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Agility training drills allow an athlete to develop muscles and reaction time that will not only help them become faster, but also more responsive and laterally mobile. Many agility training drills focus on running some type of interval session — which means the athlete will run at varying paces at different times throughout the exercise — to help develop reaction time and muscle memory for such activities. Other exercises focus on lateral movement and the ability to combine lateral movement with forward movement. To get started on some agility training drills, an athlete will need plenty of space to run and some orange cones. A gym with a running track is a good place to do these exercises.
Running intervals is perhaps one of the most popular agility training drills because it requires no special equipment and can be done either indoors on a track or outdoors on the road or sidewalks. Start by jogging at a moderate pace for a few minutes to warm up. After several minutes, or after a predetermined distance, run at or near full speed in a sprint for a short period of time. Then return back to the slower pace. Repeat this process several times over the course of a 15 to 20 minute run. One way to improve agility through this exercise is to have a friend run in front of the athlete and vary speeds without warning. The athlete will then have to try to match the lead runner's speed.
A ladder makes a good tool for agility training drills. The ladder should lie flat on the ground in front of the athlete, who will stand at one end of the ladder. The rungs of the ladder will act as barriers as the athlete jumps into the empty spaces between rungs. Do this all the way down the ladder, then return to the original starting position. This exercise improves lateral movement, which is essential for agility in sports. Another way to use the ladder for agility training is to stand facing the end of the ladder and high-step forward through the empty spaces between rungs. When the end of the ladder is reached, the athlete will sprint a set distance.
A T-Drill is a simple activity to set up when doing agility training drills. Set up three cones in the shape of a T and start at the bottom of the T. Sprint to the point between the two top cones, then shuffle left to the far left cone. Stop there, and shuffle all the way right past the center point to the far right cone. Then shuffle back to center, turn, and sprint back down to the bottom of the T. This combines lateral agility with sprinting speed.
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