Agility — the ability to start, stop and change direction quickly and efficiently while maintaining control and appropriate responsiveness through the body— is a crucial function in day-to-day life.
You’ve likely tried or seen sports teams running agility drills around Agility Disks or hopping through an Agility Ladder, but agility training is not just for elite athletes. It’s also a great drill to incorporate into programming for active adults to help them improve their balance and coordination.
In this video, Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer Jennifer Dahl shows how you can infuse agility training drills into your client sessions using the Halo® Trainer Plus. She has tips for how to adjust the exercises for all client types, so they’re safe and effective for recreational and elite athletes through to active agers.
What are the benefits of agility training?
- Helps improve balance, control and alignment during movement
- Challenges and increases coordination with quick pattern changes
- Contributes to explosive power and strength through speed-focused drills
- Assists towards greater cardio output through short bursts of movement
- Aids in fall and injury prevention by building greater awareness of the mind-body connection, special awareness, working memory and visual vigilance
Tips for incorporating agility training into your programming:
- Demonstrate a simple yet specific step or movement pattern
- Start the client slowly so they establish a clear and concise pattern and initial rhythm and then encourage them to gradually increase the speed once they’ve mastered the pattern
- They should be in a ready, athletic stance for stability and support, but do encourage a lightness on the toes for optimal adaptiveness and to enable quick direction changes with speed. It’s not about being in complete tension, but about encouraging the whole body to be fluid, responsive and reactive
- Ensure that as they pick up the pace, they’re still clear and precise in their movement pattern
- Perform each drill for 45 to 60 seconds; repeat as desired
- For more experienced exercisers, incorporate plyometric movements into the original drill to increase the challenge and cardio output
What are your favorite agility drills to introduce to clients? Share your tips @Merrithew #FeelGoodFebruary >