How to Boost Your Combine Performance

20- and 60-Yard Shuttle Runs

There are two variations of the shuttle run at the Combine--the 20-yard and the 60-yard. In the 20-yard shuttle, athletes run five yards, touch the line, go back 10 yards the other direction, touch the line, then sprint back to where they started. The 60-yard shuttle is similar but covers more ground. Acceleration, coordination and quickness are key.

  • 5 Drills to Develop Laser-Like Lateral Speed - This article works on your side-to-side running. Though the shuttle doesn't require you run laterally, these drills will help you with coordination and the start-and-stop method you need to be good at for the shuttle.

Vertical Jump

AP Photo

Players stand under a pole that has flags sticking out the side. Standing flat-footed, they jump from the standing position and try to swat the highest flags on the pole. The vertical jump is a respected measure of explosiveness among football talent evaluators.

Wide receivers and defensive backs benefit greatly from having impressive vertical leaps, since a reception or interception sometimes depends on who jumps higher. Still, all players can wow the right person by showing strong athleticism in this area. Receivers and defensive backs heading to the NFL can flash verticals of more than 35 inches. Even the most athletic college offensive linemen can reach 30 inches.

  • How to Improve Your Vertical Leap - A comprehensive piece detailing what four components help vertical leap, and what kind of simple exercises can get the results you need.
  • The Greatest Workout Known to Man - Olympic lifts like the snatch and clean/jerk create great explosiveness. Even 300-pound Olympic lifters have tremendous vertical leaps.

Broad Jump

The broad jump differs from the vertical in one distinct way. In the broad jump, players stand flat-footed, and try to jump as far as possible--not as high as possible like the vertical. The broad jump is more a test of power than it is explosiveness.

  • The Jump Squat Routine - Workouts that emphasize power will help with broad jumping. The jump squat is a perfect lift for what you're targeting.
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