The Health & Wellness Corner is brought to you on a monthly basis by students in Waukee High School's APEX program. In consultation with fitness experts from Premier Athlete Training, students research a variety of health & wellness topics focused on improving the well-being of student-athletes. We'll also share a new a variety of fitness tips every month related to the primary topic discussed.
This month's Health & Wellness Corner written by Abigail Jones, Waukee APEX Associate
Speed and Agility Training
What is Speed and Agility?
Speed and agility is an athlete’s ability to accelerate, decelerate, change direction, and produce high maximal velocity in a wide variety of movement patterns.
Why is Speed and Agility Important?
Speed and agility is important for athletes as it allows them to practice, improve upon, and tolerate the movement patterns they see in sport. This is what separates a large amount of athletes who solely train in the weight room from athletes that do both. It also allows them to transfer the strength and power adaptations they make in the weight room into their sport specific patterns. It overall improves upon the fundamental movement patterns they are required to perform in sport.
How Often Should Athlete’s Work on Their Speed and Agility?
You should typically change the volume depending on the time of year. If an athlete is in season they usually should keep the volume lower across the week as they typically are seeing a lot of movement in sport. In the off-season it is typically suggested that athlete’s train 2-4 days a week at volumes they can recover from across their training week.
What Are Some Good Drills to Improve Speed and Agility?
- Basic sprints - Run as fast as possible from standing still. Adjust the distance to fit your needs.
- Lean in sprints - A different variation of the basic sprint, you lean forward until you are about to fall and then you sprint while maintaining that forward lean.
- Wall drills - Extend your arms forward and rest your hands on a wall with your body at an angle that allows you to lift your knees up. Alternate knees up and down as fast as possible for a given amount of time.
- Figure eight - Set up two cones at an appropriate distance and sprint from one to the other, around it and back to the first cone in a figure eight shape.
- Uphill sprints - Go outdoors or on a treadmill with incline and do sprints up the hill. This will improve your acceleration.
- Plyometric jumps - Jump quickly onto a box, jump back down and immediately jump back up when your feet hit the ground. Powerful and quick plyometric exercises like box jumps help to develop agility.
The IGHSAU Health & Wellness Corner is created by high school students in Waukee High School's APEX program. The IGHSAU is thankful for its partnership with Waukee APEX to create meaningful content to share with our member schools, student-athletes, coaches, and fans. To learn more about Waukee APEX, click here.