Lateral Agility – Drills & Exercises
Lateral agility is the ability to change direction and move side to side quickly with maintaining your balance. Improved lateral agility enables martial arts students to change offensive & defensive positions rapidly and effectively. In turn, this allows martial artists to evade an attack or launch a strike at an undefended area (i.e. moving laterally in order to avoid an opponent’s blow and thus being able to quickly launch an effective counter attack against an off-balance opponent). Lateral agility is critical for sparring, self-defense, etc.
Lateral agility drills usually utilize agility ladder drills, cone drills, plyometric exercises, hexagon agility drills, etc. These drills and exercises work on improving a martial artist’s ability to move laterally – quickly… and under control!!!
All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting any stretching or exercise program. For additional agility drills, please visit the main Martial Arts Agility section.
Examples of lateral agility drills & exercises include the following:
Agility Ladder Drills – Instructions & videos for lateral agility ladder drills
- Carioca – Also known as Karaoke
- Diagonal In & Out – One Foot
- Diagonal In & out – Two Feet
- Lateral Crossovers – Front Foot or Rear Foot
- Lateral High Knees
- Lateral Hop – One Foot
- Lateral Hop – Two Feet
- Lateral Run – Two Feet
- River Dance – The river dance agility ladder drill uses a cadence of in, behind and out.
- For agility ladder drills, please visit the main lateral agility ladder drills section.
Cone Drills – Instructions & videos for lateral & change of direction cone drills
- Lateral Suicides – This agility & speed drill focuses on lateral shuffles aimed at cones or lines at progressively further distances.
Plyometrics – Instructions & videos for lateral plyometric exercises
- Lateral Bounds
- Lateral Box Jumps – Jump side to side over a plyometrics box or something easier (and probably more readily available) such as a stack of Taekwondo kicking pads.
- Lateral Box Shuffle
- Lateral Step Ups
- Skater Jumps – This plyometrics exercise works on your lateral & diagonal agility & strength. It is also known as Ice Skaters.
Examples of Lateral Agility Drills