Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don't Forget Lateral Movement

 Most of our training in the gym comes in the form of forward/ backward movement.  But if you think about it, a significant portion of your life is spent moving in many different directions, and that is especially true if you are involved in athletics.  Almost every field sport, and even activities like sailing, gymnastics, and martial arts, require changing direction.  Being sure to incorporate kettlebell exercises that vary the planes of movement and include changes in directions will decrease the likelihood of being injured in your other athletic endeavors.

 The lateral lunge or "cossack" is a great exercise in improve your lateral stability and strength during side to side movement.  It teaches you how to properly engage your abdominal brace while driving forcefully through the ground to change directions.  Additionally, the exercise is a great active stretch for the adductors and hamstrings, which are often tight muscle groups in athletes.  Try including this exercise in one of your weekly training sessions early in the routine, keeping the tension high for reps of 3-5 each direction.

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