Balance should be considered as a potential predictor of agility, according to a new Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study. The article also cited speed and power development as having an impact on agility; and gender-specific influences — power development having a greater impact on agility in women, and balance training having a greater impact on agility in men.
Agility isn’t simply how fast you move. It refers to your ability to accelerate (speed up), decelerate (slow down), and change direction; and how quickly you can recognize and react to a stimulus. We also acknowledge that agility is contingent upon ground displacement: The stronger you are through the lower extremities, the more force you can generate against the ground. With practice, increased ground force generation equals improvements in agility-related performance.
Balance training should include unilateral lower-body exercises, such as the single-leg squat, Bulgarian split squat, stepup, single-leg Romanian deadlift; and ankle, knee, and hip balance and stability exercises (pictured).
Speed training should incorporate max effort sprints, and assisted/resisted (uphill, parachute) running.
To increase power production, perform Olympic lifts (for example, the hang clean), squat jump, single-leg squat jump (also incorporates balance), and plyometrics.
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