So you’ve got your strength training sessions build into your week. You’re walking most days, maybe doing those intervals, and practicing that tough yoga balance pose. You’ve covered all your bases and you’re feeling pretty smug.
Hold on just a minute.
There’s something you’re missing.
I know you may be thinking, there’s more??
If you’re already squeezed for time ready to click away, don’t just yet! It doesn’t have to take more time and …. wait for it… it’s fun.
Once of the big causes of falls in later life is a loss of reaction skills. We just can’t move as quickly as we did. The same can be said for car accidents. Older adults can’t respond as well to the changes from other cars. That’s agility and reaction skills. You can boost your agility, and in doing that, boost your overall fitness.
I’ve got six easy exercises for agility you can do right now. Here’s how you plug them into your existing workout without adding more time to your workout.
- Finish your cardio sessions with one, two, or three of these for a minute each
- Insert one or two in the middle of a long walk or run
- Start or finish your weight training workouts with a few
Just shave off a few minutes of your activity. They are very much like intervals. They can be just quick little HIITs at the end of anything without causing over training.
Practice a variety of forward, backward, and lateral moves when you do them.
Be light on your feet. You want quick steps on the balls of your feet. Watch these easy exercises for agility and then try one or two after your next workout.
Move diagonally right and left zig-zagging your way down an imaginary (or real) ladder on the ground. Your feet step in-in-out the zag the other way in-in-out and so on down the length of the ladder. I have a limestone sidewalk and I’ll do this as I go out for and come back from a run, trying to hit as many of the stones as I can with both feet.
Side Forward and Back
Imagine a ladder on the ground in front of you. Step RL forward and RL back as you then move to the next rung to your right and repeat for 12-15 feet. Then do the same starting with your left foot moving left.
Move 1-2-3 and pause on that 3. Emphasize quick moves and decelerate to hold still. It makes you both accelerate to get started again and slow down with control.
Over and Back
Pick something that isn’t too high to put in the middle. You could use a fitness step. The top foot is light and the weight shifts to the foot on the ground.
To make hopscotch most effective don’t try to stay in a rhythmic execution. Instead go quick-quick-slow, or quick, quick, quick as fast as you can with good form. If you were that girl who took her time in elementary school, it’s time to move on!
Criss Cross Applesauce
That’s just plain fun to say. But, yes, it’s a good exercise for your body and your brain. Any time your limbs cross your midline it’s good for the brain. You do a little rewire of right brain and left brain. These types of exercises for agility can involve legs only or add arms.
If you do yoga you notice this kind of crossing the midline all the time. It’s part of the reason its excellent for focus and concentration. Actors and speakers will do this backstage before we go on so we can think clearly. (There are all kinds of goofy things happening backstage, trust me).
Essentially you’re doing a jumping jack and instead of bring feet together you’re crossing them. Be careful with this one.
These six easy exercises for agility will improve your fitness and your function so you can react to life better. You might just find you’re better at your favorite activities too.
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