Dexterity can be summed up as graceful or easy movement. It requires strength to generate speed and endurance to hold poses and maintain control. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, so let's break it down into a few key points
Mobility: Wider, pain-free ranges of motion.
Speed: Quickly and accurately moving your body.
Balance & Stability: Safe, intentional movement or resistance to movement.
Each of these subsets are worthy of their own posts (and may get them someday), but for our goals let us keep these factors in mind as we approach dexterity as an overall target.
How can I improve my DEX?
Unless you have some Boots of Elvenkind hidden in your closet, improving these stats will take time and practice. Lots of practice. I would treat dexterity like a skill in need of tuning rather than as a mountain to climb (like STR can be). Everything from daily mobility care to handstand practice to nailing the water bottle flip requires patient, dedicated repetition to forge neural pathways and condition the body to moving in new ways. If we must start somewhere, I recommend we start with....
Foam rolling your IT band can be grimace-inducing, but is seriously beneficial!
Think of mobility as "new school" flexibility. It's the ability to achieve new and fuller ranges of movement without pain in muscles or joints. Recent studies and modern practice have found that self myofascial release, or foam rolling, is more effective and safer than the old-school gym class stretching we’re used to. Yoga is an excellent method of practicing the skill of flowing from movement to movement often in challenging and useful positions. These are techniques you can practice every day, either focusing on your areas that need the most work or applying a full-body session aimed at general maintenance.
Speed & Agility
Useful for executing sick backflips, improving performance in any sport and generally getting places faster, speed and agility is a cross between strength and dexterity in training. You need stronger muscles to make your body move faster, so resistance training (specifically plyometric training) will play a big part. Agility is tied closely to balance, but is associated more with movement. Acceleration, deceleration and change of direction should be challenged and practiced to improve your agility.
Balance & Stability
Like agility, balance is your ability to stay on your feet. However, while agility is control in motion, Stability is the ability to resist movement and stay the course. Holding a challenging pose or slowly transitioning with ultimate finesse is the aim and the best way to train balance. Again, this is more like a skill to be practiced, so resolve to spend a little time every day practicing those handstand progressions and single-leg moves.
Begin your agility training with the basics
Work your way up to more advanced "training"
But wait, there's more!
Mobility, speed, and balance all tie together to create a fine-tuned machine through training and practice. While you can certainly focus solely on these aspects of your fitness, it would behoove you to integrate these elements along with your STR and END training to reap the full benefits! There is a deep well of benefits and types of training for dexterity. You can focus on gymnastic and acrobatic strength and abilities, or a more grounded yoga practice or the newer "animal flow" techniques and so much more. This was the "Starting Stat" that I think has the most material to cover. I hope to dive back into these subsets in the future to deliver more detailed training practices and descriptions. What sorts of skills and stats do you want to know more about? Let me know in the comments!