Yoga might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a mind-body workout, but agility training is a great way to connect your movements to your brain power. The ability to recruit the correct muscles in the right sequence all while maintaining proper form come from the ability to communicate between your mind and body quickly.
Agility training helps improve reaction time and coordination. This type of training is not just important for athletes, but for everyone, especially as we get older.
The more we can train our bodies to work in the three planes of movement (front to back, side to side, and up and down) the better our balance, reaction, and coordination time will be. Not only will it help you have greater range of motion for your everyday activities (climbing stairs, shoveling snow, playing with your kids), but it can be an injury prevention tool. Reaction time and coordination count big time if you take a slip on an icy sidewalk, or trip over a trail root.
TIP: Remember, agility is not just about being fast. Focusing on form trains your body to make sure the correct muscles are engaging and can strengthen the mind-body connection that leads to improved coordination and speed.
Integrate Agility Drills into Your Workout
One of the best ways to create quick movement in every direction, and improve your coordination and mind-body connection is with Agility Ladder Drills.
To get the most out of the drills, you must focus on getting the movements down, and then try to do them as fast as possible.
Alternate each foot in and out of the box, and then pause as you bring a knee up to your chest to meet the opposite elbow. Alternate knees as you move through the boxes.
The Squat Hop
Start by squatting with your legs wider than the ladder, then jump with both feet in between the rungs.
High Knee Linear Run
Run in a linear fashion through the ladder with one foot in between each rung. On the up position, bring your knee up toward your chest.
Take the Agility Ladder anywhere. In any weather!
Did you see our outdoor version of the High Knee Linear Run filmed in the crazy -60 below zero temperature Polar Vortex the Midwest experienced during January?