Pro Tips

Luis Badillo's Tips for Lightning-Fast Footwork

The man with the world’s fastest feet explains how to speed up—and get ripped in the process.

Luis Badillo's Tips for Lightning-Fast Footwork
Courtesy of Luis Badillo

You wouldn’t want to face Luis Badillo Jr. in a game of hopscotch. Known for possessing the world’s fastest feet, Badillo Jr. has amassed a huge Instagram following (@iamluisbadillojr) thanks to videos that show him sidestepping obstacles so quickly that his lower body is a blur. Half man, half Tasmanian Devil, Badillo Jr. is equally adept at slaloming cones on grass, turf, and sand. (Just watch a couple of his videos; you’ll see what we mean.)

But Badillo Jr. wasn’t always such a fleet-footed stud. He didn’t play organized sports growing up, and it wasn’t until four years ago that he started training with any degree of discipline. Now, he’s a highly coveted speed coach in Miami (with a client list that boasts NFL and NBA players), as well as a Reebok-sponsored athlete. Guess you could say he’s a quick learner. Here are his tips for boosting your own speed and agility—and torching calories along the way.

GET THE GEAR

“For people who want to improve their speed and agility, I have three equipment recommendations,” says Badillo Jr. “Get an agility ladder, mini hurdles, and cones. The ladder will help with foot speed, coordination, rhythm, and body control. The hurdles will help with sprint speed. And the cones are really good for working on certain weaknesses in speed and agility.”

CONE HEAD

“Cones are my favorite type of equipment because you can get very creative,” says Badillo Jr. “Anything you see in your head, you can pretty much create on the field. For example, you can use four cones to make a square—run forward to one cone, move laterally to the second cone, run backwards to the third cone, and then laterally back to the start. Or you can line up five cones a yard apart and take small, quick steps to slalom through them. Do those drills for a couple of months, and I guarantee you will be quicker and faster.”

LATE BLOOMER

“As a kid, I was more into video games than fitness,” says Badillo Jr. “I started doing speed training about four years ago. But I was having fun, I was getting creative with the drills, and I was very impressed with the results. In less than a month, I lost 17 pounds. I wasn’t really overweight when I started, but my body got more defined and toned. This allowed me to be lighter and quicker on my feet. I stayed consistent with my training, and that has made me what I am today.”

LIFT FOR SPEED

“I also use the weight room to improve my speed, quickness, and explosiveness,” says Badillo Jr. “My go-to exercises are squats, deadlifts, and power cleans. Power cleans are my personal favorite; I do them about twice a week. I also like hang cleans, snatches, and calf raises. I do a lot of plyometrics, a lot of exercises that require jumping—jump squats, calf jumps, and box jumps.”

YOU CAN DO IT

“Anybody has the ability to be fast and quick,” says Badillo Jr. “If you’re clueless at the beginning, don’t worry. Start off with ladders, cones, and hurdles. Stay consistent with it, and over time you will see results. And once you start to see results, don’t stop. You have to remain consistent with your training so you can get more results. That’s pretty much been my secret formula, which is not so secret anymore.”

Badillo's Speed School: The Ladder Drill

Want to be crazy quick like Badillo? Try the “two feet in, two feet out” ladder drill.

  1. Stand in front of an agility ladder. Place both feet in the first square, then place both feet just outside the first square.
  2. Work your way through the ladder, taking two steps in each square and two steps outside each square (one foot on each side). Start slowly and speed up as you get the hang of it.
  3. Relax and pump your arms. “The quicker your hands move,” Badillo says, “the quicker your feet move.”
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