Forward linear ladder drill
Body part: Full body/integrated
Starting Position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart at the end of the ladder so it is directly in front of you.
Push off with your left leg exploding into triple extension (foot is plantar-flexed, knee and hip are extended) while picking up the right leg to step into the next square.
Push your left leg into triple extension (think about pushing the ground away from you) explosively drive the right knee straight up while maintaining a tall, straight spine; when the right knee is raised, the left arm should be forward in shoulder flexion and the right arm should be back in shoulder extension.
Plant the right foot in the next square forward, explosively drive the right foot into the ground to create triple extension with the right leg while explosively lifting the left knee up towards the chest; maintain a tall, straight spine while explosively driving the arms into shoulder flexion and extension to help maintain the forward momentum.
Bring the left foot down and place it in the next square forward and explode into triple extension with the left leg while driving the right knee straight up; continue running forward down the ladder placing one foot in each square and emphasizing explosive leg action to rapidly move into triple extension each time you are pushing off and moving forward; keep your chest lifted, your spine straight and tall and use explosive arm swings to help maintain forward momentum through the course of the ladder.
Exercise Variation: Instead of placing one foot in each square, increase the leg action to place two feet in each square; maintain rapid arm action swinging the arms forward from the shoulder joint.
Focus on explosive actions with your legs and pick the knees up rapidly–the faster you pick your knees up, the faster and more explosive you can move your leg into triple extension to drive your momentum forward.
Lateral hurdle run
Body part: Full body/integrated, legs – calves, shins, thighs
Starting Position: Stand to the side of the hurdles so that they are lying to your left, your feet should be hip-width apart with the knees slightly bent. Bend your hips and drop into an athletic ready position so that your knees are slightly bent and your chest is directly over your toes. Your arms should be bent with the elbows fixed at approximately ninety degrees (during the drill ensure that the swinging is coming from the shoulder joint and not from the elbows). Shift your bodyweight so that your weight is in your right leg. Pick the left foot up so the left hip is at ninety degrees and prepare to place the left foot on the ground beween the first two hurdles while pushing the right foot in to the ground to move your body to your left. Maintain an abdominal contraction and straight spine during this drill and keep your feet parallel so your toes are pointed straight ahead (in the same direction that you are facing).
When your left foot hits the ground, shift your bodyweight into your left leg, pick up the right foot to the point where the right hip is approximately ninety degrees, lift the foot over the hurdle and bring it to the ground next to the left foot.
Explosively push your right foot into the ground and pick up the left foot until the point where the left hip achieves approximately ninety degrees of flexion and continue running over the hurdles allowing both feet to touch the space in between each individual hurdle.
Exercise Variation: Once you have run over the hurdles moving to your right, change directions and run over the hurdles moving to your left. Once you establish the rythym and pace of the movement, keep your head and eyes raised so that you are looking straight ahead where your opponent would be during an athletic competition.
Make sure to land softly as you step between the hurdles, land on the ball of the foot and roll down to the heel and keep your weight back in your hips and you run through the drill.
Body part: Full body/integrated
Equipment: BOSU trainer
Standing behind the BOSU, rest one foot on top of the dome, with the toe down. Quickly switch legs to bring the opposite foot on the dome. Switch feet quickly, tapping one foot on top of the dome then the other while moving around the dome in a circle. Keep switching legs and moving around the dome for desired time before switching directions.
TRX ® assisted side lunge with arm raise
Body part: Full body/integrated, butt/hips, legs – calves and shins, back, shoulders
Starting Position: Holding the TRX handles in each hand, turn to face the anchor point. Position your feet together and hold the handles slightly above, or at shoulder-height, but at shoulder-width or slightly wider. Stiffen your torso by contracting your core and abdominal muscles (“bracing”).
Downward Phase: Inhale and slowly step to the left while keeping your weight over your heels, feet facing forward and using the TRX to help you maintain your balance. As you step, begin to raise both hands to an overhead position, preventing any excessive arching in your low back by depressing and retracting your scapulae (pulling your shoulders down and back) and contracting your abdominal muscles.
Once your left foot is firmly placed on the floor, begin to bend at the hips, pushing them backwards while simultaneously shifting your weight towards your left foot. Continue shifting your weight over the left foot until your tibia (shinbone) is vertical to the floor and your left knee is aligned directly over the second toe of your left foot. Your right leg should be near, or at full extension at the knee while keeping the right foot flat and your body weight should be shifted over to the left hip. The heels of both feet should stay flat on the floor. Your arms should be in a wide, overhead position.
Upward Phase: Exhale and push off firmly with your left leg, while pulling on the TRX, returning your body to your starting position. Repeat the movement to the opposite side.
Using the TRX as an assisted device reduces the load placed upon many joints. While this certainly can promote additional range of movement, it does necessitate additional attention to proper form.