Be Quick on your Feet:

Agility Ring Drills for Better Performance-Part 2

By: Jay Dawes

In part one of this article the use of Agility rings to perform low level plyometric drills was discussed. In part 2 we will focus on the use of Agility rings as part of a sport/activity specific dynamic warm-up.

The sport/activity specific warm-up should be an integral part of any training session. It allows the client to progressively and systematically increase core temperature, respiration rate, heart rate, blood pressure and several other key physiological functions prior to more strenuous activity. When used appropriately this portion of the workout can also be used to develop fundamental movement skills and abilities, body awareness, agility, balance and coordination.

The following are just a few examples of agility drills that can be performed using the Agility Rings.

  1. Forward Ring Run: Stand facing the rings. Run down the rows of rings placing one foot in each ring. Refer to figure 1 for set-up.
  1. Lateral Ring Run: Stand sideways with the left foot closest to the first ring. Without crossing the feet run laterally down the row of rings placing the left foot into the first ring of the ladder. Simultaneously place the right foot into the first ring and the left foot into the second ring. Repeat this movement down the row of rings. Once this has been accomplished immediately repeat this movement leading with the right foot and move in the opposite direction. Refer to figure 1 for set-up.
  1. Cha-Cha – Start by standing sideways with the left foot immediately beside the first ring. Step laterally into the first ring with the left foot, then shift the right foot into the first ring. Step out of the first ring; take three quick “chop” steps, then step forward diagonally onto the second ring with the right foot.  Repeat this pattern all the way down the row of rings. Refer to figure 1 for set-up.
  1. Icky Shuffle – Start by standing with the left foot immediately to the side of the first agility ring. Step laterally into the first ring with the left foot, then shift the right foot into the first ring. Step out with the left foot, and shift the right foot forward into the second ring.  Bring the left foot into the second ring and repeat this movement pattern and repeat this pattern all the way down the row of rings. Refer to figure 1 for set-up.
  1. Chops: Facing two rows of agility rings, run forward down the rows placing the left foot in the first ring on left side of the rows and the right foot in the first ring on the right side of the rows. Repeat this movement pattern all the way down the row of rings. Refer to figure 2 for set-up.
  1. Subtraction/Addition Lateral Ring Run: This drill performed in the same manner as the Lateral Ring Run, however the athlete/client will continue running laterally back and forth down the row of rings. Periodically during the drill the coach/trainer will reach down subtract a ring on either end of the original four rings by taking it away from the configuration. This forcing the athlete/ client to change directions more rapidly. Rings may also be added back to the original configuration to decrease the emphasis on change of direction speed and increase the metabolic demand of this activity. This drill should not be performed for more than 8-10 seconds if being performed at full speed or to maximize agility performance. Refer to figure 1 for set-up.
  1. Reactive Lateral Ring Run: This drill performed in the same manner as the Lateral Ring Run, however the athlete/client will continue running laterally back and forth down the row of rings. At any time during this drill if the coach/trainer gives the “switch” command the athlete/client should immediately stop where they are and move in the opposite direction. Refer to figure 1 for set-up.

These drills work very well as part of a sport-specific dynamic warm-up, or can be used as stations in a circuit between priority exercises like the squat, bench, press or row. Below is a sample dynamic warm-up routine for beginners, intermediate and advanced clients. The number of sets and the amount of time performing these drills may need to be modified based on the athlete’s current levels of skills, strength and abilities.

Example of a Three day Agility Ring Training Program:

Program 1: Beginner Program 2: Intermediate Program 3: Advanced
General warm-up: walk, jog, calisthenics, etc-5 minutesGeneral warm-up: walk, jog, calisthenics, etc-5 minutesGeneral warm-up: walk, jog, calisthenics, etc-5 minutes
Sport-Specific Warm-up:

5-10 minutes

-Perform for a total of 6 repetitions each.

-Forward run

-Lateral run

-Cha-Cha

Sport-Specific Warm-up:

5-10 minutes

Perform for a total of 4 repetitions each.

-Forward run

-Lateral run

-Cha-Cha

-Icky Shuffle

-Chops

Sport-Specific Warm-up:

5-10 minutes

Perform for a total of 3 repetitions each.

-Forward run

-Lateral run

-Cha-Cha

-Icky Shuffle

-Chops

Subtraction/Addition Lateral ring Run- Perform 2 sets for 10- 15 sec.

Reactive lateral ring run-

-Perform 2 sets of 10-15 sec.

In conclusion, The Agility rings are a great tool to use during this portion of the workout. Since many of the agility and foot speed drills performed with this toll are relatively low level they are a great option when getting prepared to perform  more intense agility training  in an athlete’s training session, or as a fun change of pace for the general fitness clients routine.

Figure 1: Agility Ring Set-up for drills #1-4,6

Figure 2: Agility Ring Set-up for drill #5