By Neal Prokop, Sport Performance Specialist
As we roll into spring and start to return to our sports, hopefully for the last time with COVID-19, and preparing to compete in team sports in the future, we want to focus on progressing our training programs so we don’t overload our body too much, too soon and get injured before we actually get back into competition. If you have not been training as regularly as you normally would because of the pandemic and a lack of equipment and/or no gym to train in because of closures, the best course of action is to start slowly and build your tolerance to exercise over time versus jumping back in right where you left off.
Below are some sample progressions you can follow to re-introduce lateral movement and change of direction into your training program.
The first video goes through a lateral shuffle progression:
Movement 1 – Shuffle Step Single | Movement 2 – Shuffle Step – Double | Movement 3 – Shuffle Step – 2 Forward/1 Back | Movement 4 – 5m Lateral Line Shuffle | Movement 5 – Reactive Shuffle
The second video goes through a lateral crossover progression:
It all starts with a solid athletic stance, the foundation for moving quickly and efficiently in all directions. Our progressions build from there and help your body’s tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones) get stronger and more resilient with each step in the progression. Remember, don’t just start out with the hardest form of the drill so you feel it the next day (sore, stiff muscles and joints). That is not the point. As we return to sport we want to do it gradually so our body can adapt and become stronger over times so we can play our best when it matters the most. This message is for athletes and coaches alike.
Here are the movements: Movement 1 – Crossover Step – Single | Movement 2 – Crossover Step – Double | Movement 3 – Crossover Step – 2 Over/1 Back | Movement 4 – 5m Lateral Line Crossover | Movement 5 – Reactive Crossover
If you play almost any team sport, lateral movement is an important part of your on-field, on-court or on-ice performance and these drills are a great way to prepare yourself for the forces placed on the body by your sport, whether it is soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, rugby, lacrosse or hockey. Following these progressions will gradually introduce more forces, quickness and reaction time to safely help you return to playing your sport at the highest level possible, injury free.
On the topic of hockey, did you know that we offer an off-season hockey program for players from U13 all the way up to the Junior and College level. If you want to take your hockey performance to the next level, check out our website: https://www.sportmanitoba.ca/performance/programs-services-2/performance-hockey/ or contact Jeff Wood at (204) 925-5751 for all of the details on our program and services.