Speed and power anyone?
Many of us enjoy watching athletes perform amazing physical feats. Whether it’s Usain Bolt screaming down the track during the Olympic Games or Serena Williams hitting a rocket serve at Wimbledon, we can’t help but marvel at their athleticism.
The fact is, many of us are athletes at heart. And we can use some of the training methods the pros use to improve our overall fitness.
Incorporating athletic drills into a routine helps improve balance and coordination, increases our efficiency at speeding up and slowing down and increases our ability to change directions quickly. All of that is important for improved performance and injury prevention.
So whether you’re wanting to dominate in flag football this fall or just looking to add a variety to your routine, try adding these drills to the mix once or twice a week.
Perform these exercises after an active 15- to 20-minute warm-up.
REACTION BALL: Stand about four to six yards from a solid wall. Throw a reaction ball against the wall and try to catch it as it bounces back. If the ball gets past you, retrieve it as quickly as possible and return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
40-YARD SPRINTS: Set up two cones 40 yards apart. Starting at one end, quickly run to the opposite side until you run past the cone. Gradually slow down, walk back to the starting point and repeat for four to six repetitions.
Note: If you have not sprinted in a while, run at 60-80 percent of your maximum speed.
AGILITY LADDER (LATERAL IN INS): Begin with your left side facing the agility ladder. Quickly shuffle down the ladder and back, landing on the balls of your feet, with both feet in each square. Repeat for two to three repetitions, then switch directions.
M-DRILL: You will need five cones for this drill. Begin by setting up four cones in a box formation, with each cone spaced 10 yards apart. Then place the fifth cone in the middle of the square.
To start the drill, begin at the bottom left corner (Cone 1). Quickly run to the cone straight ahead (Cone 2). Now, backpedal to the center cone (Cone 3), turn slightly right and run to the cone in the top right corner (Cone 4). Then backpedal to the final cone in the bottom right corner (Cone 5), then finish by sprinting through Cone 4 straight ahead. Return to Cone 1 and repeat for two to three reps before repeating the sequence in the opposite direction.
MEDICINE BALL CHEST PASS: Hold a 6- to 12-pound medicine ball chest-level while standing about 3 to 5 feet from a solid wall. Beginning in an athletic stance, powerfully extend through your hips and legs as you throw the ball against the wall. The height of your throw should be about eye level. Drop into a quarter squat position as you catch the ball and repeat without pause for 30 seconds.