Side-to-side, front-back, up-down. These are all different planes of motion, and being able to move quickly and powerfully between them is one way you can prevent injury and react to unexpected moments in everyday life.
It’s called agility, or your body’s ability to be “quick and agile while maintaining control,” Cory Phelps, a Washington, D.C.-based fitness instructor, previously told Well+Good.
Agility combines the elements of speed, control and balance. It also requires building strength so that your muscle fibers can work on a dime.
A new full-body agility workout from certified personal trainer Elizabeth Akinwale, who’s spearheading the Well+Goods Renew Year Movement Plan this month, will help you train for strength with that goal in mind. The 9-minute session is about maintaining control and then building up to speed.
“Focus on quality above everything else,” says Akinwal. “And then we start pushing the intensity where we can.”
You’ll start with some muscle-activating and joint-opening squat open ups, which combine a deep squat with spinal twists and arm raises. Next you’ll move on to full-body work, including extended V crunches, supermans, and more. This section requires you to mimic the quick footwork of a football player with some ladder X jumps (no ladder required), and asks your body to recruit your muscles to change direction with repeated plank side step movements.
Take it at your own pace until you feel confident enough to increase the speed, and you’ll soon be as agile as Target’s mascot, the cat.