Exercises for Improving Leg Coordination
Coordination is key when performing sports, workouts and moving through daily life. Athletes need coordination to reach their potential and improve their skills on the field or court, while average fitness seekers benefit from coordination in work duties, hobbies, exercises and overall health. By improving your leg coordination, you can also prevent a variety of injuries. Simply perform a few regular exercises and you can enjoy the benefits of more balanced, stable movements.
One of the best ways to improve your coordination is to do plyometric drills. Athletes and coaches use plyos to develop strength, power, agility and coordination. By forcing your body to react quickly and move with speed and power, you train your mind and muscles to work together and establish greater balance and coordination. Some of the best plyo drills include quick feet, high knees, squat jumps, single-leg jumps and rope ladder drills.
Part of improving coordination involves strengthening your deep stabilizing muscles, which help you stay balanced and upright. Physical therapists and personal trainers use these exercises to increase strength in their clients’ hips and glutes, which, as part of the core region, are responsible for stability. You can use a number of workout tools for developing coordination and core strength including stability balls, resistance bands and balance training balls. Try seated stability ball marches, standing leg lifts with resistance bands and jumping onto a balance training ball with both feet while focusing on sticking a stable landing.
According to BodyBuilding.com, the best leg exercise for developing coordination is the pistol. These simple, single-leg squat exercises not only improve your coordination, they also develop leg strength, power and speed by teaching your body to exert power through the entire range of motion of your leg one at a time. And because they require no equipment, you can do them anytime, anywhere. To perform pistols, stand on one leg with the other leg extended out in front, parallel to the floor. Keep your hands at your side and sit back and down, as if sitting you were going to sit in a low chair. Lower all the way until your glute is resting on your calf and then return to your starting position.
Developing coordination isn’t easy and will require concentration. When performing plyos, stability exercises and pistols, focus on your movement and on maintaining proper form. Keep your abs engaged and your back straight unless the move requires you to do otherwise. For pistols, if at first you can’t perform them without falling over, either steady yourself by resting your hand against a wall or only lower half of the way down until you’ve developed the strength and coordination to complete the full move.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.