By Zoid Fitness Team on Sep 15, 2019 4:25:00 PM
Have you ever wondered why world-class athletes are so skilled in shifting directions and changing speed? How does a professional football player quickly shift his body from left to right to avoid being tackled by the opposing team? Is it a natural skill that these gifted individuals are born with? While it's true that it has something to do with their natural body tendencies, these athletes work on a specific skill that allows them to change directions while maintaining a high amount of speed. That skill is agility, a very important component of an athlete's body of work in any kind of sport.
Agility combines speed, balance, strength and body control in a single movement. It is an essential skill embedded in most types of exercises and workout drills. If you're a work-from-home professional who also happens to be a fitness enthusiast, improving your agility should be one of the starting points of your exercise plan. Are you an aspiring football player who aims to try out for your college's soccer team? Then go to the field or the gym, work on your agility, and be at the top of your game in no time!
Are you still not convinced that agility is the secret to unlocking the full potential of your body? Then we prepared eleven reasons why agility is important in sports. Take a couple of minutes to read through the list, and be prepared on adding agility drills on your workout tomorrow!
How would agility help you perform at your A-game?
1. Stabilizes your body and improves your balance
Suddenly coming to a full stop to change directions while going on full speed can definitely throw you off your feet. If you are not agile enough, your balance will give out and you might find yourself stumbling on the field. Personal trainers of professional athletes always put a lot of emphasis on core muscle strength and leg flexibility. This leads to more fluidity in movement and the ability to stabilize the body even when instantly changing pace.
Just imagine a gymnast standing gracefully on her toes even after making a full 360-degree turn on the air. It's not something that she did right away when she began taking gymnastics lessons. This incredible feat is a product of working day and night on her agility and balance, making it possible for her legs to stay strong and prevent her from falling.
2. Improves your bodily coordination
If you're already playing soccer for a long time, you should know that running fast and quickly shuffling your feet are not enough for you to outsmart your defender. You need to coordinate your vision with the movement of your feet so you can either see which teammate you can pass the ball to or which way you need to go to get closer to the goal. Including agility exercises on your workouts will absolutely help sync your senses and enhance how your body works as a whole.
3. Enhances your cognitive ability
Repeatedly doing agility drills will not only promote bodily coordination, but it could also increase your cognitive abilities as well. Studies have shown that improved agility always leads to a boost in concentration and focus, two mental faculties that are very important across all sports. The drills will train your mind to react faster, therefore stimulating your brain to respond quickly to similar situations. More importantly, researches say that working on your agility can also enhance your memory. You aren't getting any older now, so adding agility drills to your workout routine will definitely help you stay sharp at work or at the court!
4. Fast-tracks your reaction time
One way to measure your agility is on how fast your body reacts to a sudden change in situation on the court or on the field. Timing is very important so if your body doesn't respond as quickly as you want it to be, then it might be high time to improve your agility. Your reaction time is based on how you visually process the situation you are in, then using your instinct and experience to predict what will happen next. You can easily outsmart your opponent by guessing what he is about to do!
If you do the agility drills repeatedly and simulate the changing instances in an actual game, chances are you will build up your instinct and you can correctly anticipate the next move your body should make.
5. Trains your body to move efficiently
Increasing one's stamina is a vital factor in any athlete's success. You can do that by spending time on the treadmill or doing a lot of cardio exercises. However, there are times that players exhaust their energy on wasted movements, causing them to quickly get tired and feel drained. But by practicing your agility drills, you can train your body to be accurate in its movements, not wasting your much-needed energy.
Remember that agility training doesn't just develop you physically, but it also works out your mind as well! Learn to be calculated with your movements with accurate timing and correct perception. Efficiency is key to preserving your stamina, and agility will play a huge role in that goal of yours.
6. Improves the flexibility of your body
Being flexible is one of the most underrated components of fitness. Having the ability to extend your body to a wide range of motion can be a difference-maker in any sport. While a proper stretching routine and a trip to your yoga teacher can indeed improve your flexibility, an agility workout can help ease the stiffness of your joints and muscles. It allows you to be more mobile and puts you in a position to widen the range of movement your body can make. Improve your agility so that you can move easier and more freely!
7. Gives you the ability to quickly decelerate and accelerate
Sports like American football, soccer, and basketball require abrupt changes in speed and direction to either get by or avoid an opponent. Just picture out a speedy race car suddenly coming to a halt upon turning a sharp curve to avoid banging into the wall. Without the smoothly-engineered mechanisms and engine, the race car won't be able to decelerate that effectively. The same philosophy can be applied to your body. If you are not mobile and agile enough, a quick deceleration can cause you to lose your balance and can pose a risk for an injury.
8. Allows your body to maintain proper posture
Quickly changing direction and suddenly bursting into a sprint can be risky if you don't do it with a proper posture. Agility drills can help encourage your body to stay correctly-aligned even in immediate shifts of movements. This is the main reason why our trainers always teach us the proper form of the exercises so that the body can remember the correct posture in doing the workout. Always bear in mind that doing strenuous workouts without prioritizing proper posture almost always leads to injuries.
9. Helps you avoid muscle strain and injuries
It's true that following a rigid diet and exercising regularly can get you in perfect shape so you can avoid a number of injuries. But if you fail to work on your agility, chances are you will overextend your joints, leading to muscle sprains and strains. You need to loosen up the tightness in your joints so that even if you misstep, your body will be flexible enough to adjust to the extension and prevent you from possibly tearing a ligament on your knee or on your ankle.
Athletes who have recurring ankle injuries always turn to agility training so that they could strengthen the base of their movements, allowing their ankles to easily absorb impact and weight. If you are a personal trainer or a gym owner, you might want to suggest your clients to include more agility drills to their workout routine and provide them with equipment that could help them to be more springy and agile.
10. Shortens your recovery period
Recovery is always overlooked in a fitness regimen. Working people who go to the nearby gym to put in an hour or two of conditioning usually make the mistake of spending a lot of time on weightlifting and cardio exercises without honing their agility first. An athlete who does not place a significant amount of priority on recovery end up with sore muscles all over his body, forcing him to miss out on his next scheduled workouts.
The musculoskeletal system of your body is responsible for decreasing your needed time for recovery so that you won't feel any kind of pain or soreness when you check-in for your next workout. Agility training is perfect for developing muscle strength and flexibility so it's highly suggested that you already search Google for a variety of agility drills you can do at the gym or even at home!
11. Helps you produce more dynamic results in your workouts
Agility training is widely-known for being included in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, which means that a larger number of your muscles exert effort when you work on your agility. This also means that you would see a bigger increase in your progress as agility could optimize your overall performance, aside from improving your change in speed and direction. If you're into bodybuilding or training for a marathon, develop your agility so that your muscles won't easily give out when lifting weights or finishing the last half mile. We don't believe in taking shortcuts, but engaging in agility training can make the time you spend at the gym more worth it.
So if you're a fitness enthusiast or a young aspiring football player, check on your personal trainer or the owner of the nearby gym to see if they have a workout plan and the proper equipment for you to work on your agility. If not, getting the ZOID Fitness Agility Trainer is a great way to start! With twelve trapezoid-shaped pieces, it is unlike any other old-school agility ladders. The best part of it is that the pieces can be separable, so you can form an "S" shaped configuration or a circular one to give a whole lot of variety on your agility training!
More importantly, you can use the ZOID Fitness Agility Trainer on just about any surface. So if you are into football, basketball, tennis or just doing basic workouts in the comfort of your own home, you can use this training tool to work on your explosiveness, while still being flexible enough to absorb the impact. Players, trainers, coaches or gym owners, getting the ZOID is the right thing to do!