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What greater challenge can you have than make yourself get a little faster than the day before? Doing some exercises is fine, but a goal-less workout is like shooting at an imaginary basket. Doing agility drills will help you see how your body reacts to short bursts of intense energy. The more you do these, the more progress you’ll see!
There are masters of these drills. Athletes who play basketball, football, tennis, racquetball and more must be quick enough to dodge or react to diverse situations in their sport. You can adopt these same techniques in your workout regimens! Like strength training, agility drills are great for making and meeting your goals associated with your exercise programs.
40 Yard Sprints
Any former football players here? This one should be familiar. See how fast you can run 40 yards. When I was a kid, I would do it in about 6.5 seconds. It’s not NFL status by any means, but I got a good workout from it!
This is an easy exercise to set up as well. Get an app that shows distance, mark it out, and try out the route. Normally, it would be easiest to find a football field. However, if you’re at your house/apartment, find a stretch of road, parking lot, grass lot, park or where ever you want and measure out 40 yards.
Any GPS device should work for measuring out your 40. Just take it and “run” with it! If you do several of these per week, you’ll find great improvements! For beginners see how many sets you can do. Start with six sets with a minute rest in between and see how that works for you. Make sure you’re logging your times. That’s the most important part!
This one’s a tough one! The purpose of this one is to determine how quickly you can change directions. I did these as a base assessment earlier this year and it was extremely difficult to do. I found that my right side was slower than my left side, which was a shock to me since I’m right-side dominant in just about everything I do.
I’ll attach a link to how to do this. However, the jist of this is to set up some cones 10 yards apart with a third cone in the middle. Start at the middle cone then choose a direction to sprint. Once you begin your sprint, touch that cone, sprint 10 yards to the far cone, then end in the middle cone. Ask someone to take down your time. Do it to the other side after a brief rest.
Your ability to move side to side can greatly impact how you move in day to day life. You’re not always going to be walking on concrete and floors all day. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself on uneven terrain where you’ll have to move quickly to avoid falling and twisting an ankle.
The great part about the agility shuttle is that anyone can do it. It’s low-impact if you want it to be and you’re not going very far. You can push yourself to the extent that you want to without great strain, but also get a great workout in if you’re trying to get a little quicker.
300 Yard Shuttle Sprints
Here we go. The longer distance. What does this have to do with agility? Everything…Set some cones 25 meters apart THEN do the sprint. It’s a lot different than doing 300 straight meters. There’s a shifting element to this. You must change directions quickly to get a good time, just like swimmers when they do their wall-turns. You must go to the far cone and come back for one rep. Do six of those and you’ve reached 300 meters.
This one tests your ability to run a short distance while changing directions quickly. Like the agility sprint, you’ll find yourself shifting often. However, with the 300 yard shuttle sprints you’ll be more fatigued. When tired, how are you at changing directions now? Is it a little more difficult? I’ll tell you, I do these often and I’ve been able to break 1 minute only a handful of times. I’m sure that world-class sprinters can do better, but for most of us it is a difficult task.
You can measure this one out the same way as the 40 yard sprint. Just find some open area and go for it!
You can do sprints or footwork with these. Your sprints require nothing but a willing heart and a motivated attitude because it’s going to kick your butt! You put five cones out: mark out 50 yards with two cones then put the last three equidistant to each other between the furthest two cones. For simplicity, each cone should be about the same distance apart from each other.
Next, you’ll start at one end and move to the closest cone, then go back to where you started. Next move to the second furthest cone, then back to where you started. So on and so forth until you reach the last cone (or going up the ladder). Then you go down the ladder. Go to the fourth cone, then back to where you started, then the third…You get the idea.
These are butt kickers! I’m smoked after doing anything like this. Even more than the 300 shuttle sprint, you’re moving directions pretty often.
If you happen to have a stadium or a long flight of stairs near by, you can do ladders on the stairs as well. Those will tire you out!
Finish It Off!
Working on your agility is so important! More than strength or aerobic exercises, you need those core balance muscles to work for you when you need them the most. These exercises aren’t just for athletes. Working out at home has huge benefits in that you can do these types of exercises because you can make the space to do them at home or close by.
What are some of your favorite agility exercises? Leave me a comment below! Alright, Garage Gym Goers, I’ll see you next time!