Ashley Guarrasi is a personal trainer specializing in boxing fitness and functional movement. Over the past ten years she has become a well-known name in the boxing fitness community, establishing residency at the Equinox West Hollywood gym training celebrity clients, and leading health and wellness retreats around the country.
As a personal trainer with a boxing background, Ashley knows how important agility is to any and every athlete. Below are three of her favorite drills to enhance your agility and quickness.
Drill #1 – Fast Feet
All you need for this drill is four cones and a strong work ethic. Ashley utilizes this drill to get her heart rate up while helping improve her speed with quick and repetitive movements. This drill will also strengthen your joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Drill #2 – Toe Taps
Any drill where you combine footwork, speed, and movement in different directions is great for improving agility, but this one is especially easy to set up and perform. All you need is a line or slightly elevated surface to use as your baseline point. This exercise really helps your quick twitch muscles fire rapidly so you can create that burst of speed you need for any sport.
Drill #3 – High Knees with Ladder
This high knee drill exaggerates your running stride to fire up your calves, glutes, and hamstrings while promoting knee lift and encouraging rapid turnover. It’s a great way to practice running fast while improving your speed using efficient form.
Ashley relies on the top training gear to work as hard as she does in the gym. To see her top training product picks click here or visit eastbay.com.
Footwork is incredibly important for football agility. Being able to move your feet quickly can have a big impact on your performance. Having fast feet can help you sprint, change direction, block, tackle, throw, and even catch the ball.
Here are a few simple drills that can help you with your footwork for football.
Jump Rope Drills
A jump rope is probably the simplest, least expensive tool you can use for improving footwork, overall athleticism, strengthening your ankles, feet and shins, and improving your conditioning. To properly position yourself, stand on the middle of the rope. Adjust the handles so they both come up to your armpits.
Start these drills with a 30-second goal and gradually improve that to a minute for each drill. Keep your knees and ankles soft. Most of your movement should be from your ankles.
Jump up and down: Basically, you are jumping over the rope using both feet and landing on the balls of your feet. If this is done properly, you should not have to jump very high.
Jump side to side: Move side to side, jumping over the rope as you move. Again, you should not need to jump very high.
Jump forward and backward: Jump forward and then backward over the rope.
Set up a series of cones about 5 or 6 feet apart, as illustrated below:
Stand at the start. From this position, sprint at an angle so you are in front of the first cone.
Stop, then backpedal at an angle so you are between the first and second cones.
Sprint forward so that you are in front of the second cone.
Keep doing this until you have weaved in and out of all the cones.
The zig-zag drill sets up like the Weave drill; the start line is in the same place.
Start facing the line of cones.
Run to the right of the first cone, plant your right foot and push off so you run to the left side of the second cone.
Plant your left foot and push off.
Continue zig-zagging until you have cleared all the cones.
Do the Weave and Zig-Zag drills during your speed and agility workouts, 3-5 times each.