The definition of agility is “the ability to move quickly and change direction with ease.” As we get older, or ease into our daily routines, our mental and physical agility can take a back seat. Agility training can help us pivot more quickly in both the physical and mental realms. This type of training can be beneficial whether you are an athlete, weekend warrior, or anywhere in between.
Here are three reasons you should incorporate agility training into your fitness routine:
Improve body movement and awareness. While agility training is often used in conditioning for a variety of sport-specific skills, you do not need to be a competitive athlete to receive the benefits. Agility training improves dynamic balance, which is the ability to maintain control of a moving center of mass over a changing base of support. Dynamic balance is not only great for improving skills at things like trail running, it also helps elder adults to remain functionally independent well into their later years.
Coordination drills can enhance reactivity, helping you to move faster in almost everything you do. Agility training can help improve movement skill and coordination for adults (and children!) of all ages.
Increase the number of muscles engaged in your workout. Controlling the body’s ability to make multiple changes of direction and frequent changes of speed require many muscles to be involved. According to ACE fitness, “Agility training can burn more calories than linear running, which can help you burn more calories during your workout. When more muscles are involved during exercise, the body requires more oxygen, increasing the amount of energy that is expended.
Reduce the risk of certain types of injuries. Repetitive movements can lead to tissue fatigue and stress injuries. According to ACE fitness, “agility training can be effective for strengthening the contractile element of muscle, and improving the resiliency of the elastic fascia and connective tissue.” Agility training, over time, will help to minimize the risk of injuries related to rapid changes of speed or direction.