Basketball isn’t just a “young man’s game.” Neither is ice hockey, tennis, touch football, or martial arts. In fact, there’s no sport or leisure activity you should have to give up completely just because you’re north of 40. You can stay in the game — and maybe even dominate your competition — by incorporating some agility drills into your workouts to stay spry.
David Jack, strength and conditioning coach and creator of the new Men’s Health Muscle After 40 program, recommends that everyone train for agility, even if you don’t play recreational sports.
“The first skill we lose as we get older is the ability to move explosively,” he said. That loss of power makes it harder for us to react quickly when we need to, whether you’re playing on the court, running to catch a bus, or trying to regain your footing when you trip on something. “Basic agility drills complement your weight training to help you stay light on your feet.”
As you age, you just need to be careful to choose exercises that don’t overtax your joints. Sprints and depth jumps might not be right for you, but various types of shuffles, hops, and calisthenics can do just as much.
The following exercises are low-impact, so they won’t aggravate an already banged-up lower back or pair of knees. They can be incorporated into your current workouts, or done altogether on their own for a fast-paced cardio session.
Choose any three drills to do as a warmup before a lower-body weight workout. Perform one drill continuously for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds, and repeat once more; then do the same for the other drills. To use all the exercises at once as a cardio routine, perform each move in sequence (40 seconds on, 20 off) and then repeat the entire circuit for two total rounds.
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