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Agility Training

July 6, 2011

By Gerard Bochese

Most people feel that doing slow, steady cardio is the best way to lose weight. For this reason, most gyms are full of cardio equipment – treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and stair climbers.  Not only are these machines not the best way to lose weight but most people regard 30-45 minutes on these cardio pieces as pure torture.  To achieve weight loss results, improve other important aspects of your physical fitness, and also to have some fun, try including agility drills in your workout.  These are the types of drills you see high school, college, and pro athletes engaging in to create better performance in their chosen sport.

Agility training will bring you out of the aerobic state and get you in the anerobic state, which has been proven to be more beneficial for weight loss—think of interval training (see the blog Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training).

Furthermore, rather than plodding along on a treadmill, agility training teaches the body to start, stop,  and change direction quickly while maintaining proper posture.  Agility challenges you to control your center of gravity over a changing base of support while changing directions at varying speeds.  It is important to remember that we move at varying speeds and in various planes of direction each day.

Training to improve movement not only increases functional capabilities, but will also help you avoid injuries by teaching the mind and body to work together and move at different speeds using the correct muscles at the correct time in the correct plane of motion. Agility training can provide numerous overall training benefits such as challenging your core, legs, balance, and reactive capabilities; increasing your cardiovascular efficiency; and decreasing body fat.

Agility training is comprised of short, quick, explosive movements that challenge the muscular and respiratory system. In training these movements you will become fitter and more explosive, which will be especially beneficial if you play sports like tennis, golf, or basketball.

Here are some agility drills you can include in your workout regimen:

5-10-5 Drill: Place two cones 10 yards apart and place one more cone at the midpoint of the two cones.  Start at the middle cone (cone a) and sprint to the right cone (cone b), then turn and sprint all the way to the left cone (cone c), then turn and sprint back to the right to the middle cone again (cone a).

Box Drill: Place four cones in a square pattern, approximately 10 yards away from each other. Start at cone a and sprint to cone b.  Side shuffle from cone b to cone c.  Backpedal from cone c to cone d and shuffle again from cone d to cone a.

 

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