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Agility Training � Some Basic Steps

As an athlete, you should always be looking for ways to (legally) enhance your performance. Runners will work out their legs, baseball players will work out their core muscles and upper body, but all athletes should work on their speed and agility.

Most athletes will need to work on a few basic areas:

Flexibility � No, you may not be a gynmast, but having extended levels of flexibility will give you an edge over your competition. Keeping your muscles stretched and flexible will allow you to make more natural movements, without fear of injury or cramping, as well as commit to movements that are a bit unconventional or strenuous.

No one expects you to gain the flexibility of a Ninja overnight, but working on your physical limits will eventually increase them.

Exercises that emphasize stretching and flexible resistance are key to developing flexibility.

Speed � A big portion of being agile is your speed. Being able to move quickly and effortlessly is important in most combat and team sports. Increasing the speed of all of your movements, from walking/moving, to upper body/arm movements, gives you an increased chance of avoiding what needs to be avoided and pouncing on opportunities as they present themselves.

Drill exercises, such as jumping from one portion of the ground to another or running through moguls, will increase your coordinated speed.

Reaction � Training yourself to shorten your reaction time is one of the best ways to increase your agility. Learning to react as quickly as possible will help you avoid income strikes, obstacles, or attacks. A quick reaction time will also allow you to recover and counter faster.

You can train your reaction time by testing it. Have a friend hold a stick below your hands. When they drop it, try to reach down with your hands and grab it before it hits the ground.

Remember that agility is more than one element- is the the machine that is made up by the individual components, and by increasing the capabilities of one you are increasing the performance of the other.

Submitted by:

Craig Harkins

Craig Harkins has been an active fencer for over 20 years and has been credentialed to report at the Beijing Olympic Fencing competitions. For more fencing news and fencing equipment, go to http://shop.fencing.net.


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