Seniors and individuals with limited mobility often have difficulty staying steady on their feet. Because of this, trying to find various ways for them to work on balance, and stability is incredibly important to reduce the risk of falling for them. One of the tools that I often implement in the balance training for many of the seniors that I have worked with as the use of agility and quickness drills to help them practice moving fast through space. It is known that if someone moves slower in their actions, the chances of them falling and hurting themselves are much higher. The exercises described below, in addition to the video above, will show you a few quickness and agility drills that seniors, beginners, or individuals with limited mobility can do to improve their quickness to help reduce the risk of falls.
Before You Begin
In the video above, and the exercises below, we will be using a heavy weight for the agility drills. If you would like to, you can check out the adjustable dumbbells that we recommend to use, linked below. Otherwise, a heavy backpack, gallon jug of water, or whatever you can find at home will work just find. As with any balance and quickness drill, always be careful when doing them. Ideally, we are trying to move through the exercise as quickly as possible. If it becomes to challenging, feel free to take a break whenever needed.
Weighted Agility Drills
Weighted Quick Marches
For quick weighted marches, start with your weight or dumbbell placed in one hand. Next, you are going to bring one knee up into the sky as high as possible, and quickly bring it back down. Repeat on the other leg, alternating back and forth in place with the weight. Make sure you switch the weight to the other hand as well for equal work.
Single Arm Farmers Carry
For the single arm farmers carry, you want to place two cones or objects about five feet from each other down on the ground. Next, you will start with one dumbbell in either hand again. Then, you will quickly walk all the way to the one marker or object, and then all the way back. Switch hands and repeat the quick movement again, going the other direction. If you would like some markers to use during your exercises, we recommend using these agility dots as markers for yourself.
You will start with your markers placed in the same position as the last drill. Instead of starting with the weight in your hand, you will actually start with the weight on the ground, near one of the markers. Then, you will quickly shuffle over to the weight, grab it off the ground, run back to the starting dot, and then back to where the dot you found the weight on, and place it back down. I would recommend watching the video above for this one.
Weighted Chair Walk Forward
For this one, you will start seated in a sturdy chair, with the weight held at your chest level. Next, you will stand up out of the chair, quickly walk around your chair, and then sit back down. Make sure to repeat going the other direction of your chair, to get equal work in your balance and muscles.
Weighted Chair Walk Backward
This is the exactly the same movement as the last one, except you are going to be going backwards. I do want to warn you, that this exercise is extremely difficult, and to be careful when doing it. Any time you move backwards, especially with a load in your hands, it will be very tough and somewhat difficult. Only do this if you are advanced in your balance abilities.
These are a few of many great agility and balance drills for seniors. Make sure to practice them daily, otherwise your balance and quickness may never get better! If you are interested in following a fall reduction program, to supplement this balance exercise here, we have created a great one that you can find, below.
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