With our resistance work we're going to primarily consider three different training mediums:
Each of these training mediums are easily adaptable to on-field work post technical practice. I wish to emphasize these are done after technical work as skill work can never be compromised.
The following bounding drills will be performed two to three times (best Monday and Friday to ensure full recovery from exercise) over a 20 yard distance with 100% intensity. These are tremendous explosive leg developing exercises and can easily be implemented immediately following skill practice.
- B Skips
- Extension Skips
- Forward Bounding
- Backwards Bounding
- Flutter Straight Leg Kicks
- 45 Degree Forward Bounding
- 45 Degree Backwards Bounding
- High Knees
This is essentially a tempo driven activity that exaggerates a child-like skip. Lead leg comes off the ground, thigh breaking past parallel hip joint and then striking down with force. Ensure good posture as you move throughout the exercise.
Often referred to as a "C" skip as in "B Skip" but has lead heel is drawn up above knee of plant leg, extend forward and then drive down against ground in clawing type motion.
Run in an exaggerated manner, leaping as far as possible. The goal is to present a 45 degree angle of the upper lead thigh and the back leg continuing in the same angle to the ground.
As above but backwards.
Running slowly with legs straight, aiming to kick heel towards trail leg.
45 Degree Forward Bounding:
This is a brutal drill that is basically the same as regular bounding but obviously with a 45 degree zig-zag manner.
45 Degree Backwards Bounding:
Repeat as forward but backwards (not forward).
As above but backwards (not pictured as redundant). Simply repeat "b-skips" but in continuous motion with high knee lift. Lift your knees above your hip joints and then drive them down in a explosive manner, progressing forward at a slow rate.
In a slow progression jog, vigorously kick your heels to your buttocks. Hip to knee joint angle should remain relatively stable with all action coming for knee / foot lever. Running slowly on balls of feet, aggressively kick heel to buttocks.
Medicine ball training is one of the most effective training mediums available. It allows for a free range of motion, is easily adaptable to athletes of all abilities, can be used for explosive power training as well as general recovery and fitness work, as well as being highly affordable, transportable and manageable in a team-wide training situation.
Med ball training could be loosely categorized within four major areas:
- Recovery and regeneration
- Mobility specific work
- Introductory explosive training
- Advanced explosive complexes
The following circuit will be done immediately following bounding drills. Ensure all work is done with proper technique and posture. Utilize a light 3-8 pound med ball and ensure the pacing is extremely quick and the distance between partners is close enough the ball doesn't touch the ground or lose significant speed.
For safety reasons it is highly advisable to use a "dead ball" (non-bounce) ball. Each of these movements is performed with 10 throws per circuit with 1-2 total circuits.
Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture, explode ball forward with as much velocity as possible.
Chest Pass: One Leg In Front:
As above with one leg in front of other.
One-Hand Twisting Chest Pass:
Opposite hip should be directly facing target. Elbow is high with rear delts pinched back. Twist body back in a 1/4 to 1/2 turn with weight transferring to back leg. In an powerful explosive move, twist body, with weight shifting to lead leg.
Walking Chest Pass:
This is same as typical chest pass but starting with one leg behind. Initiate the movement with a powerful step into the target, exploding the ball forward with power generated from your legs (repeat to opposite leg forward).
Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture with body facing target, lift ball behind head and explosively throw ball directly towards target overhead.
Overhead Pass: One Leg In Front Of Other:
As above but with one foot in front of other.
Walking Overhead Pass:
This is same as typical overhead pass but starting with one leg behind. Initiate the movement with a powerful step into target and throw (repeat to opposite leg forward).
Feet should be shoulder width apart and hips squared directly at the target. With a solid, rooted base and good posture and back to target, swing ball up and behind head, then between legs as you push buttocks back (into a neutral position) and then explosively pull hips through and bring ball up above your head slamming the ball straight ahead.
Set-up same as Scoop Forward Backwards, except launch ball forward.
With opposite hip facing target hold ball with both hands direct in front of you. Feet should be shoulder width apart and feet intensely rooted. Swing backwards, twisting and looking behind you, transferring weight to back foot with front heel coming off ground. In a swift, powerful action, explosively drive hips through transferring weight to lead leg.
With opposite hip facing target hold ball with both hands direct in front of you. Feet should be shoulder width apart and feet intensely rooted. Weight transfers to back leg ball as held with opposite hand. In a swift, powerful action, explosively drive hips through transferring weight to lead leg as target faces target.
Seated Throwing Twist:
From seated straddle position, twist body, reaching ball behind you and extend back throwing ball to side. Preferably this should be performed with a training partner where the ball is thrown back with speed, emphasizing the eccentric action.
In a standard sit-up position, with heels dug into ground, raise ball over head. Perform standard sit-up with ball lowered to behind your head rise up, with heels dug into ground and throw ball against wall. Preferably this should be performed with a training partner where the ball is thrown back with speed, emphasizing the eccentric action.
Laying on your back with legs straight and perpendicular to ground hold ball held with feet. Arms should be stretched out with palms pressed firmly against the ground. Twist to side with arms staying flat on ground. Bring ball to ground, repeating side to side for desired reps.
In addition to the med ball circuit, you will additionally six total sets of the following explosive med ball lifts. To do so, choose three of the four throws per training session and perform two sets each. Ensure that you alternate between each of these throws.
In addition to this each of these four exercises can be used at will in substitution of the focus pulling or pressing movements (i.e. Power/Split Snatch, Push Press/Split Jerk or Power Clean) with the same approximate protocols (4 sets x 6 repetitions) by using a heavier medicine ball (i.e. 12-20lb ball). This is a critical element for ease of training post practice with coaches who do not possess a permanent training location.
Wood Chop & Jump:
From standing position, squat down to touch ball and ground and leap as high as possible with ball extended above head.
From standing position and ball held at feet, explode upward, performing a vertical jump, bring knees up as high as possible which will launch ball upwards.
From standing position, with ball held at feet explode upwards reminiscent of a pike jump, straight leg tossing ball forward.
Vertical Ham Toss:
From standing position with ball held at feet swing arms back as you drop to neutral back position, explode upward, performing a vertical jump, bringing heels to butt which will launch ball upwards up and over head level (and yes catch).