Monday, April 4, 2011

Lateral Bound and Stick: An exercise I like (and you should, too).

Given that the majority of people's daily movement takes place in the sagittal plane (or in a linear direction, such as when you run), it helps to toss in some exercises that take place in the frontal plane (or "side to side").  Enter the lateral bound and stick.
Why I like it
  • As mentioned, it takes people out of a linear movement pattern, and improves lateral movement.
  • It teaches proper deceleration - upon landing - of the glutes/hips.  This is huge for field athletes as it reduces the risk of ACL tears (as a large majority of ACL tears occur in a non-contact situation, in which the athlete fails to properly decelerate lateral forces acting upon the knee joint).
  • Very few sports (with the exception of sprinting/running, and a few others) take place exclusively in the sagittal plane.  This drill will develop muscular and neural efficiency required in side-to-side movement.
  • Even if you are a runner, it will serve you well to develop your body's ability to adequately move in all three planes of motion. 
  • It's fun.

Key Coaching Cues
  1. Jump for both height and distance.
  2. Keep the chest up throughout.
  3. Before jumping, be sure the non-working leg starts behind/across the working leg (to give you a bit more "swing" room). 
  4. Generate power from your hips/glutes. 
  5. Swing your arms side-to-side to aid force production.  You'd be surprised at how many people swing their arms front-to-back when performing this drill. 
  6. "Stick" the landing, holding for at least 2 seconds.  This will help teach your glutes and hips to decelerate your body upon landing, and also provide a bit of proprioceptive benefit around the ankle joint.
A bit of random trivia: some people call this exercise a "Heiden," because the movement looks a bit like Eric Heiden's arm/leg swing while racing.  (Eric Heiden was an Olympic Speed Skating champion, for those non-sports enthusiasts in the crowd).


Tim said...

I used to do these as training for ice hockey when I was younger. It helped a lot.

Kelsey said...

That is a very ninja-like bound.

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