Friday, February 1, 2008

Maximize Lateral Speed and Quickness With Your Hips

Lateral speed and change-of-direction quickness and explosiveness are critical components that all athletes need in order to be successful in their sport.

There are numerous drills and exercises that can be used to improve an athlete's lateral speed, quickness and agility. See my post dated 8/9/07 that discusses lateral speed development.

The positioning of the hips is critical when training for lateral speed and quickness. It is important for the athlete to keep the hips at a constant level during all change-of-direction movements.

If the hips go up and down (or yo-yo) during change-of-direction movements, it will slow the athlete down and the movements will not be efficient enough for the athlete to succeed at a high level of play.
A good example would be the game-time actions of a cornerback in football.

The cornerback is one of the most skilled players on the field. He must have great straight-ahead speed, lateral speed, quickness, agility and explosion. On a single play, he may have to backpedal, shuffle, carioca and turn and run while attempting to cover a speedy wide receiver.

If this cornerback's hips are not kept at a constant level during all of these movements, he will not be successful (burnt toast would be an accurate description!)

The athlete must possess a strong and powerful core, upper body and lower body to be able to keep the hips level during all movements.

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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