Looking to take your gym performance to the next level? Wish there was a way you could burn more calories during every gym sesh and speed up your recovery periods? The answer: Agility training.
Whether you’re a regular gymgoer or a pilates lover, agility exercises are essential to any well-rounded workout routine. If you want to enhance your athletic performance while improving your coordination and balance — you’ll need to do more than lift weights or jog a few miles. You must challenge your body and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
As you get older, your body changes. Your muscles grow stiff, and your mental and physical agility isn’t what it once was. By challenging your body and soul, you’re keeping your mind sharp and improving your overall physical performance, one workout at a time.
We’re here to walk you through everything you should know about agility training and show you seven exercises you can incorporate into your gym routine today.
WHAT IS AGILITY TRAINING?
Agility training is the process of teaching your body how to start, stop, or change directions quickly and efficiently. These exercises are designed to challenge yourself, helping you reconnect your mind and body and improve your response times. Most agility training involves short bursts of movements, quick intervals, drill sessions or common HIIT workouts.
HOW DO YOU BUILD SPEED AND AGILITY?
If you want to see results, you must stay consistent with your workout routine. It takes time to build speed, agility and strength. Agility workouts are designed to test your limits and push you out of your comfort zone while enhancing your mental and physical health. To truly see results you must be patient and consistent.
If your goal is to increase your speed, you should incorporate speed agility training into your workout routine around three to four times a week. The more consistent you are with your regimen, the closer you’ll get to a quicker, more agile version of yourself.
7 AGILITY EXERCISES TO TRY OUT
These agility exercises will help you improve your coordination, balance, speed, and jumping power.
1. Plyometric Agility Hurdles
Athletes use plyometric agility hurdles to improve coordination and balance and build power using their own body weight. The drill requires the use of low-agility hurdles.
- Set up several low agility hurdles every 2 ft.
- Start with feet hip-width apart, jump forward to clear each hurdle, being sure to land on the balls of your feet.
- After landing, jump again and drive forward with your arms.
- Do this for 10-12 reps for a single set. Rest for 1-2 minutes, then repeat for two more sets.
2. Agility Ladder Drills
Agility Ladder Drills are designed to improve foot coordination and speed and require an agility ladder (speed ladder). The most common ladder drills are:
Forward Running, High-Knee
- Place a ladder flat on the ground and start at one end.
- Run with high knees forward through the ladder, landing in each space between the rungs.
- To ensure proper form, land on the balls of your feet and drive forward with your arms.
- When you reach the end of the ladder, turn around and repeat for a total of three sets.
- Stand with the ladder to your right side.
- Step with your right foot by stepping to the side, stepping into the first open space.
- Move your left foot into the space next to your right foot.
- Repeat this until you reach the end of the ladder.
- Repeat by moving in the opposite direction towards where you started.
- Do three sets of 5 full laps. Rest 2 minutes between sets.
Two-in Lateral Forward Shuffle
- Standing, face the ladder (positioned vertically). Stand to the left of the ladder.
- Move your right foot into the first open space, then your other foot so that both feet are in the same space.
- Move your right foot to the right and step outside the ladder to the right of the second ladder rung.
- Step your left foot out and touch it (briefly) to the ground next to your other foot. Then move your foot to the left into the next open space on the ladder.
- Move your right foot into the space next to your other foot.
- Continue moving down the ladder while shuffling in and out as you move forward.
- Switch directions after moving to the end of the ladder and repeat.
- Complete three sets of 5 full laps. Rest for 2 minutes between each set.
3. Lateral Plyometric Jumps
For those who want to enhance their lateral power and coordination, lateral plyometric jumps build dynamic power and balance.
- Use a length of string or masking tape to make a line on a carpeted floor, gym floor, or lawn.
- Stand on one side of the line, your feet hip-width apart. Then, bend your knees to enter a deep squat.
- Propel yourself upward and sideways to the opposite side of the line by pushing through your heels. Squat as you land.
- Repeat this, jumping over the line, while keeping your shoulders and hips square and facing forward. Repeat for 30-60 seconds for one set.
- Rest 1 minute and repeat for two more sets.
4. Plyometric Box Drills
Plyometric box drills will compliment your quads, glutes and hamstring muscles and help you build explosive power and foot speed.
Two of the most common box drills include:
- Start standing in front of the box (14-36 inches in height).
- Step onto the box with one leg, then bring your other leg up and straighten both legs.
- Step down and repeat on the opposite side (one rep).
- Repeat 10 times (one set).
- Do three sets.
- Stand in front of the box.
- Jump up onto the box and land on both feet.
- Jump or step back down, then immediately jump back up again onto the box.
- Repeat this 10 times.
- Do three sets of 10 reps.
5. Dot Drills
Increase the strength and stability of your knees and ankles while developing dynamic leg strength with dot drills. Dot drills require a dot drill mat or five pieces of tape on the floor in the same pattern as the five dice.
- Stand with your feet on two dots on one side of the pattern.
- Using both feet, jump to the center dot and then jump to the two dots on the opposite end of the pattern.
- Jump backward to the center dot, then back to your starting position (one rep).
- Repeat five more times for a total of six reps per set.
- Do three sets.
- Follow the same pattern as the first exercise. Instead of jumping backward, jump in place while spinning 180 degrees before moving back to your starting position.
- Do three sets of six reps.
- Standing, plant your feet on two dots on one side of the pattern.
- Moving one step after the next, lift your right foot and step to the center dot, then left foot to the forward dot, right foot to the forward dot, left foot to the center dot, right foot back to the starting dot, and left foot back to the starting dot.
- Repeat while picking up speed. Do six reps.
- Repeat for three sets.
6. Tuck Jumps
Tuck jumps improve power and agility without machines by doing tuck jumps. Besides engaging your core and hip flexors, these drills strengthen your quadriceps muscles.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Drop into a low squat and press into your heels to propel yourself into a jump.
- As you jump up, tuck your knees against your chest in midair.
- Grasp your knees quickly with your arms, and then let go.
- After landing, immediately jump again nine more times. Rest for 30 seconds.
- Complete two more sets.
7. Shuttle Runs
Shuttle runs build agility, speed, and endurance through high-intensity drills.
- Set two markers roughly 25 yards apart.
- Sprint from one marker to the other and back again.
- Repeat 6-8 times.
TAKE YOUR AGILITY GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH EōS FITNESS
At EōS Fitness, we’re all about mixing it up. Our agility workouts are tailored to enhance your stamina, coordination, balance, and footwork. We’re not just a gym; we’re your fitness family – and we’re committed to keeping the energy high and the atmosphere vibrant. Start looking for your Personal Trainer today to work on your agility training, or find an EōS Fitness near you to take advantage of the cutting-edge strength equipment, Group Fitness Classes, and more!