come back again.
  • Repeat two more times.
skipping drills sprint day

Exaggerated Skips

  • Skip forward in a very exaggerated way.
  • Hit a high peak in your skip.
  • Cover a lot of ground in your skip – travel forward.
skipping drills sprint day

Single-Leg Hopscotch (Forward and Back)

  • Hop forward 10 times on one foot.
  • Then hop backward on that same foot ten times.
  • Switch feet, and repeat.
box kickovers sprints drills hiit

Box Kickover Sprints (In and Out)

  • Kick up and over a couple of box platforms (or imagine a tall hurdle there) 10 times, from out to in.
  • During each kick, your foot should come up way above hip level.
  • Use your core. Try not to tilt your hip. Keep your chest lifted and your spine tall.
  • Switch to the other leg. Repeat.
  • Next, switch to the other leg, but this time, kick from in to out.
  • Switch to the other leg, Repeat.
sprinting cone drills

Staggered Cone Race (with Hop Back)

  • Sprint 10 yards, touch a cone, then hop backward and return to the starting position.
  • Sprint 20 yards, touch a cone, then hop backward and return.
  • Sprint 30 yards, touch a cone, then hop backward and return.
  • Sprint 40 yards, touch a cone, then hop backward and return.
40 yard final sprint

40-Yard Sprints

  • Your big finisher!
  • Run all-out, almost as fast as you possibly can, for 40 yards.

The above anaerobic exercises can give you a firmer, better-shaped body and a more explosive physical power with proper form and focused intensity.

The entire workout can be done in under 45 minutes.

anaerobic exercise ideas sprints

Sprints and Cone Drills for a Trim Body

A 20-exercise functional-fitness training workout to help your body reach peak conditioning.


  • Equipment can make a workout more fun but is not strictly necessary. The hurdles, hopscotch, battle rope, box platforms, and cones are optional.
  • Even the stability ball used in the warm-up is nonessential, as the exercises can be done ball-free just by isolating the abdominals carefully and creating a quality contraction of the muscle fibers.


  1. Straight-Legged Crunches with Feet on Ball
  2. Ab Rollers on Ball
  3. Ball Plank on Elbows
  4. Skaters (Alternating Leg Jumps, Side-to-Side)
  5. Knee Ups
  6. Single-leg Foursquare Hops
  7. Butt Kicks
  8. Forward Jumps (2 up, 1 back)
  9. Side Hurdles
  10. Forward Hops
  11. Traveling Iron Cross
  12. Big Jumps Together (Foot Claps)
  13. 30-Yard Spring
  14. Side-to-Side Jumps (Legs Together)
  15. Runover Hurdles
  16. Exaggerated Skips
  17. Single-Leg Hopscotch
  18. Box Kickovers (In and Out)
  19. Staggered Cone Race (With Hop Back)
  20. 40-Yard Sprint


See article and video for detailed explanations.

Entire workout can be done in under 45-minutes.

Ask your doctor first.

With proper form and focused intensity, the above anaerobic exercises give you a firmer, better-shaped body and explosive physical power.

Sprinting, cone drills, plyometric jumps, and other anaerobic workouts make bones stronger, shrink the body’s fat cells, develop muscle tone, and elevate mood – especially important after the age of 50.

Sprinting, cone drills, plyometric jumps, and other anaerobic workouts can be significantly helpful for improving wellness because they make bones stronger, shrink the body’s fat cells, and maintain muscle mass – especially important after the age of 50.

Fit, mature athlete doing speed drills in the park.

A bonus to sprinting day is that you will likely experience an endorphin release afterward.

Endorphins are mood-elevating chemicals your body produces after anaerobic exercise, leaving you with a bright outlook and a true sense of accomplishment.

During anaerobic exercise, the muscles have to work especially hard to fuel the workout with their energy – and this helps improve endurance and cardiac health, condition the lungs, burn fat, and develop lean muscle.

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