Agility exercises are a great way to improve your speed and quickness on the badminton court. Combining these exercises in a circuit provide the added benefit of training your endurance as well. I like to do an agility circuit at least once a week, usually coupled with my jumprope session for the week, just to maintain and improve my quickness. There are a wide variety of different agility exercises that you can do – in this post, I will cover some of the more popular and beneficial ones.
1. Ladder Exercises
Ladder agility exercises are commonly done for any sport involving short bursts of speed and general quickness. Even without a ladder, you can mark places on the ground with the general width of the ladder rings. There are many exercises you can do with the ladder, where you generally take one step per “hole” of the ladder. Some common exercises are high knees, shuffle steps, carioca, in & out steps and single legged hops. Here is one example of a QUICK ladder drill working on forward and backward steps.
These exercises will help you be lighter on the court and get used to staying on your toes. When combining these exercises in a longer circuit, you will get a strong cardio benefit and work on your endurance as your muscles will begin to burn through the sets.
2. Agility Jumps
The second group of exercises are something I like to call “Agility Jumps”. These are a variety of exercises that all involve jumping while staying on your toes. You can mix and match these exercises in any way that you like, but I generally like to do 3 sets of each exercise in a row before moving on. In each set, you will 20 seconds of a slow-moderate pace and 10 seconds of a full speed 100% energy pace. These exercises include:
- Scissor Jumps
- X – jumps (crossing your legs)
- Side to Side hops
- Forward backward hops
- One legged hops (Figure 8 circuit)
- In-in Out-out steps
- Jumping lunges (forward)
- Jumping lunges (side to side)
- High knees
- Rapid fire steps
For each whole circuit, aim to work on these exercises for roughly 10 minutes total without any break. You will for sure feel the burn in your calves and your quads!
3. Agility Sprint
These next exercises are called an “Agility Sprint”. Set up or find an area of roughly 20 meters that you can go back and forth between. Here, you will be doing 6 different agility exercises in a row at full speed. You should time yourself in completing these 6 exercises so that in the future, you can aim to beat it and get even faster. Here are the exercises:
- Shuffle (Forwards / Backwards)
- Grapevine / Carioca (Facing one direction)
- Side steps
- Side steps with Hops
- Bunny hops
- Sprint (Forwards / Backwards)
Although bunny hop can be considered more of a plyometric exercise, it is still very important to this agility sprint. It is forcing you to be able to give a full speed sprint even though at the point of the sprint, your calves and quads are already burning. If you have any questions about these exercises, you can easily find them on YouTube and Google!
I have detailed in another post all the benefits of jumprope and different progressions and exercises you can do with it. Be sure to include this in your agility circuits as well!
Regardless if you are new to the sport, training seriously, or just playing for fun, these different exercises can go a long way in helping your quickness on and off the court. Even if you aren’t doing them to train for badminton specifically, they are all still worth the exercises and are fun to do with a group of friends. Try this out next time you do a conditioning day and let me know what you think in the comments below!