|PLYOMETRICS||DRILLS & VIDEOS||EQUIPMENT|
The best and most effective agility drills are short, high speed, controlled running exercises that help athletes develop not only velocity, but also lateral stability and quickness. In the video below, the Kbands trainers demonstrate a shuttle run (or pro agility drill) that targets these goals and helps develop the leg strength, core strength and reflexes necessary for agility on the field. By focusing on technique and body position and adding the kinetic resistance of the Kbands, drills like these can improve performance by elevating balance and control while driving speed. An intense drill like the one in the video can be completed once a week for optimal results. Too many repetitions of this drill per week can actually lead to over training, so coaches and athletes should work this resisted shuttle run into a complete pro agility program.
For this drill, trainers and athletes will need a set of three cones placed in a line five yards apart. Athletes will also need to attach the Kbands in place around the upper legs. The strap for each leg should be securely wrapped with the label facing forward and the metal rings on the outside, then the resistance bands with the correct level of tension should be clipped to the straps. The long band should be attached to the front rings, while the short band should connect the rings in the back.
The athlete should begin the drill by standing beside the center cone. When the starting signal is given, the body should be turned toward one of the end cones and the athlete should run in that direction, covering the five yard distance as quickly as possible. At the five yard mark, the runner should change direction and cover the entire ten yard distance to the opposite cone. At that point, as demonstrated in the video, the athlete touches the ground, turns his body again, and runs back to the center.
Again, this drill is short but very intense. Before completing the drill, viewers should watch the video carefully and pay attention to proper body position at the turns. Notice how the trainer starts at the center cone with his body centered, balanced, and prepared for maximum speed. His feet are slightly farther than shoulder width apart, and the foot closest to the destination should be slightly pivoted, with the toe angled in that direction.
As the athlete begins the first five yard run (to the right, in this case), he doesn’t lift his right foot first. Rather, he keeps that foot planted with the toe pointed to the right, and he begins the run with his left foot. This propels him at the start and helps capitalize on the body’s energy.
As he runs, the resistance of the Kbands will create strength-building tension in his hip flexors and core. He needs to be explosive to work against this tension and maintain maximum speed. The athlete also works hard to stay close to the cones in order to keep his body moving in a straight line. Notice how he also keeps his body moving at top velocity as he approaches the end—he doesn’t slow down as he sees the destination approaching. When he reaches the cone at the end of the row, he bends to touch the ground with his chest aiming in the direction he’s about to run. As soon as he touches the line, his body is already positioned to break for the full ten yard distance.
As the athlete arrives at the ten yard point, note the position of his feet and how they align under his body. At this point, many athletes have a tendency to start the final five yard run with a lunge step, planting the inside foot far ahead of the body. Instead, the inside foot (the foot placed closest to the destination) should simply pivot slightly, remaining close under the body. This will provide maximum leverage for the rising leg and will allow the athlete to begin the run with explosive speed.
After the first 5-10-5 set of pro agility drills with the Kbands in place, athletes should remove the bands and complete a second set without resistance. Recognize that the legs will feel lighter without the bands, but it’s still important to maintain control and keep the body moving at top speed.
5-10-5 pro agility drills seem simple on the surface, but the true value of these exercises will come from close attention to proper body position. Athletes should remember these key points:
1. When beginning the run to the right, keep the right toe pointed in that direction at the start, and launch the run with the left foot, not the right.
2. Keep the body ahead of the hips and center line at all times, not behind. This means avoiding a lunge step at the turns.
3. While touching the line at the turns, keep the chest pointed toward the destination.
4. For speed and efficiency, keep the body close to the cones and maintain a straight course.
5. Arm motion is pivotal to speed and agility. Throughout the entire shuttle run, the elbows should be held at a 90 degree angle and the arms should rise and fall in a complete range of motion at each stride.
KbandsTraining.com offers a complete set of resistance training equipment designed to increase tension and build power in the hip flexors, legs, and core. Each of these muscle groups are essential to speed and coordination, and the Kbands, KB Duo, and KB Powerbands are built to target these areas and maximize drills like the one featured in this video. Visit the site for an extensive set of training resources, including more demonstrations like this one, purchasing information, and articles on training principles, nutrition and lifestyle tips that can improve athletic performance.
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