Day: June 23, 2010

Agility Training

Athletes who put focus on their agility training can gain that competitive edge which in most sports can help you win the game. Agility training requires cognitive focus, balance and control, as well as strategic planning. When adding agility training to a workout you are adding a mental component, diversity, and it can be fun and skill specific if necessary.

The NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) suggests that agility is a trainable motor skill that can be acquired through proper progressive practice. Agility training can enhance ones mental focus during competition by training through precise controlled movements and thinking while moving to the point it becomes natural movement. Many agility drills require you to pay attention to your movements to do the drills correctly in a controlled space. This attention to detail can be translated as a quicker first step without wasting movements, avoiding your opponent while retaining control of the play or action and produce more efficient movement. Not only does agility training teach controlled movements but also requires balance and swiftness. The joint control required in keeping your balance will aid in injury prevention keeping you in the game giving you more control over your playing ability.

Anyone can benefit from agility training due the gain of balance and multi-planar movements it requires. So if working towards improving your movement for a particular sport is not your goal, agility training can come in handy by adding diversity to your workouts. Performing short bursts of agility can turn your workouts into a dynamic circuit training program that can add heart rate training and lateral movement to burn those extra calories you’ve been struggling to get off.

So where do you start? The Dot Drill is one of many agility training exercises that develops dynamic leg strength as well as increases knee and ankle strength and stability. This is a great agility drill for anyone who plays multi-directional sports, has the need to make quick changes of direction and landings such as skiers and basketball players or the weekend warrior looking to change up their routine. Start by putting five dots on the floor spacing them like you would see on a dice about 2 feet apart. First try the “in/out” movement and place your feet on top of the bottom two dots. Jump with both feet to the middle dot then proceed to the top two dots making an in and out movement pattern. Then go backwards to the center spot finishing at the starting point. Start by getting the pattern down but then challenge yourself by accelerating your movement. See the video for an example of how to perform the Dot Drill and get started on adding agility to your training routine today!