Simple and effective exercises for your agility training
If you want to train and boost your flexibility, then you should first determine your initial value. This will make your progress better and it will increase motivation! Below, I wat to share some simple workout, and feel free to implement them in your personal agility training.
Step 1 – Test your mobility
A simple test for agility is the so-called “toe touch”. Just stand with your feet together and gently lean forward.
Reach downward with your fingertips, keeping your back straight, as far as you can, or until you feel a certain stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. This is where going any further would cause you pain, thus, you have reached your point of flexibility.
As time goes by, and you practice stretching regularly, you will improve your range. For example, if you can only touch your knees, for now, you’ll soon get to your shins. After your shins, you’ll be down to your toes with your fingertips and maybe even soon able to touch the floor with your palms flat to the ground.
Alternative Agility Tests:
Hull rotation (with arms outstretched and hands folded to left and right)
Overhead mobility (arms stretched over the head and notice how far the arms come up – avoid a hollow spine)
Step 2: Relax your body to improve mobility
Let’s start with the first exercises that train agility. Causes of tension and hardened muscles are often physical and mental strainings. Therefore, it is extremely effective to start with relaxation exercises. This briefly lowers muscle tone throughout the body by shutting down sympathetic activity.
For this purpose, it is sufficient if you sit down or lie down relaxed and take 10 breaths, deep into the abdomen, and exhale through the nose. Close your eyes and let your body get heavy. Just like a short meditation …
That should help solve the first tensions in the body.
Has it already worked? For effect measurement, you can then repeat your test exercise.
Step 3: Control of the nervous system
In a Neuro-athletics seminar, in England, we learned techniques to influence our nervous system. There are exercises that activate our central nervous system (CNS) positively or negatively.
We experience noticeable effects mainly through exercises involving the hands, feet and eyes. Why? Because it activates the largest areas in our brain. Logical, because through hands, feet and eyes, we mainly observe our environment through feeling and seeing.
Three workouts that activate your CNS and, thus, exercise your mobility:
Fixing Eyes: Hold a pen with your arm outstretched in front of you. Now make big circles and pass the pencil in the center on to the other hand. Follow with the eyes the tip of the pencil.
Opening and Closing Hands: Hold your arms straight forward. Now roll your wrist and your hands outwards until you feel a pull in your forearm. Spread your fingers as far as possible. Then pull in/ curl in your hands and fingers as far as possible.
Foot circles: Place your foot up backward on your toes. With your ankle, make a great circular motion around the big toe. Make sure to stretch the ankle (tarsal joint) wide to achieve the activation of the CNS.
Then you use your test again to measure any improvements. Often this alone can gain a few inches of freedom of movement.
Step 4: Exercise flexibility with classical exercises
Only in the fourth step do we come to classical exercises that improve our flexibility. With targeted exercises, we want to train your Range of Motion (ROM). These are known from yoga. Everyone can do most of the exercises, but some are more advanced.
Here a distinction is made between static and dynamic mobility training:
Dynamic exercises for flexibility
Dynamic training allows you to perform active movements. Make sure that you can control the movements and do them slowly.
In this exercise, you train the flexibility of your hip flexor. This is often tense when you spend a lot of time sitting down.
Get into a lunge position, where you can lay down the back knee calmly. Then set your upper body wide open and open your hips as far as possible. Now perform small bouncing movements. After about 30 seconds you can change the leg.
Grab a stick a bit more than shoulder-width and slowly guide it over your head in a large circle until you reach your lumbar spine. Perform the movement back exactly the same way. Watch out for stretched elbows. If you have overhead problems, then widen your grip.
This exercise improves mobility in your shoulder girdle and helps with the erection of the thoracic spine.
Rotation while lying down
Lie on your back for this exercise and bend your legs up with your feet up. It’s best to place your arms wide beside your body.
Lead the legs bent to the left and right in the direction of the ground. Make sure that you keep the upper body in contact with the ground.
The exercise will relax the lower back muscles and help loosen the cross iliac joint (ISG). It is useful for lumbar pain as well as for sciatica problems.
Static Exercises for Agility
There are many static exercises to improve mobility. The three main regions for which I recommend static exercises are the three main areas of the spine:
Elongation of the cervical spine
Keep your head straight with your chin drawn inwards. Now turn your head to the side, until you feel a slight pull in the side neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds and intensify it slowly with each exhalation, making the arm ever heavier.
Erection of the thoracic spine
Who wants to train his mobility will have to focus on the thoracic spine. With increasingly bent postures. such as in the car, on the computer and cell phone, the flexibility of the structures in this area is steadily decreasing.
A simple exercise: Lie on your back and bring your arms behind. Then let them sink slowly towards the bottom and make sure not to make any compensatory movements (no hollow back). Try to keep the elbows stretched, too.
Relief of the lumbar spine
One of the main reasons for an immovable lumbar spine is the hip flexor muscle, a large muscle that pulls from the thigh to the lumbar spine.
For example, you can reach this muscle by laying yourself on a table with your butt at the edge of the table. Then you include the knee of one leg and just let the other leg hang down on the edge of the table.
Gravity does the rest if you make your leg heavier with each breath. Alternatively, a partner/friend can push the leg down slightly.
Step 5: Train Functional Agility
Deep squats are an example of great agility. Children have a natural sense of movement – try to maintain that quality!
Finally, you want to have certain physical abilities that allow you to effortlessly and flexibly move around the room.
Therefore, it is advisable to think in terms of movement patterns and to break away from the classic stretching, even if it is concomitantly recommended, of course.
Our body reacts best to natural movements. So here are some tips on functional mobility:
1- Train in movement patterns, e.g. free strength training instead of equipment!
2- Look for suitable sports or elements of it. For example, I use the sun salutation from yoga almost every day.
3- Make your everyday life moving, e.g. brush your teeth in the deep squat or lunges when you go to the bathroom.
4- Try to incorporate mobility exercises into your morning routine to get you up early and vital and to promote blood circulation. The Sun Salutation (or Yogi Pushups) are ideal for stimulating the lymphatic system and muscles.
5- Avoid techniques and exercises that are associated with pain because pressure creates counterpressure. Relax.
Conclusion – Agility equals the quality of life
Whatever you do in your everyday life, mobility and flexibility are key to an active and vital life. If you want “back pain” to be a foreign word for you, you want to be successful in sports or just play with your children, then a mobile body is essential.
Good body control and upright posture give you self-confidence and charisma for the challenges in your life. And never forget – The right nutrition is just as, if not more, important than all the exercises in the world.
So, why not treat yourself to my favorite green smoothie. Learn everything about this power drink and try my shared recipe in my article below:
Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi
Yoga, Pilates or Tai-Chi contain good elements to train your flexibility. On the one hand, this improves your ability to relax through the reduction of muscle tone, as well. On the other hand, you train consciously and slowly with multi-dimensional movements. To reduce stress, these methods are ideal.
Especially in yoga, you exercise the inner muscles, which is just as essential as the outer, visible, ones.
No matter your age, condition and current agility level, you can achieve sustainable success through improved body awareness. Simply add a couple of the above-mentioned exercises to your personal agility training repertoire and try to make this routine a lifestyle.
You will soon feel better, more active and confident, as well. If you truly think about it, then you do realize that our mobility is something special. It brings and offers us so much joy in life.
We shouldn’t take it for granted and can start showing gratitude through appreciating our current agility and nourishing it with regular exercise.
As usual, please leave your comment below. Let us know about your experiences with flexibility training and where you’re standing right now in terms of agility.
Maybe you even have some additional tips for us? You know we always look forward to hearing from you, and that your opinion counts here on this website.
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