How To Shuffle Laterally
When moving side to side athletes need to be able to move quickly but under enough control so they can maintain good position on an opponent. Learning how to shuffle properly will greatly aid athletes in their ability to be reactive and explosive.
When moving side to side it is important athletes start with good body positioning. There should be a slight bend at the knees and hips as athletes keep their toes, hips, and shoulders forward and begin to step to the side. This step should not cause the athlete to lean back, nor should the step be awkwardly long or short. When performing warm up activities the lateral shuffle can be a useful tool. The lateral shuffle can be performed at different speeds and intensities to mimic game like situations and increase athletic performance.
Warm Up Activities To Warm Up Before Running
Before performing any kind of athletic training or competition athletes must perform warm up activities to get the body ready to perform at a high level. Athletes who wish to avoid lengthy and nagging injuries to the groins, shoulders, knees, and ankles should perform warm up activities with the Recovery Foam Roller and Ballistic Bands. Using the Recovery Foam Roller on the calves, upper thighs, shoulders, and arms will help to increase blood flow to the targeted areas while breaking tightened muscle. Warm up activities with the Ballistic Bands include stretching the hamstrings and groin, as well as active warm up activities and mobility work for the shoulders and ankles.
Quick Step Hesitation Shuffles
Pairing the Quick Step Hesitation Shuffles with other active warm up activities like a lunge, Shoulder Mobility Exercises, or light to moderate forward and backward sprinting. All of these warm up activities will help to engage and activate more muscle fibers in a controlled manner.
To perform the Quick Step Hesitation Shuffles athletes will need a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and 3-6 Speed and Agility Cones. Athletes will begin by securely placing the Speed and Agility Cones in ten yard increments. Athletes will then begin the warm up activities by securely attaching the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands just above their knees and lining up at one end of the line of Speed and Agility Cones.
Athletes will not perform a traditional lateral step but will instead powerfully step out, follow with the back foot, and pause for 1-2 seconds. As athletes move laterally it is important they maintain good form with their knees and hips, keeping the knees wide and keeping the toes pointed toward the front of the athlete. Athletes will complete 6-8 of the Hesitation Shuffles, or 10 yards, and will immediately increase their tempo and stop the hesitation. Athletes will quickly laterally shuffle through the end of the Speed and Agility Cones before resetting and performing the same series of actions moving back down the Speed and Agility Cone line. To ensure both sides of the body are worked evenly during warm up activities, athletes should always face the same direction. Perform 8-10 back and forth repetitions of the warm up activities before moving into more intense training and warm up activities.
Warm Up Before Running
After the Quick Step Hesitation Shuffles have been complete athletes should be ready to move into higher intensity warm up activities. Begin these warm up activities by keeping the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands strapped on and performing the Kbands Wall Runs. The Kbands Wall Runs is a warm up before running activity that increases athletic performance by mimicking the normal running motions. Combined with the resistance from Kbands Leg Resistance Bands athletes will feel their hip flexors and legs working hard to complete the short sets of the warm up before running drill.
To begin the Kbands Wall Run athletes will place their hands on a wall and begin to step back as they tilt their chest forward. Athletes will step their feet back until the athletes body is at a 45 degree angle with the ground. Athletes will begin the warm up before running drill by maintaining their position with the wall and alternate driving their knees into the air. Athletes will work off the balls of their feet as they work to quickly drive their knees high. Perform the Kbands Wall Runs for 8-12 seconds before allowing 40 seconds of recovery time. Complete 4-6 resisted sets of the Kbands Wall Runs before removing the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and performing 2-3 unresisted sets of the warm up before running drill.
Once athletes have completed the warm up activities their bodies will be prepared to endure and excel during intense physical activity. Properly warming up athletes before these intense bouts of training or competition is the best way to ensure they continue to see success while competing. Being able to increase the intensity of the athletes training will also ensure that continued athletic success is achieved throughout the athlete playing career.
Sports such as soccer, football, tennis, and lacrosse will all greatly benefit from performing these two warm up activities. The high speed sprinting and constant change in direction make these warm up activities a great tool to increase the amount of muscle that the body will use to complete these lateral, forward, and backward movements. The additional stretching and warm up activities with the Recovery Foam Roller and Ballistic Bands will be useful for more specifically targeting areas which may be causing the athlete discomfort or restricting their athletic output.
For additional assistance with stretching and warm up activities go to the Recovery Section and learn about additional stretching and warm up activities which can benefit athletes.
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