You weight train, and you cardio train — what else is there to do really? If you answer was nothing, think again, because the reality is even if you are not training for a specific sport, agility training has the ability to take your normal gym routines to the next level. Regardless of whether you are training for the olympics or a 5k, according to Bodybuilding.com, agility training, which includes exercises like quick foot ladders and other fast movement and change of direction training, can be beneficial to your fitness, health, and muscle growth.
“This method can be used to increase speed/strength, or the ability to exert maximal force during high-speed movements. It manipulates by bridging the gap between traditional resistance training and functional specific movement,” Otilla Kissarnoti said in a forum on Bodybuilding.com.
Not only are ability drills great for athletes who want to work on speed and strength combined with quick change of direction, but they also torch a ton of body fat. Robert Reames, CSCS and head fitness trainer for The Dr. Phil Show, explained the benefit of adding agility into your fitness routine to Men’s Fitness.
“Research also shows increase in strength, power, balance, and coordination for these short duration, high-intensity physical activities. I’ve used them with people for years, to great success,” Reames said. Beyond the physical benefits of agility work, it also gives the mind a challenge, while also providing a break from normal gym routines which can become monotonous.
“Sports drills feel less like an exercise and more like a real sports activity, so they are more fun than single-muscle exercises,” said Andrea Avruskin, DPT, told Men’s Fitness. [Update, 12/8/2015: This quote has been updated, and the initials after Andrea Avruskin have been changed from DFT to DPT.]
Avruskin’s idea also mirroring the idea that agility work is out of the ordinary for normal fitness routines because it challenges multiple muscles at once, while often providing relief to the brain, so you think the work you are doing is not as hard as your normal fitness routine, but in reality you are challenging yourself and your body. Depending on your overall fitness goals, there are also different ways to implement agility routines into your fitness regimen.
There are also was to add speed and agility exercises into your normal weight or body weight routines, by changing up some of the exercises that you probably already do regularly. Some exercises that add the benefit of agility training, according to bodybuilding.com, include bounds, med ball slams or med ball chest passes, and push-ups to claps.
Essentially, agility is taking the weight training or body weight exercises that you do and adding an aerobic twist to them. This will create a challenge so that you have to also focus on movement and balance while doing your exercises.
Agility training is at first though something important for athletes to practice. However, an in-depth look reveals that even those who are focused on fitness and individual exercises routines can benefit from agility. Not only will agility provide a new and exciting challenge, but your successes with agility will mirror into your everyday exercise routines.