Lateral Training - Plyometrics To Build Explosive
Speed & Strength
There are various uses for the application of lateral training
such as sport, health and overall conditioning. Lateral training
is not a new concept but the value of it has been underestimated
until the past 10 years where fitness had exploded. Pilates and
yoga utilize a type of lateral training in passive and controlled
ways. Strength and stretch is the focus for Yoga and Pilates type
lateral work. Poses are held or pulsed for timed intervals giving
you a great burn and excellent muscular endurance. The joints will
Plyometrics will find ballistic ways to use lateral leg work making
the movements explosive and powerful. This is ideal for jump height,
speed, agility, balance and stronger connective tissue making your
joints stronger in the process. Sport and rehab conditioning are
also dependent on this style of exercise but it is applied relative
to the person's needs and obstacles or injury. Progressions and
modified versions of plyometric drills will be used for the rehabilitative
The training is usually done with high reps, light weight or timed
intervals. Form is important because of the joints involved. Tools
such as extreme boards, 'fitter' lateral training equipment, bands,
slide boards and Bosu balls are all great helpers. Many of these
are in physiotherapy clinics but only a small percentage of gyms
will have these tools.
Some of the lateral drills you can apply to your training program
in general would be side shuffles and then taking them onto a bosu
ball for added difficulty. Side hops with both or single legs then
over a plyo ball or cone for more difficulty. Take this side hop
movement forward and back along a line and you are at a new level.
Hopping up and down stairs sideways with both or single legs is
very advanced but really works those ankle and knee joints. Something
as easy as the grapevine move used in aerobics is a lateral move.
Your everyday jumping jacks are also lateral working.
Inline and ice skating is lateral in the push off, excellent for
gluteal toning. Every stroke hits the outer thigh helping to tighten
and tone the area. Skating style movements like the side shuffles
where you basically step or hop out to the side with one leg, the
other foot touches that legs ankle and then immediately hops over
to the other side and so on, just like skating, are excellent conditioning
prep moves for pre skate as a warm up. Also great for those without
skates, this helps you get more of the motion in regardless.
Soccer has a lot of lateral movement within its up and down field
game, passing the ball using lateral movements. Many of the soccer
drills down field use lateral kicks to yourself or passed to a team
mate while you are running forward. 'Ball handling' specific lateral
movement is a challenge but really hits the side of your lower legs!
I would suggest adding some of the above with some inner and outer
thigh exercises on the respective machines or using cables 1-2 times
per week. Apply the above as it is applicable to your needs, hobby,
sport or injury.