Thanks to Taylor Swift’s love life, the girlies are showing an unprecedented interest in American football nowadays. Turns out, lots of us may gain advantage from taking a page out of the training regimens of football players like Swift-beau and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Specifically, we could gain a thing or two from their agility workouts.
Agility training often conjures images of beefy guys like Kelce being surprisingly fleet-footed as they move their feet out and in of rope ladders or around cones. And for good reason: It’s a staple of many professional athlete workouts. “Athletes in sports often should change directions or positions in a short time, so practicing agility may also help prevent injury and permit for quicker decision-making and improved performance,” says Lindsay Tullis, NBC-HWC, health coach at Mighty Health.
However, those skills are also vital even when we’re not attempting to catch flying balls or avoid a tackle from a 300-pound opponent. Whether we’re weekend warriors or just attempting to move through the world in a single piece, most of us may gain advantage from becoming more agile.
What is an agility workout?
Agility work is “a form of fitness movement wherein the body changes position or direction very rapidly,” says Tullis. These workouts mix numerous different elements, including strength, power, balance and more, that let you hone control over your movement as you progress quickly.
“Common elements of agility workouts are having quick footwork and response time,” Tullis says. “Agility workouts also involve motor skills and robust control of the foot and balance. Most agility workouts are done with speed and coordination.” That’s why an agility workout will often involve moves like quick hops or lateral shuffles back and forth.
What are the advantages?
Since agility requires each speed and strength, it will provide you with cardiovascular workout while constructing muscle endurance. It may improve coordination and balance over time to assist you to navigate the world safely in every day life.
“Think of how vital it’s to have the option to pivot and alter directions quickly, like in the event you go to cross the road and should dodge an enormous pothole without falling, or moving swiftly to catch your brand-new iPhone before it hits the ground,” Corene Phelps, a Washington, DC-based fitness trainer, previously told Well+Good about agility exercises. She points out that agility can construct your ability to be “quick and nimble while maintaining control.”
Who should do an agility workout?
“For most groups, practicing agility workouts may be helpful to enhance balance and skill to maneuver obstacles without falling,” Tullis says. “Agility workouts are also great for injury prevention and body awareness.”
However, one of these training can be difficult. Before you are trying an agility workout, Tullis says “it could be best to begin with workouts designed to construct agility first, like strength training of the lower body and balance workouts, then construct as much as agility-focused workouts.”
She also advises consulting your doctor, especially in the event you’ve recently been injured. “Agility training is a really high-impact workout that could cause acute injury, so it’s vital to check with your doctor if agility training could also be fit for you,” Tullis says. “Anyone recovering from an ankle or knee injury should avoid agility-focused workouts until fully recovered.” Those with joint pain may also wish to go for more low-impact options.
How to start with agility work
While the goal is to maneuver quickly, once you’re first getting began with agility workouts, maintaining control is the secret. You can construct up speed over time as you get more comfortable and stronger within the movements.
“It is essential to begin small and be certain that you may have foundation of coordination and balance,” Tullis says. “You can do that by first walking through the motions of an exercise versus jumping into it at full speed or range. For example, as an alternative of doing high knee runs, start with high knee steps so that you would be able to get the hang of it and construct up proper coordination and muscle groups.”
To improve agility, you may as well incorporate other sorts of fitness into your routine: Cardio like walking and running will help your endurance to maintain up those quick movements for longer intervals, isolated leg movements on one side at a time may also help your balance, and strength training can lay the groundwork to have the option to hit all of the marks you are shooting for in an agility workout.
Also: Don’t try agility workouts without good foot, ankle, and arch support!
Want to check your footwork? Try this 17-minute agility workout from Well+Good Trainer of the Month Club trainer Sara DeBerry featuring “five spicy agility exercises” if you should get to (fast) steppin’. You’ll be moving like Travis Kelce very quickly.