NASM 6th Edition chapter 12 - Speed, Agility and Quickness Training
NASM study guide chapter 12

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Chapter 12 NASM Study Guide

Important definitions to know

Speed: This is the velocity of a person going straight ahead.

Quickness: This is the ability of a person to react without hesitating.

Agility: This demands a high level of neuromuscular efficiency to keep one’s center of gravity. Whereas speed focuses on one’s movement in one single plane, agility focuses on multiple planes. Requires constant deceleration and acceleration.

Backside mechanics: This is the correct rear leg and pelvis alignment while sprinting. It includes a neutral pelvis, hip extension, knee extension, and ankle plantarflexion.

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Front side mechanics: This is the correct alignment of the leading leg and pelvis while sprinting. It includes a neutral pelvis, hip flexion, knee flexion, and ankle dorsiflexion.

Stride length: This is the exact distance covered for each stride taken. A lower stride length equals a higher stride rate, and vice versa as well.

Stride rate: This is how many strides a person takes in a given distance run.

Speed: stride length x stride rate

Running movements: Checkpoints of the kinetic chain

  1. That the ankle is directed straight ahead and that landing on one’s heel is the priority. It would be best if you avoided supination and pronation during running.
  2. One’s knees should be in alignment with their second and third toe. Avoid abduction and adduction.
  3. One’s hips should be neutral at maximum running speeds. Excessive lower back arcing should be avoided.
  4. One’s head should be facing straightforwardly, avoiding a forward head position.

OPT speed, agility, and quickness program design

Stabilization phase: These exercises consist of many sagittal plane movements. They are done for 1 to 2 sets with 2 to 3 repetitions and a 0 to 60-second rest. Some exercises include cone shuffles and agility ladder drills.

Strength phase: The strength phase includes more frontal plane movements with 3 to 4 sets and 3 to 5 repetitions with a 0 to 60 second rest time. Some exercises include box drills and 5-10-5 T-drill.

Power phase: The strength phase includes all planes of motion and maximal effort. These are done for 3 to 5 sets, 3 to 5 repetitions, and 0 to 90 seconds of rest time. Some exercises include a modified box drill and partner mirror drill.

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NASM 6th Edition chapter 12 - Speed, Agility and Quickness Training 1
NASM 6th Edition chapter 12 - Speed, Agility and Quickness Training 2
NASM 6th Edition chapter 12 - Speed, Agility and Quickness Training 3

NASM flashcards for Chapter 12

NASM 6th Edition chapter 12 - Speed, Agility and Quickness Training 3

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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4 thoughts on “NASM 6th Edition chapter 12 – Speed, Agility and Quickness Training”

  1. PTPioneer User

    I’ve been studying for what feels like forever! Coming from no fitness background except for falling in love with the Orangetheory brand I work for, NASM was very intimidating. I am reviewing for my exam and just as I was feeling overwhelmed, I found your site! Thank you so much for connecting the smaller things for me that just weren’t clicking. You’re a fantastic teacher. Super grateful. God bless!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Alysha,
      Thanks for the awesome comments. I tried to produce the best content and study materials that I can for you guys so that you have the best chance of passing the exams. Good luck with all the studying and you will become a personal trainer in no time!

  2. PTPioneer User

    Says running focus should be landing on the heels. Has the research for this changed recently? I’ve read some research papers and hear from physical therapists that landing on the midfoot or even forefoot might be beneficial

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Abel, it all depends on your speed of running. Jogging typically focuses on the heels, while sprinting can focus on the forefoot. And this all can vary from person to person, as we are all different.

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