Agility is the ability to move your body in response to outside stimuli by means of balancing and changing your speed and direction. Your strength, reflexes and coordination affect agility, which is a necessary skill for all performance sports and most physical activities. There are exercises you can do to become more agile — including dancing, aerobics and exercise drills — which are beneficial to you whether you're an athlete or not.
Definition of Agility Training
Agility is essentially the ability to move your body quickly, easily, and with control and balance. Agility training is a powerful form of sports training or conditioning that develops your agility through exercises outside of drills you do in your performance sport. You work more muscles and move differently than you usually do when working out, which is good for agility training. Most sports and intensive physical activities improve your agility, but there are some exercises that particularly improve it.
Performing a dance routine takes a great amount of agility. Dance classes are useful for all athletes trying to gain more agility. Dance requires strength, control and coordination while you move in all different directions, jump, twist and turn. Try taking different types of dance classes that interest you, such as zumba, hip hop, latin dancing and ballroom dancing. Try ballet for an extra challenge to improve your agility.
Ladder Agility Drills
Ladder drills are agility training drills you can do by putting a ladder down on the floor. To do the Hop Scotch Drill, stand at one end of the ladder. Jump and forward to land on your left foot inside the first square of the ladder. Jump off your left foot and land on both feet in the next square. Jump again and land on your right foot in the next square. Continue until you finish the ladder, and repeat for desired number of reps.
Taking aerobics classes is beneficial to any athlete, as it involves a great deal of agility to perform the different movements quickly. There are different levels for aerobics classes, so you will want to find the class that meets your fitness level. The steps, twists and stretches in aerobics classes will make you more agile with practice.
Jumping rope is a drill used by boxers, basketball players and football players to develop agility and increase the speed of their foot movements. Jumping rope and double Dutch are known for improving agility in children, but also develop agility and increase foot speed for athletes. Jumping rope also builds stamina and tones the leg muscles.
- Peak Performance: "Agility training: improving your reaction time and the quickness you change direction"
- Muscle Fitness Tips: "Agility Training"
- 24 Hour Fitness: "Dance Classes"
- Sports Fitness Advisor: "Ladder Agility Drills"
- 24-Hour Fitness: "Aerobic and Step Classes"
- FitnessMagazine.com: "10-minute Workout Jump Rope to Skip Yourself Slim;" Betsy Stephens
Lindsay Haskell enjoys writing about fitness, health, culture and fashion. She is a contributor for "Let's Talk Magazine" and "The Wellesley News." Haskell is completing her B.A. in philosophy at Wellesley College. She's also a fiction writer whose work can be read online.