For sports that require physical activity, you need to work on your agility. This is the ability to change position and direction quickly and effectively while under control. A good example is skateboarding sports that requires a very quick response to changing situations. You must also have quick reflexes and speed control to skateboard safely.
Apart from skateboarding, other sports like soccer, basketball, tennis, and hockey require good agility. If you are interested in joining any of these sports, you need to make your body agile for a better experience and improved safety. The good news is that there are ways you can improve your agility.
In this guide, we have rounded some of the best exercises that can improve your body balance and coordination. Here are some of the best agility drills that will improve your balance, speed, reflexes and body coordination:
1. Dot Drills
Agility dot drill is one of the most widely used technique to build body balance and coordination. Most sports such as basketball and soccer use this technique to train players. You are also taken through this technique when training to skateboard. The drill works by placing dots in a pattern on the floor, then jump from one dot to the other. The dots should be at least five in number. The drill improves body control and also gets you in shape. It is one of agility drills you can do at home.
2. Shuttle Runs
Shuttle runs agility drills are used in almost all sports. You must have seen sportsmen running around cones placed in a line on the field. The shuttle runs usually involve running back and forth between several markers at a certain pace. The intensity of the runs, duration, and distance vary with your fitness. For better agility, the distance between markers should be short and the intensity or speed higher. Do note that starters should start with the basic runs and advance as you improve your fitness.
3. Forward-Back Prints
Speed drill is another technique that can build balance and body coordination. These drills are designed for speed training to help improve your reflexes in sports that require physical activity. It will also strengthen your cardiovascular system and improve your muscle endurance. This is very easy training. You sprint forward to a marker and then jog back to the start. You can repeat this several times, depending on your fitness level. The intensity and distance should increase as you improve your fitness. Make sure that you have warmed up for at least 10 minutes before starting this agility drill.
4. Lateral Plyometric Jumps
The lateral plyometric jumps drills improve both your agility and power. They are more advanced training drills, and thus beginners are not qualified because of the level of intensity. In addition to that, the drill does not require a lot of equipment to train. You just need a few obstacles or a line to train. Place the obstacles on the surface in a straight line or just draw a straight line on the surface. Start side-by-side jumps using one leg or both legs. Do not use hard surfaces to avoid injuries. You must also warm-up for at least 10 minutes before starting.
5. Tuck or Squat Jumps
Tuck jumps are another basic agility drills for beginners working on balance and body coordination. These exercises work on strengthening the butt, legs, things, and hips. The drill has about four jumps that help to enhance body agility. There are vertical jumps, long jumps, box jumps, and high jump. You just need to bend your knees slightly and engage quads, glutes, and hamstring when making these jumps. The number of squat jumps will depend on the stage of practice and your goals. Five reps are the most recommended for beginners and at least four sets. Make sure you have warmed up properly before squat jumps.
6. Speed Ladder Agility Drills
Speed ladder drills are probably one of the most effective agility drills. Apart from being very easy to do, they are super effective in building balance and body coordination. What you need is just a piece of equipment that looks like a ladder and place it on a flat and soft surface. There are so many agility drills that you do with the ladder equipment. You can do lateral high knee, backward icky shuffle, icky shuffle, the lateral ins and outs, and lateral scissor hops, among many others. These drill works on foot speed as well as building better reflexes. Start with warming up the muscles.
7. Sumo Squat plus Outer Thigh Pulse
For those who want to build their agility at home without equipment, try sumo squat plus outer thigh pulse drill. This a simple drill that will strengthen the lower body while engaging the core muscles to improve your balance. Do a sumo squat with your torso upright and as you stand, extend your leg and the opposite arm. Repeat the move with the second leg and arm and do about 12 reps. It is a simple drill but quite intensive hence the need for warming up before starting.
8. Plank With Flying Plane Arms
The plank with flying plane arms agility drill requires a lot of fitness. The drill engages the core as well as the upper body. Start in a high plank with hands directly under your shoulders. Make sure the hips are stable. Lift one arm straight out in front of you and keep holding it as you fan it out to the side. Return it to the original position and repeat the same with the other hand. You can do 12, and that will be enough for the day. Always start with a good warm-up.
If you are planning to start sports that require intensive physical activity, you must start with building balance and coordination. That is how you can enjoy sports like skateboarding and ensure your safety. These are among the best agility drills that can help improve your balance and body coordination. Working with a professional trainer is highly recommended if you are to get the most out of these drills.