Mollie Martin by Mollie Martin

Agility training isn’t just for athletes—it’s important for anyone who wants to move quickly and easily, and to improve their reflexes, focus, balance, coordination and/or neuromuscular awareness. Plus, it’s a really fun way to add some intensity to your workouts.

To get the most out of agility drills, you want to push yourself, but also take the time to appropriately rest to fully restore your energy before the next set. For example, if the drill takes you 10 seconds to complete, you should give yourself about 30-40 seconds to recover before the next set. Focus on one drill at a time before moving onto the next, completing 4-6 sets of each.

1. Quick Feet on Stairs

Any set of five or more stairs will work for this drill. For the first round, go up one stair, down one, up two, down one, up three, down two, up four, down three, up five, down four and repeat. Continue to change up the pattern and even turn sideways on the steps to increase the challenge.

2. Field Lines

Move from side to side, forwards and backwards or on one foot. Also try doing karaoke or hopping and challenge yourself to make up new movements every five rounds. Be sure to face different directions and carry a ball if you want an extra challenge.

3. Wall Toss

Begin in a wide stance about 3-4 feet in front of a brick or uneven wall and using a tennis ball, begin bouncing the ball off the tree underhand. Try switching hands and catching with the opposite hand once you get used to it. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, try shuffling your feet at the same time. The imperfection and curvature of the wall will create a challenging surface with unknown bounce-backs. Upper body agility is just as important as lower body agility, so be sure to include these exercises just as often.

4. Single-leg Jump Over

Find a box, bench or other sturdy elevated surface. Start with one foot on top of the surface and one on the floor. Hop over to the other side as quickly as possible. Pump your arms to increase speed.

5. Battle Ropes or Blankets

Position the ropes 12” to 18” apart and parallel on the floor. Begin by lying on the floor at the end of the ropes, with one hand near each of the handles. Begin by jumping up while simultaneously grabbing the ropes. Alternate small waves with the ropes, shuffling side to side as quickly as possible.

6. Cone Star

Set up a circle of five cones and place one cone in the middle (the radius of the circle should be 3’ to 6’). Start at the middle cone and face one direction the entire time. Move your feet as quickly as possible to touch one cone at a time, returning to the middle cone each time. When moving to the cones to the side, be sure to shuffle and avoid crossing over the feet. When moving to the cone behind, be sure to back-peddle, stay low and look over your shoulder.

7. Jump Rope

Using a standard jump rope, create your agility workout by changing which direction you move, all while keeping the rope moving. Try switching it up by hopping on one foot or doing high knees or butt kickers.

The key to agility training is being creative and challenging yourself. Just remember these basic concepts: Move quickly, give ample rest time and be sure to change direction.

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