Coordination and Agility is one of the six key elements of the Bluearth approach, because of the incredible benefits it has on the body and mind.
Working on these areas of body function are paramount to moving your best and having a speedy recovery if you are to get injured.
Here are 8 Bluearth activities you can do to improve your coordination and agility.
Skipping helps develop coordination and timing of body parts, and incorporates the elements of hopping, running, low-level jumping, and landing.
Try skipping forward and backwards, skipping for length (moving as far as you can horizontally on each skip), and skipping for height (moving as far as you can vertically on each skip).
Running, the precursor to sprinting, works on the fundamental locomotor skill (aka the skills to move from one place to another).
Here are some running variations:
- Double leg, fast leg. Over a set distance, repeatedly use a fast leg action bilaterally by flexing at the hip and raising the thigh until it is parallel with the ground. Move as tall as possible.
- Double leg, heel flick. Over a set distance, repeatedly complete heel flicks by flexing the heel to the backside. Move as tall as possible.
- Heel flick, fast leg. Over a set distance commence with a slow jog. Left then right legs are flicked against buttocks with speed, then left and right legs are raised in front with speed, ensuring thighs are parallel to the ground. Repeat in “1, 2, 3, 4” cycle. Move as tall as possible.
This fast-paced movement strengthens your ability to move quickly with body control.
The following sprinting activities address technique, efficiency, acceleration, and agility.
- Diagonal forward,backward. Use 4 cones, to make a 3 metre square. Run diagonally forward, backwards, diagonally forward, and backwards to the start.
- Forward and lateral cone weave. Sprint forward, weaving around the cones. Also try skipping and side stepping through the course.
- Fwd / Bwd / Fwd / Bwd. Sprint for 20-30m switching from forward to backward movement every 5-7 m. Use cones to mark transitions.
The marching motion works on body control, coordination, and dynamic range of motion.
- High march, arms abducted. Walking, raise the legs as high as possible in front. Legs can be bent or straight. Arms are out to side for balance.
- High march, arms in front. As above, with arms out in front of your body. If legs are straight, attempt to touch fingers with toes. Take toes to fingers, not vice versa.
Lunging builds your ability to move your centre of gravity with control. It also encourages correct muscle recruitment for more dynamic movement such as running and sprinting.
Find some space and try these lunging exercises:
- Walking lunge. Over a set distance, take large controlled steps and bend both knees with the back knee almost touching the ground.
- Lunge ‘n’ scoop. As above, but with each step make large scooping motions with both arms. Coordinate the arms passing near the ground with the time that the back knee is at its lowest point. Use the arms to create lift out of the lunge.
- Lunge and rotate. As for the walking lunge, but with each step rotate the torso towards the front leg. Rotate as far as possible and hold.
This up-and-down motion enhances your ability to move through the air and land on your two feet efficiently and safely.
Rhythm Jumping is a fun activity to do with a group of people. Starting in a big circle, one person starts jumping on the spot. After a few bounces, the next person joins in, bouncing in time. This is repeated until the whole group is bouncing in time. With each person added, the whole group chants the number of the person, e.g. “One!” bounce, bounce, bounce “Two!” bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce “Three!” bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce etc. If the rhythm is upset, start again with the last person to join. Allow yourself to bounce like a spring with ease and consistency.
Weight bearing on one leg is what hopping is all about. Hopping is essential to walking and running efficiently, and helps develop your ability to move through the air and land on one foot smoothly.
Try these variations of hopping: in place, laterally, side to side, for length, and with rotation (hopping as high as possible into the air and rotating 180°or 360°, landing on one leg).
8. Rope Skipping
Skipping with a rope provides an extension to jumping and hopping activities, and is a great way to build your coordination and timing.
Variations of rope skipping:
- Boxing skip. Skip with alternate feet landing with each rope rotation.
- Doubles Skip. Attempt to complete two rotations of the rope per landing.
- Backwards skipping. Skip normally but with a backward rotation of the rope.
We hope you have fun giving these activities a go, and continue to work on your coordination and agility as they are both paramount to whole body health.