The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Agility Combos for Job-related Tasks

Posted in
Fit Tips

Friday, Oct 14, 2016

Is your agency utilizing agility, speed, power, coordination, and balance training? While typically thought of as skills for athletes, these components are especially important for the police officers as their job-related physical tasks require a high degree of neuromotor fitness. Some examples of these tasks would include: jumping over obstacles, lateral movements, sustained pursuit, jumping, balancing on one leg, etc. While it may seem like a lot of training to add into a program that is already hard to fit in, all of these key components of neuromotor fitness can be combined into one quick obstacle course. Utilize these agility combos to ensure you are “fit for duty and fit for life”.

To perform this exercise:
Agility Ladder Quick Balance: 
The primary focus of this exercise is speed, agility and balance. Start by standing to one side of the ladder. Step into the box, with the foot closest to the ladder first followed by the outside foot as quickly as possible. Continue, with the “inside” foot and step outside of the box on the opposite side of the ladder. Follow with the “outside” foot, pausing and holding the leg in 90 degrees of hip flexion and knee flexion for ~ 1 second. Put the foot down and then quickly step back into the next box in the same manner as before. Continue the zig-zag pattern, pausing and balancing on one leg when to the outside of the ladder all the way through.

Lateral High Knees Over Cones:
The primary focus of this exercise is power, coordination, and speed during lateral movement. Stand facing out from the cones. As quickly as possible, perform a high knee movement laterally to step over the cones. Once all the way through the cones, go back without turning around so that the opposite leg is leading.

Forward High Knees Over Hurdles:
Same as previous exercise, but now face the cones and perform the high knee movement moving forward rather than laterally.

Agility Ladder In and Out Two Foot Hops: 
The last part of the obstacle course focuses on speed and power. Stand directly in front of the ladder. Jump with a two-foot hop into the first box. Continue by jumping to the outside of the box with both feet so that you are straddling the ladder. Jump with both feet back into the second box and then back out into the straddle position. Repeat this pattern for the entire length of the ladder moving as quickly as possible.
Safety tip: Ensure neutral spine and focus on quality of movement. 

This is just one way to create an agility obstacle course. There are many ways to incorporate neuromotor fitness into your training program. One is only limited by his/her creativity.