Five Exercises to Boost Speed and Agility

Lacrosse is a physically intense sport that requires players to use netted sticks to scoop up, carry and shoot a ball into a goal, all while evading opponents.

The sport requires speed, agility and coordination, says Dr. Karen M. Sutton, the Stamford, Conn.-based chief medical officer for World Lacrosse and a sports-medicine surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery. “You also need dexterity and stamina, as well as the ability to dodge quickly.”

Being able to think on your feet and change directions quickly is crucial on the field, says Dr. Sutton, a 45-year-old former Duke University lacrosse player. These skills also help you avoid injuries in day-to-day life.

As we age, we tend to slow down. Training for speed and agility can come in handy whether you want to improve your 5K time or avoid injury the next time you need to sprint to catch the subway. We also tend to move in a forward plane of motion. Working other planes in dynamic ways can help train the body for when you need to suddenly lunge to catch a Frisbee while playing with your kids, or swerve your shopping cart.

The following five drills will help increase your stamina and dexterity, with a focus on quick movements and coordination. Start slow and focus on control, Dr. Sutton says. Once you have full control of a movement, build speed.

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