One of the undoubted agility ladder drills benefits is that it improves your agility.
Agility is the ability to change position easily and quickly with controlled movements and is sometimes referred to as nimbleness.
It helps with the performance of activities like sports that require you to change direction quickly while maintaining balance, speed, and strength, and body control.
On the other hand, Drills are activities used in training the military in marching or handling weapons properly.
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Therefore, Agility Drill exercises or activities are used in sports and fitness to improve speed (foot speed), power, reflexes, coordination, and specific sports skills.
Some of the agility training drills you may be familiar with are lateral plyometric jump, forward running high-knee drills, lateral running (side-to-side drills), dot drills, jump box drills, L drills, plyometric agility drills, and finally, shuttle runs. (To mention a few).
The agility ladder is a piece of equipment that can be used to perform various agility drills. A standard agility ladder is 15 feet long and 20 inches wide with 11 adjustable slats.
HOW DO YOU USE A SPEED AGILITY LADDER?
To reap the agility ladder drills benefits, you have to use the ladder correctly and not get injured while at it.
SINGLE FOOT AGILITY
This method is used by most to get the agility ladder drills benefits.
This you can do by placing one foot in each square then alternating with the other. The systematic instruction is as follows:
- Move into the first square with your right foot, put your foot down quickly, and shift your weight to that foot.
- Take a second square with your left foot. Place your foot down quickly and shift your weight to that foot.
- Repeat the movement in number 1, step onto the third square of the agility ladder.
- Repeat the movement in number 2 by entering the fourth square of the agility lad.
- Continue the sequence until the end.
DOUBLE FOOT AGILITY EXERCISE.
Here you place two feet in each square before moving to the next one. Here the challenge is to pick up your knees as well, unlike the single foot agility exercise. The systematic instruction is as follows:
- Move your weight to the left foot and put the right foot in the ladder’s first square. Place your toes down, then move your weight to that (right) foot.
- Place the left foot on the same (first) square of the ladder. First, bring your toes down, then move your weight to that (left) foot.
- Repeat the movement in number 1 and climb into the second square of the agility ladder.
- Repeat the movement in #number 2 and climb into the agility ladder’s second square.
- Continue the series going forward in the agility ladder, moving to the third square, the fourth square, the Fifth onwards …
The rest of the drill types are mostly variations and modifications of the ones mentioned above.
These include lateral stepping, jumping jacks feet, in-out, lateral carioca, cross overs, icy shuffle, single-foot hops, side shuffle, and walking push-ups.
Despite the many agility ladder drills benefits, people make common mistakes that could delay their fitness goals.
Touching the floor with the whole foot, which slows down speed, being sloppy, stepping on the ladder or outside the ladder, and finally leaning forward, which tampers with balance.
WHY IS AGILITY IMPORTANT IN EVERYDAY LIFE?
You can reap several benefits from doing daily agility ladder exercises. These include:
1. HELPS INCREASE YOUR SPEED.
These exercises improve the ability to move in one direction as first as possible with coordination and balance.
It also allows you to change positions as quickly and gracefully as possible, be it in football or basketball or whatever sports you are partaking in. This greatly increases your sports performance.
2. IMPROVES YOUR CARDIO FITNESS.
The Center Of Disease Control recommends a hundred and fifty minutes of cardio exercises per week, which you can easily get with agility ladder drills.
Cardio exercises require high oxygen consumption, thus driving up your heart rate and improving your heart health in the long run.
3. BURNS LOTS OF FAT
Burning fat is one of the key agility ladder drills benefits, considering this is part of high-intensity interval training. Studies say that these exercises burn up to fifty percent more fat than strength training.
Short bursts of intense exercise burn fat at a faster rate than low-intensity cardio activities. These agility ladder exercises are a perfect way to burn calories.
4. BUILDS YOUR FITNESS LEVEL.
Agility ladder drills boost your fitness for literally any activity you partake in your day to day from dancing, running, going up the stairs, rushing to the store for groceries, to sports like basketball or football.
5. KEEPS YOU MENTALLY SHARP
These activities will keep your mind active as you try to focus and coordinate your movement, which keeps you on your toes.
According to studies, Alzheimer’s patients who participate in these exercises involving coordination and balance retain more muscle strength and control.
Therefore, it comes with mental strengthening advantages.
6. IT IS FUN
You can do it with your children, and they will have a blast. It also does not limit you to a specific place so that you can do it, in your garage, at home, in your basement, or even outside!
7. STRENGTHENS YOUR JOINTS, LIGAMENTS, AND TENDONS
According to Will Elson, a personal training manager at New York Health and Racquet Club in New York City, the ladders are a great addition to circuit training, which can help to strengthen joints, ligaments, and tendons with fast foot strikes and knee lifts.
8. IT IMPROVES BODY COORDINATION
It improves eye-foot coordination allowing you to move through defined spaces. This allows you to run or partake in sports and other activities without having to look down constantly.
According to a study, not only does agility training improve physical fitness, but it also increases visual vigilance, listening skills, and working memory.
9. YOU CAN ADD THEM TO ANY WORKOUT
Since agility ladder drills are fast-paced, you can incorporate them in your daily work out and do different variations for better results, be it fitness or weight loss.
10. DECREASES YOUR RISK OF EARLY DEATH
Recent studies have shown that partaking in high-intensity interval exercises like the agility ladder exercises will significantly reduce your risk for early death. By doing them, you eliminate the risks of developing chronic illnesses like chronic heart failure and diabetes.
Agility ladder drills benefits range from improved performance In Sports And Fitness, Improved mental performance, and burning lots of calories.
Incorporate agility ladders into your everyday workout, and you will be well on your way to a healthy body and remember to have healthy knees and feet before you embark.