Seniors and individuals with disabilities struggle with moving their bodies quickly through space. This is due to a few reasons, with physical inactivity being one of the likely culprits. If you do not consistently practice moving your body quickly to improve your agility and quickness, that aspect of your physical wellbeing will go down incredibly quickly. The ways we can practice moving quickly through space, is through the use of targeted exercise to improve this aspect of fitness.Many agility or quickness drills are done in a standing position, which is not always the easiest for some older adults to stick with and accomplish. Beyond this, some beginners even struggle with their balance when doing agility standing. Today, we are going to highlight a great agility drill for seniors that you can do all from the comfort of your chair.
Before You Begin
Before you begin the exercises we are doing, you will need a couple pieces of equipment to get the most out of the workout. These pieces of equipment are a lacrosse ball and an agility ball. A lacrosse ball is a hard rubber ball that is bouncy, and very hard. An agility ball is made of similar material, but is “spiked,” making it tougher to catch when we are doing our agility drills. You will also need to setup your chair about 3-4 feet in front of a sturdy wall or object that you can bounce the ball off of. As mentioned in the video above, if you have a tennis ball, that will work okay in place of the lacrosse ball. If you did, however, want to purchase the lacrosse ball or agility ball used in the video above, you can check out the products with my Amazon Associates link here:
Lacrosse Ball: https://amzn.to/3ONmHUV
Agility Ball: https://amzn.to/3OuNMMP
Exercise in a Chair to Improve Agility in Seniors – Increase Quickness
Once you have the equipment, you are ready to complete the chair exercise to help improve your agility. This exercise is extremely straightforward to follow, but is also very difficult as well. To complete the exercise start with the Lacrosse Ball in your hand or on the ground. Next:
- Either roll the ball with your foot, or lightly toss it with you hand, towards the wall in front of you.
- Allow the ball to bounce off of the wall, redirecting the ball towards you.
- Once the ball starts to come towards you, quickly “stomp” on the ball with either of your feet.
- Repeat this numerous times until you get tired and need a break.
You will notice quickly that doing this exercise will greatly challenge your ability to move quickly through time and space. If you are uncomfortable touching the ball with your bare feet, it would be recommended to put on some shoes to do this agility exercise. This would also be advisable if you have neuropathy and pain in your feet in general.
Making the Exercise Harder
To make the exercise harder, this is where you can use the Agility Ball we talk about in the article and video above. Since the Agility Ball has numerous different spikes and bumps on the ball, it doesn’t roll flat. We can use this to our advantage when trying to increase the overall difficulty of the agility drill. If you are using the Agility Ball I would highly recommend to use some shoes when you are stepping on the ball, since it is much more uncomfortable to step on. The agility exercise in your chair will be the exact same as the one with the Lacrosse Ball. You will simply toss the ball against the wall in front of you, and try to react quickly to “stomp” on it. Whether you stick with the variation with the Lacrosse Ball or challenge yourself with an Agility Ball, this chair exercise will help improve your quickness in no time!
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