Cone Training Drills That'll Boost Your Speed and Agility

Add these cone drills to your workout routine to stay nimble.

Woman Doing Agility Workout
Photo: Shutterstock

Your HIIT routine could be doing double duty to elevate your fitness gains, and it takes only a patch of grass, sand, or pavement to upgrade from those sprintervals, says Jacqueline Kasen, coach and master trainer at Anatomy in Miami Beach. And to make the most out of your workout, cone training is one style of exercise you don't want to overlook.

"By using cones in a HIIT workout, you're focusing on fat loss as well as agility training and motor skills," says Kasen. These cone agility drills require you to move in all three planes of motion — forward/backward, laterally, and rotationally — recruiting multiple muscles, cranking your heart rate, and engaging your brain. Not only does cone training equal a high-calorie burn, but it will also fine-tune your body mechanics and control so you move quickly with strength and precision.

Cone training is worth adding to your routine, no matter your current fitness level, according to Rebecca Quintana, NASM-C.P.T. "Although you might mainly think about agility for athletes, it's extremely useful for the everyday population as well," she says. Agility can come in handy any time you're avoiding obstacles or playing with children in your day-to-day life, and cone training can help you avoid injuries, she notes.

Kasen's cone training workout here packs all those benefits between just five plastic cones. Although each cone drill requires some fancy footwork, the key is to get breathless by the end of each exercise. The workout is beginner-friendly as written, and you can easily scale it down by placing the cones closer together than indicated, says Quintana.

A good rule of thumb: If you don't need the entire minute between rounds to recover, you're not pushing hard enough. Do these cone drills for speed once or twice a week, and you'll quickly appreciate just how much you've raised your game in your other workouts too.

Cone Training Workout

You'll need: A timer, an open strip of space about 25 to 30 feet in length, and five cones. (No cones? Swap in everyday items such as sneakers.)

How it works: Do the dynamic warm-up — it should take about 10 minutes. Then do each of the cone agility drills, alternating between 30 seconds of work and 1 minute of rest for the number of sets indicated.

Total time: 30 minutes


A. Do five walking inchworms, hinging at hips to place palms on ground and walking out to plank. With straight legs, walk feet to hands and stand.

B. Do10 toe touches on right leg. Switch sides; repeat.

C. Do 20 butt kicks, alternating sides.

D. Do 10 hamstring reaches, extending left leg forward with heel on ground and folding forward to reach right hand to lightly pull left toes. Switch sides; repeat.

E. Do 10 leg swings on right leg. Switch sides; repeat.

In-and-Out Drill

A. Place two cones on ground about 1 foot apart and stand directly between them. Quickly step right foot over and outside of the right cone, then left foot over and outside of the left cone.

B. Immediately step right foot back to start, followed by left foot. Continue for 30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute.

That's 1 round. Do 4 rounds, alternating leading foot each round.

Scale down: Rather than hopping over the cones, stand behind them and use them as guides while completing the exercise.

Cross-Cone Hop

A. Place five cones on ground in an X position about 1 1/2 feet apart. Imagineeach wedge of the X is one quadrant. Facing away from the center cone, start by standing on left leg in quadrant at top of X. Hop diagonally back to left, into the next quadrant.

B. Next, hop to bottom quadrant, then right quadrant, then back to top quadrant. Continue counterclockwise for 15 seconds.

C. Reverse, moving clockwise for 15 seconds. Rest for 1 minute.

Repeat on right leg. That's 1 round. Do 3 rounds.

Scale down: Hop with both feet.


A. Place five cones on the ground in a zigzag line about 3 feet apart from one another. Stand behind the first cone, diagonally to its right, with the zigzag line of cones extending before you. Push off left foot (swinging arms behind body) and bound forward and to the right. Land on right foot next to the first cone on the right side.

B. Push off right foot to bound forward and to the left, landing on left foot next to the second cone on the left side.

C. Continue this pattern. At the end, turn around and repeat in opposite direction. Continue for 30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute.

That's 1 round. Do 2 rounds.

Scale up: After landing on one foot, do not touch other foot to ground before bounding in opposite direction.

Forward and Back Shuffle

A. Leave cones in same position as in previous exercise. Face parallel to the cones, standing to the right of the first cone. Shuffle forward and around the left of the rightmost cone in the front row, then backward and around the middle cone in the back row, then forward and around to leftmost cone in the front row.

B. Continue in this weaving pattern. At end of thecones, reverse shuffle movement back to start. Repeat for 30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute.

That's 1 round. Do 4 rounds.

Scale Up: Do a burpee when you reach the end of the line.

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