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Fluidity Of Motion
The athletic training industry, the strength and conditioning "profession" and athletes themselves have a number of common grounds if you can pardon this gross generalization. Of these commonalities is the typical neglect of sufficient range of motion training.
It seems impossible to imagine because it should be abundantly clear that without solid range of motion, playing ability will suffer. While many training measures can be debated on how they truly impact performance, range of motion (dynamic) has been directly linked to performance.
Improved range of motion training will enhance motor functioning creating a potentially more graceful agile athlete, reduce muscle fatigue and the likelihood of injury. Yet the question looms if it is such a beneficial area, why is it avoided so easily.
I wish all questions were so easy to answer because this one is basic; it's hard, rigorous work, that can be a "discomfort" (please don't utter the word painful and training again in the same sentence) and takes time as progress comes in finitely small increments.
There are 2 distinct types of range of motion work that we will deal with independently:
Renegade TrainingTM programs make use of four very direct manners to improve range of motion although as noted within commentary of the "Renegade Wheel of ConditioningTM" each "spoke" will influence the other. The four manners that are used to improve range of motion are:
- Static flexibility
- Hurdle mobility training
- Tumbling drills
- Indo board movement drills
Dynamic range of motion directly impacts upon performance involving ballistic type movements to assist with hip, shoulder and spinal rotation. Dynamic range of motion is central to every athlete's development.
Dry-Land Dynamic Range Of Motion Training
Prior to the start of each training session, a dynamic warm-up is performed to help loosen and prepare the hips, shoulders, back and activate the core for the extensive training session ahead. The spine controls the position of the torso in space while the shoulder and hip respectively control the arm and leg in space.
Please note that all Renegade TrainingTM sessions are divided into six minute blocks and this area should encompass roughly 12 to 15 minutes maximum.
Our dry-land dynamic range of motion work consists of two mediums:
- Hurdle Mobility Drills
"Simple" floor and tumbling exercises will have a dramatic impact on enhance total body harmony/co-ordination, relative strength and kinetic awareness and therefore a key structural component for young developing players. Quite obviously equipment is minimal and can be performed on grass or soft padded gym surface.
Using a choice of three basic exercises, each is done with two to three sets of three repeats daily.
Forward Roll To Stand
From a standing position, squat down and place both hands on the ground. Slowly roll forward and contact the ground with your head, tucking your chin to your chest and doing a somersault. Accelerate enough while doing the somersault so you have sufficient momentum to get on your feet and return to a standing position.
Backward Roll To Stand
From a standing position, squat down and begin to roll backward. Place the palms of your hands on the ground behind your head, and as you begin to somersault backward, apply enough pressure to push off with your hands from the ground, get on your feet, and return to a standing position.
From a position in which you are on all fours but nearly lying on the ground, "climb" along the ground, keeping your body very low, arms and legs spread as wide as possible.
Hurdles are set roughly at hip height and performed three to five sets of three to five hurdles and two exercises per day (noted below) with very quick pacing.
1. Side Movement, Lead Leg Over
Stand to the right side of the hurdles. Raise your lead leg over, maintaining a slight bend in the leg. Proceed to the next hurdle with a slight skip; be sure to stay on the balls of your feet as you plant each leg.
2. Side Movement, Cross-Over Leg Over
Stand to the left side of the hurdles. Raise your crossover leg over, maintaining a slight bend in the leg. Again, proceed to the next hurdle with a slight skip, and stay on the balls of your feet as you plant each leg.
3. Side Movement, Lead Leg, Then Opposite
Stand to the right side of hurdles. Raise your lead leg over (again, maintaining a slight bend) and then off to the side. Proceed to the next hurdle with a slight skip; stay on the balls of your feet.
4. Front Movement, From Side
Stand facing the hurdles. Proceed with one leg at a time by raising each knee over the first hurdle. Proceed to the next hurdle with a slight skip; stay on the balls of your feet as you plant each leg.
5. Front Movement, Down Center
Stand facing the hurdles. Raise your lead leg over the first hurdle, and then bring your trail leg over the second hurdle. (The hurdles must be set close enough to accommodate this.) Stay on the balls of your feet.
6. Duck Under, Stay Low Throughout
Stand perpendicular to the hurdles. Duck under the first hurdle with your lead leg. Make sure your movement is initiated by pushing your buttocks back and that your feet always face forward. Stay in a low squat position throughout this drill.
7. Duck under, Pop-Up
Stand perpendicular to the hurdles. Duck under the first hurdle with your lead leg. Make sure your movement is initiated by pushing your buttocks back and that your feet always face forward. Pop up from the squatting position after you clear each hurdle.
8. Duck Under, Twist, Stay Low
Stand perpendicular to the hurdles. Duck under the first hurdle with your lead leg, and then twist to lead under the second hurdle with your opposite leg. Make sure your movement is initiated by pushing your buttocks back and that your feet always face forward. Stay in a low squat position throughout the drill.
9. Duck Under, Twist, Pop-Up
Stand perpendicular to the hurdles. Duck under the first hurdle with your lead leg, and then twist to lead under the second hurdle with your opposite leg. Make sure your movement is initiated by pushing your buttocks back and that your feet always face forward. Pop up from the squatting position after you clear each hurdle.
10. Forward Zigzag Duck-Under
Stand facing the hurdles, which are arranged in a zig-zag pattern, each successive hurdle offset one length from the previous hurdle. Duck under each hurdle, and pop up between them.
Suggested Daily Workout
A suggested daily work pattern for hurdle work is as such:
- Monday: Movements 4 and 5
- Tuesday: Movements 1 and 2
- Wednesday: Movements 5 and 6
- Thursday: Movements 7 and 8
- Friday: Movements 9 and 10
Indo Board Training
One very important and unique component of dynamic range of motion work is the use of the Indo Board. It is one of the most important and powerful training mediums at an athlete's disposal.
Unfortunately the Indo is the misunderstood by those who mistake it for a sedentary "wobble board" where your feet remain affixed during training or see it notably as a "balance training device".
It is in-fact misunderstood by inferior athletes who simply don't have the abilities and shield their embarrassment by erroneous commentary. For a true athlete, seamless and effortless movement in a constantly changing and chaotic situation is a rare and highly valuable commodity in training situations.
Training on the Indo Board takes a massive leap forward in productivity as the individual's body control, posture and strength allows them to walk the board and move in a fluid manner in this ever-changing environment.
The Indo is in-fact a medium that will enhance dynamic range of motion, fine reactive abilities and tactile response, when used properly.
The Indo will enhance posture through a radical improvement of dynamic range of motion and assist with virtually every "spoke" in the Renegade Wheel of ConditioningTM in athletic performance enhancement and rehabilitation of difficult areas to target.
When using the Indo Board, ensure picture-perfect posture is maintained and never strayed from. For users of the Indo Board, they will quickly find a "fun factor" that they didn't anticipate and the best "program" to use with it is simply spend an allotted time on the board daily as opposed to following a prescribed workout.
As an example, once the athlete is able to keep the board centered, whereby the board doesn't touch the ground, start with 10-15 minutes on the board in straight run-time, maintain perfect posture with the head up and total body relaxation.
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