Definition: The power of moving quickly and easily
Synonyms: Dexterity, Nimbleness
Today we take a look at agility, another one of the 10 general skills we work on in CrossFit training. When I hear this word, I immediately think sports. Moving quickly from one place to another, quickly and with ease. I think “light on the feet”, “explosive”, “fast.” And when you look at the definition, someone who is able to move quickly and easy; they are quick, smart, and clever.
Inside the gym, the skill of agility shows up all over the place. Most people would immediately resort to box jumping. You have to get from the ground to two feet in the air very quickly.
But let’s take a look at some other places this might show up. How about a snatch? You’ve got 150# either on the floor and now, you have to get that sucker over your head. We all know that the quicker you are able to get your body underneath that bar, the better your life is going to be. With the snatch, you have to go very quickly from full extension of the hips to catching the bar overhead and most likely in a full squat position. Talk about getting from one place to another quickly. You take too long, the bar lands in front of you and you drop it, or maybe you land it with bent elbows instead of nice, locked out position. The quicker you get there, the better.
So how about some other less obvious ways that we improve agility inside a CrossFit gym? How about moving from exercise to exercise quickly and efficiently. Can you get off that rower and start those box jumps right away? Is moving your body around in space easy or hard? Each and every day, as you do workouts, you practice this skill of agility. Many times people come in and getting up and down off the ground is hard or sometimes our movements have taken a slow motion sort of feel and we can move around, but just not very quickly.
As your coaches, we are constantly trying to get you to improve these elements of agility. Move your body, and do it quickly, and do it easily. If you can’t do those things, then perhaps it’s a matter of learning techniques and movement basics as a first step. After you learn how to move your body properly, then you add in speed. Not the other way around. The method of working speed first and then moving the body easily is the recipe for injury. At CrossFit Julia, we do not condone this. Quality vs. quantity at all times.
Let’s head outside the box. This can literally translate into every aspect of your daily being. Can you move your body quickly and easily when you realize that your dog just ran out into the busy street instead of staying inside the dog park gates? Can you adjust to the football being overthrown by 2 inches and lay out just enough to catch the pass? Do you have enough mental agility to move your mind quickly and easily… perhaps decision making is hard for you when under stress or maybe you need to make a quick change of plans when something doesn’t work out the way you planned. Can you move from one place to another, both mentally and physically, quickly and easily? That’s agility.