Defranco Agile 8 – UPDATED 2022 – Understanding Agile 8 Warm-Up
No matter how advanced your workout routine is, you can’t neglect to warm up before it. We know, we get it…warm-ups are boring. And it’s true that doing some stretches before a sumo deadlift probably feels like a waste of time.
Something often forgotten is that warm-ups aren’t supposed to be a workout – they’re supposed to activate your muscles and prepare them. The Defranco Agile 8 warm-up is designed to reintroduce this principle and make warm-ups effective again.
This is our full guide to the Defranco Agile 8 warm-up, including the benefits, what it is, and how to do it.
Defranco Agile 8 – A Complete Guide
Let’s break down the Defranco Agile 8 workout, step by step. The workout was developed by Joe DeFranco of T Nation. Joe DeFranco is a respected strength coach who has trained WWE fighters, UFC fighters, and Olympic athletes.
If he swears by something, you know it’s worth a try…and if he develops something himself, you know it’s about to be good.
The Agile 8 portion of the name comes from the 8 steps involved in the workout, and the fact that…well, it requires you to be agile.
The Agile 8 is focused on mobility, getting your muscles ready to be stretched and to be worked. Mobility is a general factor that you’re going to need before every exercise you do, meaning that the Agile 8 can be used in every part of a routine.
For the Defranco Agile 8, the equipment you’ll need is an exercise mat, a foam roller, and a tennis ball. The 8 steps to the Defranco Agile 8 are as follows:
1. IT Band Foam Rolls
2. Adductor Foam Rolls
3. Tennis Ball Glute Myofascial Release
4. Rollovers into V Sits
5. Fire Hydrant Circles
6. Mountain Climbers
8. Static Hip Flexor Stretch
You should do 5 – 10 reps of each of these. Just 1 set is fine, but if you do more then don’t do more than 3 sets – at that point, it’s not a warm-up, it’s a workout.
Getting Started with The Agile 8 Warm-Up
The steps to the DeFranco Agile 8 are easily accessible for beginners, but just reading the list can look confusing due to the names. Getting started with the Agile 8 warm-up is all about understanding and breaking down each exercise.
Let’s start with foam rolls – what are foam rolls? This is a cylinder of foam material, the same kind that pool floaties are made of. It’s a pool noodle that’s shorter and fatter and designed to be used to alleviate tension and soreness.
Foam rolls use this cylinder to perform what’s called a self-myofascial release. These are self-massage techniques usually done with the assistance of an object like the foam roller and they target specific areas of your body known as the fascia.
Fascia is the interconnective tissue between your muscles. When you work out, stretch, and build muscle, these are usually the areas that bear a lot of strain and pressure. Neglecting this area can lead to an increased chance of muscle strains and tears.
It’s possible to have a myofascial release massage done by a professional but learning to do them yourself will save you money and allow you to best target the areas of your body that need tension released.
Moving onto step two of the Defranco Agile 8. This has the same principle as foam rolls, but why use a tennis ball instead? This is simply because the fascia in your glutes is smaller and more concentrated than in your back.
The tennis ball is rigid enough to withstand being rolled around under your weight but soft enough that it won’t hurt. Its small surface area allows it to pinpoint target the areas that need tension release the most.
Understanding The Defranco Agile 11
5 years after the Defranco Agile 8 made waves, Joe DeFranco made an updated version called the Defranco Agile 11. Understanding the Defranco Agile 11 is the next step to upping your pre-workout game.
The steps to the Defranco Agile 11 are as follows:
1. IT Band Foam Rolls
2. Adductor Foam Rolls
3. Lax Ball SMR Glutes
4. Knee-Bent Iron Cross
5. Rollovers into V Sits
6. Rocking Frog Stretch
7. Fire Hydrant Circles
8. Mountain Climbers
9. Cossack Squats
10. Seated Piriformis Stretch
11. Rear-foot Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch
All of these are repeated between 5-10 times, for 3 sets. As you can see, the DeFranco Agile 11 warm-up shares a lot of notes with the Agile 8.
You can think of it as a progression of the Agile 8. This is why it’s important to understand and be comfortable with every step of Agile 8 before starting with Agile 11.
If you think you can do the Agile 11, and it looks like the exercises included fit with your workout routine better, then there’s no harm in trying it to see if it works for you though.
Defranco Hip Mobility
While it might not seem like it, hip mobility is essential for strength training. It’s even more important if you’re competing in sports like wrestling, kickboxing, or most athletic sports. Joe Defranco knew this, which is why he developed the Agile 8 and Agile 11 warm-up to focus on hip mobility.
The Agile 11 is sometimes also called the Limber 11 because that’s its whole focus; to limber up your lower body and activate essential muscles like the hip flexors.
Time is limited, and the truth is most people who work out don’t have much time. They want to focus on the main routine that’s going to give them the most benefits. This means that important things, like working out the hip flexors, are neglected.
The Defranco hip mobility exercises are designed to be a 2 in 1 solution; the workouts take as little as 10 – 15 minutes, and they build and activate the essential muscles needed while also being a warm-up that gets the blood pumping.
Defranco Agile 8 – Closing Thoughts
The Defranco Agile 8 has its roots in practiced strength training techniques that have helped athletes stay at the top of their game. It’s a perfect warm up to supplement your weight and strength training.
For more ways to up your strength training gains, check out our guides to diet plans, more warm-ups, and workout plans.