The beginning of NFL season always has me thinking about agility. Great plays are made by players with that sort of crisp, intuitive movement that incorporates quickness, balance, and great control of their bodies.
Now, there’s a 0% chance that I’m ever going to need to make a lightning-fast cut to avoid a 200-pound defensive back slamming me into the ground. But quickness and body control isn’t something that’s only important for elite athletes — it’s actually a great way to injury-proof your day to day life.
Obstacles are Everywhere
Distractions in the city come at us fast, and improving your agility can help injury-proof your day to day. Body control and dynamic balance allow your body to move in all directions, in all situations. The fact of the matter is that footwork and agility makes you not only a better athlete, but makes you move better.
Think about your daily walk to work or around the neighborhood. If an electric scooter zips in front of you while you’re walking down the city street, can you stop suddenly? Can you step off an uneven sidewalk without an ankle sprain? Hit a patch of ice without a broken wrist? Improving your quickness, foot speed, and ability to do lateral movements can make the difference between an adrenaline rush and a trip to the emergency room.
Going for a jog? It may seem as though we just move in a straight line all day long, but what happens if someone steps in front of you or you have to navigate a curb to avoid someone? Suddenly you’re making a fast lateral cut or a single leg drop, and a little bit of footwork can help you avoid a knee or calf injury that could sideline your whole running season.
At Home Agility
Improving ability to move quickly and your proprioception — your body’s innate ability to sense where it is in space — doesn’t mean excessively complicated drills. Try some of these easy moves at home to improve your reaction time and your foot and ankle strength.
Find a line on the pavement.
- Forwards and backwards over the line
- Sideways back and forth over the line
- In-in-out-out while moving forwards down the line
- Forward and back while moving sideways down the line
Looking for something harder?
- Medicine Ball Toe Taps
Not everyone can run a 4.29 40 yard dash (and if it makes you feel better, the guy that ran that at the combine didn’t get drafted this year anyway.) But not falling down is an impressive enough feat, right?