Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lateral Hops Improve Speed And Power

Use lateral hops to improve your speed and power in the frontal plane of motion.

The frontal plane is an imaginary bisector that divides the body into equal front and back halves. The motions primarily involve abduction and adduction (side-to-side motions).

Abduction takes your limb away from the midline of your body and adduction takes your limb closer to the midline of your body. Examples include exercises performed on hip abductor and hip adductor machines. Other frontal plane motions would be lateral lunges, dumbbell lateral shoulder raises and lateral spinal flexion.

Quickness and agility movements made by athletes require adequate frontal plane stability, strength, power, flexibility and balance.

Lateral hops are done as fast as possible. Also, your feet should remain on the ground as little as possible as you do the hops. Focus on hopping (not jumping) from side to side (on the balls of your feet) with very little vertical height. You are working to improve lateral power with this exercise and not vertical power. Do 8-10 repetitions per set.

As you progress, you can begin to do single leg lateral hops. Train hard and safe!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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