Monday, September 24, 2018

It’s tempting to focus solely on the three Ss – strength, speed and stamina – when training, but regularly slipping an agility session into your schedule will help improve your balance and flexibility, as well as strengthen muscles and reduce your risk of injury – all in ways which directly translate to sports that require quick movements in all directions.

It’s also a fun way to train. Well, more fun than pounding out 30 minutes on the treadmill anyway. To get started with agility training, try this eight-move workout from Chris Downing, creator of Beachbody’s Shift Shop programme.

To do this workout you’ll need four markers to place on the floor. We’ve provided guidance as to how far to space them apart, but feel free to adjust the distances according to your ability.

1 Ali shuffle

Time 1min Rest 30sec

Set up two markers one metre apart. Stand side on between the markers in a staggered stance like a boxer, with your arms bent at your torso and weight on the balls of your feet. Jump both feet off the floor less than 3cm, moving the back foot forwards and the front foot backwards, landing lightly on your forefoot. Repeat this scissor movement at pace while moving laterally. Almost floating in fact, like a butterfly.

2 High knee run

Time 1min Rest 30sec

Using the same marker set-up, stand at one marker facing the other with your feet hip-width apart and your elbows bent at your sides. Run forwards, driving your knees up to waist height and your elbows back. When you reach the marker, reverse the motion.

RECOMMENDED: Strength Training For Runners To Help Reduce Injuries

3 Lateral slide

Time 1min (switch direction every 10sec) Rest 30sec

Make a triangle with three of your markers. Bend your knees and shuffle around the three markers clockwise, keeping your chest up and the weight in the balls of your feet. When it’s time to change direction tap the nearest marker by bending your knees deeper, sitting your hips back and keeping your chest up, then head the opposite way.

4 Spider climber

Time 1min Rest 30sec

Start in an elevated plank position, with your arms straight, your wrists under your shoulders and your shoulders, hips and heels in a straight line. Bend your right knee and step your right foot up to the outside of your right hand, placing your foot flat to the ground. Be sure to maintain a flat back and keep your hips low. Return to the plank, then repeat, alternating sides each time.

5 Double cross sprint

Time 1min Rest 30sec

Create a one-metre square with your markers. Get into a sprinter’s starting position at one corner, then sprint diagonally through the box. When you reach the marker, bend your knees and keep your chest up as you tap the marker in front of you. Then back-pedal to the marker behind you (on the same side of the square) and kick your legs back into the sprinter position. Sprint diagonally again, tap, and back-pedal. Continue to alternate sides.

RECOMMENDED: Nail Pre-Season Training With These Football Fitness Drills

6 Jump pogo suicide

Time 1min Rest 30sec

Place your markers in an L shape. Stand by the bottom right marker, bend both knees, swing your arms and jump to the closest marker, landing softly. Squat down and tap the marker. Then with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, bounce on the balls of your feet backwards to your starting point. Then jump to the next marker, which will be slightly further away, bounce back to the start, and then repeat for the third, furthest marker.

7 Plyo shift

Time 1min Rest 30sec

Place your markers in a horizontal line about 30cm (1ft) apart except the last one, which you place a metre away from the others. Starting at one end get into a press-up position, with your wrists under your shoulders and your head, hips and heels in a straight line. Drop into the press-up, then use your hands and feet to push up explosively and jump over to the next marker. After your second explosive press-up – when you reach the final marker of the three close together – jump your feet up to your hands, stand up and then jump laterally to the separate marker. Then reverse this pattern back to the start.

8 Grass picker

Time 1min Rest 30sec

Place your markers in a straight line. Start by facing along the line with your feet together and knees slightly bent. Hop to straddle the first marker, bend both knees into a deep squat and reach down and touch the marker, keeping your chest and eyes up. Then hop forwards and bring your feet back together between the first and second markers, staying on the balls of your feet. Hop forwards again to straddle the second marker, which you should tap with the opposite hand from the first. Continue to alternate hands with each squat as you go. Once you reach the end of the line, jump backwards to the start.

Visit for more information on the three-week Shift Shop workout programme