If you look at how athletes move in most sports, you will see that most of the time they are moving side to side, backwards or rotating before taking off in a sprint. We train every athlete at Xceleration to be powerful and efficient when moving in those ways. How do we do it? Band Agility Drills.
We use 74-inch power bands, which are basically giant rubber bands. They are quick and effective and I love them. If you have not tried one yet, keep reading. Below are four awesome ways to use them. Each of these agility drill will get your legs burning instantly. They are great for teaching you to stay in an athletic position when changing directions. Check out the video player above for a demonstration of each drill.
Drill 1: Band-Assisted/Resisted Shuffle
This is probably the most basic agility drill we do with the bands. Make sure you drive a big force into the ground in a short amount of time and at the correct angle so your body moves exactly where you want it to go.
How to Do It
- Have your partner line up perpendicular to you with a solid base (knees bent, chest up.)
- With your partner staying still, shuffle against the band straight out until you feel a good resistance from the band.
- Shuffle back toward your partner with the band assisting. Repeat.
- Do not turn your feet out! Keep them straight.
Here's why: You're most likely never going to shuffle in one direction for a long period of time. Eventually you will have to change direction. It's way faster and easier to change direction if your feet are ready to go. Plus, you can't really drive a force with your feet turned out. Keep 'em straight!
Drill 2: Resisted/Assisted Ladder Ickey Shuffle Cone Touch
How to Do It
- Have your partner line up perpendicular to you with just a little resistance on the band.
- Your partner moves with you as you perform the Ickey Shuffle inside the ladder.
- When your partner yell "go," immediately shuffle 5 yards out to a cone.
- Come back to the ladder and pick up where you left off on the Ickey Shuffle.
- Stay low!
- When you do the Ickey Shuffle, keep your center of gravity (your hips) low to the ground. You will then be in a good position to move your feet and be ready for external forces moving against you. Imagine being a running back and punching through a hole. You have to stay low to take the hits and move your feet effectively.
Drill 3: Power Step Turn and Run
How to Do It
- Have your partner face you with a little slack in the band.
- When your partner yells "go" and points right or left, plant your leg into the ground and open your hip in that direction.
- Staying low, turn and run until you feel strong resistance.
- Come back in the ready position.
- Don't just turn and run.
- This is a great agility drill for any defensive position. Let's say your partner yells "go right." Plant your left foot hard into the ground, driving back to give yourself some space to open up your hips for a powerful step.
- Keep your shoulder height low. Never stand straight up
Drill 4: Battle Rope Slams with Resisted Shuffle
How to Do It
- Get a battle rope and set up two cones—one 10 yards to your right and the other 10 yards to your left.
- Maintaining a strong athletic stance, slam the rope up and down as fast as you can.
- With your partner resisting you, shuffle 10 yards right and 10 yards left, keeping the rhythm with your hands.
- Keep your rhythm.
- The ability to move your upper body in one direction while simultaneously moving your legs in a different direction is crucial for athletes. The more efficiently and powerfully you can do this, the better athlete you will be.
Check out more agility drills here.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock