Sept. 2013
Power & Agility
by Rick Wood BS, CSCS

Power is work performed in a certain amount of time. So power is a function of both strength and speed. In other words, you could squat 500 lbs but be as quick as my grandma when crossing the street. Strength alone is not Power! Most exercises you are doing in the gym are probably performed slowly because of someone’s idea of “proper form” or “good technique”! That’s all fine and dandy for some exercises but what are you really training for? Run faster? Jump higher? This is a question for everyone! How about tripping and NOT falling down takes a powerful recuperative step! Starting a lawnmower is powerful too! Grandma and Grandpa can still aspire to be powerful! (It’s relative.)

Agility has several variables… Agility defined is: the ability to start, stop and move the body quickly in different directions and in a controlled manner. I put the concepts of power and agility together because everyone would probably like be quicker, more agile, more nimble, have more dexterity, simply put… have more spring in your step!

Improving a person’s power and agility is going to involve the body as a whole. Balance and coordination will be engaged and also improved as a byproduct of power and agility training. When increasing your power and agility, look for exercises in which the whole body is moving (especially the torso and head). This will ignite the whole body, almost like a fight or flight response to protect itself. Multiple muscle groups, joints and nerves will be excited and talking to each other. This cannot happen by sitting down on those fancy contoured seats in that new circuit of weight machines.

Don’t get scared away; there is a progression and yes, those weight machines have their place! There are beginning, intermediate and advanced power and agility exercises. (Playing hopscotch or jumping rope could be a beginning activity for kids.) Olympic lifting, medicine balls, plyometrics, jumping exercises, hurdle and cone drills are some examples of power and agility training. A knowledgeable strength and conditioning coach can safely administer and teach a progressive program for most anyone. Good coaching will include low reps, fewer sets and generous recovery between sets. Another good indicator of an educated coach is that the last rep is as good as the first rep! Fatigue has no place in power and agility training. Error on the side of less. Quick! Ballistic! Explosive! Getting tired? Slowing down... then your set is done! Ya gotta love that kind of training!!!

Plyometrics Medicine Ball - Plyoballs Power%20w/%20Lbs Sprints 
Agility Jumps Balance Coaching for the Coaches