To improve your performance on the field or court, train like an athlete.
Whether you play in a Saturday soccer league or shoot hoops in a pickup game, strength and endurance will prevent you from looking (and feeling) like a rookie. But to perform at your peak and avoid injuries, you also need agility—the combination of speed and coordination that helps athletes sprint, stop, turn on a dime, and then run again.
To boost this sporty skill, lay down a ladder. “Ladder drillsimprove your speed, boost your coordination, and teach you how to control your center of mass,” says Ronald Jean, a Tier X coach at Equinox Beverly Hills. “Plus, they increase your aerobic capacity and strengthen your muscles.”
In the slideshow below, Jean demos five of his favorite ladder moves for challenging the upper and lower body. Perform the workout regularly, ideally a few weeks before your first game.
TO DO IT: Two or three times a week, perform the routine below as a circuit,doing each move for 30 to 60 seconds in order without resting in between.Then repeat the entire circuit once more. If any exercise is too challenging, follow the instructions to “take it down a notch.”