Training Time | Tim Rudd for IYCA
Why is it important for your athletes to get stiffer early in the process of deceleration? I discussed why it’s an indicator of athletic success and vital for the health of your athletes in my last column.
Today I’m going to give you the first two of six progressions of the Leaning Tower Series developed by Bill Knowles, Director of HP Sports Reconditioning and Athletic Development in Pennsylvania, that we use here at F2C with all are athletes.
These will improve the ability of your athletes to get stiff (have control) early in the process of deceleration (landing, cutting, changing direction etc.) right at the point of foot contact, allowing them to make a play and stay healthy.
Leaning Tower Series:
1.Golf ball between butt cheeks/Credit cards under heel
Athletes are cued to squeeze golf ball between butt cheeks with purpose of not letting it fall. This gets feet, ankles, calves, quads, hamstrings and butt stiff. This action will naturally cause a pushing of mid-foot or ball of foot into ground with emphasis that heel is grazing ground (credit card under heel).
2. Penguin Taps
Improves stiffness in ankle dorsiflexion (foot pulled up toward shin) and plantar flexion (foot pushed down into ground away from shin).
The athlete pushes one-foot into the ground while the other should naturally lift off the ground, don’t let go of golf ball and credit card under heel. There should be no weight shift! Athletes should stay centered in an up-down action, no side-to-side movement.
Progress to arm action with in-place penguin walks to coordinate arm and foot action, maintaining golf ball and credit card under heel.
These first 2 progressions will develop a very strong and stiff ankle system. This is important for preparing your athletes for the next progressions of the Leaning Tower Series, coming up in my next column. Watch a video representation of these first two steps at SportStarsOnline.com.
Check out this article in the digital edition of SportStars Magazine… Squeeze By Tim Rudd
Previous Article… Stiffen Up!
Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.
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