Improve Agility, Speed, and Strength
Working out to improve your speed and agility is important if you want to excel at team sports, such as football and baseball. How fast and agile you can become depends on your core muscles and your lower body strength. Your body composition is important too. Losing excess fat is a prerequisite to becoming that athlete, together with building muscle mass through weight training.
Agility is tied into the ability to make an explosive start, stop, and change direction in a short period, without losing balance. It’s common to use floor ladders to improve agility and strength. The exerciser steps sideways through each rung, either forwards or backward, as quickly as possible.
Developing Speed and Strength
A great way to develop speed and strength is through short sprints. Sprinting helps develop the muscles in the legs and lower body, such as the calf muscles and hamstrings. Building strength in these lower muscles gives you much greater force as you launch yourself off the ground.
With the sprint, concentrate on accelerating to your top speed and then decelerating to a balanced stop as quickly as you can. Throw in a swift 90-degree turn between sprints and you’ll be increasing your agility at the same time as your speed.
Plyometrics, or ‘jump training,’ involves exercises where your muscles exert maximum force in short intervals. The goal is to increase your speed and strength.
There are many advanced plyometric exercises out there, which are better suited to those who have been working out a while. Some simpler exercises, however, are suitable for beginners. Jumping rope in short bursts, for example, is an excellent way to build strength and speed.
Try doing some plyometric push-ups where you clap your hands once at the highest point of your push-up. These are excellent for helping to develop strength and speed.
Squat thrusts are another example where the standard push-up is adapted to develop speed and strength. To perform a squat thrust, jump your feet forward at the peak of your press-up so that you end up in a wide squat, with your back straight and chest pushed out.
Plyometrics, in particular, can stress joints and soft tissue. This is why it’s important to allow your muscles to recover between workouts.
A good tip for avoiding injury is to perform the more dexterous or consuming exercises early on in the workout to ensure that these are completed before your body is fatigued.
Always perform a five to ten-minute warm-up before starting your workout. This warm-up will increase your core temperature and heart rate, readying your body for more vigorous exercise.
After each workout, perform a few stretching techniques for around 10 minutes, holding each stretch for 30 seconds or more.
There’s little worse than making progress with your exercise regime only to find yourself injured and unable to continue safely. At Golden Home Fitness, we want you to achieve your goals, but we want you to do it safely. Follow these tips and take notice of the precautions to avoid injury. For more information, set up a free 60-minute consultation!