Before we get started let me give you part 1 and part 2 of this series. If you haven’t read them please do.
Now that we have talked about adding jumps and rotational movements to your workout, let’s talk about lateral movements you can add so that you can continue to improve your athletic abilities.
Lateral movement is very important. Just like the various movements I discussed in previous posts, training that includes lateral movements will help you become a better athlete. Being strong in all planes of motion is what being an athlete is all about.
Exercises like lateral lunges, skater hops, and x-band walks are a few great lateral movements. I am sure I am missing some but these few are regulars in my programs.
Lateral lunges are not only a great strength movement in the frontal plane but can also help mobility. Lateral lunges can help open up the adductors; if the adductors are tight it can change the positioning of our pelvis. When the positioning of our pelvis changes it can deactivate the right muscles and make it so we don’t move properly.
Skater hops, I like to use more for conditioning. Skater hops are a great way to work on stopping and changing direction. Learning how to properly land so that your in good position to change direction can not only help you move better, but also keep your knees safe. I have said it before and I will say it again, you can work on landing in a good position and changing direction, but if your not strong enough to hold that body position it doesn’t matter how much you practice it.
X-band walks are something I use in the warm up or at the end of the workout depending on the ability of the trainee. These really help strengthen the gluteus medius. Keeping the gluteus medius strong is important for your compound movements as well as running and jumping. When weak it can result in knee valgus. Knee valgus is the knee caving in. If your knee is caving in you’re not going to be the most athletic you can be.
Not only is it important for athletes to build bilateral strength, but also unilateral strength. For instance, we walk, walking is a single leg movement, using the following unilateral movements will help you be more stable when you are walking. Building unilateral strength will prepare the athlete for their sport specific movement.
When an athlete throws, hits, jumps, or sprints they are doing so off of one leg. In these movements your weight is transferring from leg to the other. Since you spend a lot of time on one leg, why not train on one leg?
Lunges are the most common unilateral movement, and they’re great, but thats just one option. Step ups, bulgarian split squats, single leg RDL’s, single leg stability ball curls, single leg hip thrusters, and single leg jumping are all unilateral movements that will increase your strength.
All of the movements I talked about are going to make you a better athlete, prepare you for everyday life, and make sure you’re as stable as can be.
Working on becoming the best athlete you can be and incorporating more variety will not only make your training more fun, but also keep you stronger and ultimately safer.
You have the ability to be an athlete! Add some of the exercises I mentioned and your inner athlete with come out.
If you have medical limitations or dysfunctions that prevent you from doing some the movements I have shared with you please contact me and I can suggest modifications or alternatives.
As always if you have any questions please comment below and if you liked this post please share it!