A balanced fitness routine consists of strength training, cardio, stretching, endurance, and agility. For the everyday workout enthusiast, though, agility training may be the most important aspect of fitness. Agility describes the ability to slow down, speed up, or change body direction. Increasing your agility works to improve your coordination, balance, strength, and even cardio. If you have great agility, you can easily amplify your workouts and make the most of them.
Agility training helps you move quickly on your feet, but it also diversifies your fitness routine. It’s a great full-body approach that may help you become a more well-rounded athlete. In addition to being a fun form of exercise, agility training is extremely fun. Certified trainers and professional athletes love agility training because it helps them move with ease. Below, you’ll find great functional movements that work to improve agility. Let us know if you incorporate them into your workout routine in the comments below.
Combining explosive power from the lower body with strength and speed, box jumps are great for everyday athletes or the pros. Get a box that is tall enough to suit your level of fitness. Don’t forget that a little challenge never hurts! Stand one foot away from the box with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat your hips back, bend your knees, and lengthen your spine forward as you reach your arms back. Drive through your feet and engage your glutes to jump up onto the box. When you jump off, keep in mind that the landing position should look similar to the squatting take-off position. Complete three sets of eight reps.
Lateral Plyometric Jumps
If you want to build explosive power and improve coordination and balance, lateral plyometric jumps can get you there. For best results, perform this drill after a thorough warm up. Set up an agility ladder on the ground and stand at one end. Bend your right leg, hovering your right foot about six inches above the ground behind you. Engage your left leg muscles and core, bending slightly. Jump two steps toward the left and then one step back to the right. Continue doing this until you reach the end of the agility ladder and then repeat on the right leg. Complete three sets.
Squat Out/Hop In
Get ready to sweat while working your glutes, hamstrings, thighs, and calves! This is an excellent agility exercise because it helps improve coordination, cardio, and strength. Stand at the end of an agility ladder that extends on the ground in front of you. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and jump forward one square, spreading your legs out to the side to land in a wide squat. Quickly jump up, touch both feet inside the ladder before jumping forward to land in another wide squat with feet outside the ladder. Once you finish the ladder, complete two more times.
Bear crawl works to strengthen the entire body, especially the core. When you have better core stability, you can enhance your speed, agility, and explosiveness. Establish a start and end point with cones or any other marker you have. Begin in a tabletop position on all fours, stacking your shoulders over your wrists and knees below your hips. Press up slightly as you tuck your toes and hover your knees just above the ground. Start to crawl forward, keeping your back straight, core engaged, and knees bent the entire time. Once you reach your marker, you can either crawl backwards or turn around and crawl the other way. Complete three rounds of one minute crawls.
Coordination is an integral component to agility, and the tried and true grapevine gets your body and mind working in unison. You can use an agility ladder or lay out cones/markers in an open area. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart about one foot away from the agility later or first marker, which should be to your left. Step out to your left with your left foot and then cross your right foot behind your left. Step to the left again and then cross your right foot in front of the left this time. Repeat until you reach the end of your area, and then change directions; that is one time through. Complete a total of ten times through to complete one set, and then do two more sets.