Agility is one of the main components of fitness. In simple terms, agility is the ability of an individual to quickly change their body position or the direction of the body. Most of it comes from speed and skill, but it also requires control over the body’s center of gravity, balance, coordination, and power. If you want to improve your agility, there are simple footwork drills you can incorporate into your programming.
Athletes who are quick on their feet have an edge in functional fitness and every other sport. The ability to move fast in different directions can make a huge difference in any game.
One of the most common ways to train agility is with footwork drills. The following footwork drills only need an agility ladder, three cones, and a med ball. If you don’t have an agility ladder, you can find a space where you can draw one with chalk or tape.
Things to Remember
Perform a warm-up before starting these drills. Use dynamic upper-body and lower-body warm-up exercises like arm raises and lunges to increase mobility and prevent injury. Finish with a cool down with lower- and upper-body stretches.
Then, do two rounds of these five drills, resting for 15 to 30 seconds between rounds to promote endurance. After the first drill, remember to rest 60 seconds before starting the next one.
5 Footwork Drills to Improve Your Agility
1. Single-Leg Forward Hops Between Ladder Spaces, Forward/Reverse Sprints
- Place a cone around 35 meters away from the end of the ladder.
- Hop through the ladder on your left foot.
- Sprint to the cone once you reach the end of the ladder.
- Backpedal to the ladder.
- Turn around and hop through the ladder on your right foot.
2. Lateral Jumps In/Out of Ladder Spaces
- Place a cone around 18 meters away from the end of the ladder.
- Stand with both feet on either side of the ladder and jump in and out of each space with both feet together.
- Immediately follow with lateral sprints or cariocas to the cone.
- Carioca back to the opposite side of the ladder and jump in and out of each space back to the start.
3. Med Ball Simulated Tire Drill (Through Ladder Spaces)
- Hold the med ball overhead as you do high-steps (high-knees) through the ladder. Do this as if you are going through a football tire drill.
- Turn around and repeat the high-knees back to the start position.
4. Forward Jumps/Diagonal Sprints
- Arrange the three cones around 18 meters apart in a zigzag pattern.
- Face the ladder in the athletic stance. The athletic stance is a standing position that helps you maximize your strength, power, and speed. Look straight ahead, shoulders back, chest out, knees slightly bent, with your low back flat and your body weight evenly distributed through your feet.
- Jump forward explosively, skipping two spaces.
- Upon landing, jump forward again, skipping two spaces.
- Continue this to the end of the ladder.
- Quickly sprint diagonally to the first cone, diagonally to the second cone, then to the third cone.
- Rest 10 seconds, then turn around to diagonally sprint back to each cone.
- Finish with forward jumps back to the starting position.
Footwork drills for better agility are the perfect accessory to your normal programming. Consistently incorporate them and over time, you’re going to feel lighter and quicker on your feet.
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