Footwork and Agility Exercises for Older Adults – Decrease Falls

If you are a senior or someone who struggles staying steady on your feet, balance and agility should be a top priority when considering what types of exercises you should be doing on a daily basis. When it comes to the term “agility,” I usually describe it as the ability to move your body quickly and precisely. As mentioned in the video above, being able to move your body quickly and precisely helps to reduce the risks of falls. If you are playing with your grandkids, or walking out in the public, you will need to react quickly and move your body accurately to avoid falling in these situations. Today, we are going to describe the footwork exercises for older adults, detailed in the video above.

Before You Begin

Before you begin, we wanted to detail a small bit of equipment you need to do these footwork exercises. In the video above, we used an agility dot to complete the agility exercises for older adults. This is simply a vinyl, colorful dot that can be used for a variety of different exercises and activities. If you are interested in purchasing some of these for yourself, feel free to use our Amazon Associate Link to check out the product.

Agility dots:

If you do not want to purchase any equipment, you could also use a towel, or some type of object to place on the floor as a “marker.”

Footwork and Agility Exercises for Older Adults

The type of agility drills we are going to be demonstrating in the video above are seated exercises. This allows seniors, and individuals with mobility impairments to focus on moving their body quickly, without the fear of falling over. To begin, setup 4 agility dots in a small square directly in front of you. Once you have the dots setup this way, you can begin with the agility exercises listed below.

  1. Single Foot Touches
  2. Double Foot Touches
  3. Zig Zag Touches

Single Foot Touches

The single foot touch exercise, focuses on having your touch each of the four agility dots you setup, outlining a “square” with your foot. The idea is to start slow with this, and build up to moving quicker over time. We want to be moving our feet as quickly, and precisely as possible, so you are still touching the dots going all the way around the square. As mentioned in the video above, you can have someone yell out “switch” while you are doing this exercise, to your direction of tapping quickly be switched to the other side. This will not only work your quickness, but also your brain!

Double Foot Touches

Double foot touches is the same as the last exercise. You will still find yourself outlining the square as fast and precisely as possible. The main difference with this agility and quickness drill as that you will be using both feet. This increases the difficulty of the exercise, as it forces you to work more muscles than just one foot. If you are not able to do both feet in a seated position, it would be recommended to stick to one foot.

Zig Zag Touches

Zig zag touches is simply a way to describe moving any way you would like. Be creative when using the agility dots, and try to create as many shapes and letters as possible. When I am using four dots, like the video above, I enjoy making an “X,” with the older adults I work with. You can of course do many other letters as well. Remember, the idea of this is to move as quickly as possible, so pick a letter or shape that allows you to do just this.

This are just a few of many quickness and agility drills that older adults and beginners can do to improve their overall quickness and speed. Be creative with the agility dots, and you will find that you not only get a great workout, but will be having fun while you do it!

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