In my training at least half of my sessions emphasize lateral and multidirectional movement. In a multi-sprint sport with a lot of sharp cutting, if you’re only training in a straight line you’re setting yourself up for injury at worst or sub-optimal performance at best. I apply this principle to general conditioning (see above links) and now I’m applying it to plyometrics.
Like my other plyometric session this week, what I did today doesn’t really constitute plyometrics. Plyometrics is about minimizing ground contact time (minimizing the time between force absorption and force production.)
My training session today was really pre-plyometric work. In all of my reps, I’m focused on having a soft, controlled landing.
This plyo session was performed after a thorough dynamic warmup and before a weight training session.
Lateral Emphasis Plyos
1. Heiden and stick: 3 sets of 5 reps each leg
This is pretty much like skater hops except that you stick the landing. You also try to jump a little higher and farther than you would if you were just doing 30 seconds of skater hops.
Like this dude:
I found it surprisingly difficult to always stick the landing and not give a little extra hop or shuffle on the landing. I have good single leg strength and balance so It’s good to have found an exercise with room for improvement.
2. Zig-zag and stick: 3 sets of 5 reps each leg
Similar to above except the bounding is about 45 degrees ahead rather than completely sideways.
These exercises and the idea of alternating linear and lateral days come from Michael Boyle’s Functional Training for Sports. You may already know that I love this book as I have recommended it before.