By Craig Ballantyne
Here are some training ideas from the 2001 version of the CB
ATHLETIC CONSULTING "Groin-specific speed & agility" program. If you have
questions about the drills, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out more
comprehensive articles on www.sportspecific.com. All training should be
performed on a dry field or baseball diamond. Even though these drills are
completed on grass and dirt, many players that use these drills agree that
they help on-ice performance. The outline of the program is as follows and
must be kept in this precise order to prevent fatigue from interfering with
Athletes should go through this circuit a minimum of 3 times. These
exercises comprise dynamic flexibility drills, meaning they move the limbs
through a full range of motion and it also provides a progressive warm-up.
Athletes should start out lightly in circuit 1 and increase the intensity of
each movement with each successive circuit.
- High-knee (10 yards)
- High-heels/Butt-kicks (10 yards)
- Skipping (10 yards)
- Side-shuffle (10 yards each way)
- Side-step & pull (10 yards each way)
- Diagonal lunge walk (10 yards)
- Hurdle-walk Rotate-In (10 yards)
- Hurdle-walk Rotate-Out (10 yards)
Stretching and flexibility is a very controversial issue. Check out this
previous newsletter for more information and guidelines for static
stretching should you choose to incorporate it:
Plyometrics ("Jump Training")
Plyometric training helps develop strength and power and hopefully
balance and agility, all at the same time. There really isnít any other
training technique that addresses so many levels of athletic performance.
Please note: Plyometric training should only be performed by an athlete that
has been evaluated and cleared for "jump training" by a Certified Strength
and Conditioning Specialist.
For the 3 groin specific plyometric drills listed below, perform 1-5
sets of 4-8 repetitions. Individuals with no plyometric experience should
perform fewer repetitions and sets and rest for longer intervals. Advanced
athletes may be able to rest as little as 15 seconds between sets. Some
plyometrics that target the groin area include:
- Wide-stance long jump
- Split-squat (lunge) jump
- Alternate-leg diagonal bounding
The speed ladder is an excellent training tool for helping an athlete
increase foot speed, quickness, and agility. If you donít want to buy a
speed ladder, you can simply draw out the squares on a baseball diamond. To
purchase the ladders and find more information on speed ladder drills, check
out the Ryan and Mikeís websites. You can be creative and create many drills
to improve your speed, agility, and balance. Remember to stay on your toes
throughout the drills, keep your knees bent, and pop up every time you land.
Hereís just one of many possible drills:
Lateral 2-touch (fwd & bkwd) -
Start in the "athlete" ("ready") position on the left side of the
first square of the ladder. Step your right foot into the first square and
land on the ball of your foot. Now step your left foot in and land on the
ball of your foot. Then immediately step your right foot outside to the
right side of the first square and land on the ball of your foot.
Now step your left foot out and land on the ball of your foot. Next,
diagonally step forward and left with the left foot into the second square
of the ladder and then bring the right foot in. Continue to move along the
speed ladder in this fashion. The drill should last about 5 seconds with an
emphasis on moving as fast and as correctly as possible.
Agility is a measure of acceleration, deceleration, and change of
direction. These are demands placed on almost all athletes, regardless of
the surface they play on. These agility drills can be done on any playing
surface as well (ice, grass, court). Agility drills should last about 5
seconds with an emphasis on moving as fast and as correctly as possible.
Choose 2-5 variations and do 1-5 sets of each, depending on your training
experience and fitness level. Rest as necessary between sets.
Box runs (Set up a 3m x 3m box) -
- Small box runs (shuffle; forward; backward; crossovers)
- Star runs (from kneeling position; from push-up position)
- Lateral shuffles or crossovers (5-yd each way)
- Shuffle or (5-yd) and then turn into a 10-yd sprint
Start at the back left corner and sprint forward to the top left corner.
Touch the ground and then shuffle to the right, touching the ground and then
backpedal to the back right corner. Touch the ground and shuffle left to the
Star runs (Set up a 3m x 3m box) -
Start in middle of the box and sprint to each corner in a specific order
using a pre-set movement pattern. Return to the center position after you
touch each corner. Try to incorporate lateral movements such as shuffling
and crossovers as much as possible. For variety, you can perform a very
quick and simple sport-specific drill at each corner (i.e. vertical jump,
shot, throw, etc.). You can also add another dimension of difficulty by
having the athlete start from the kneeling or push-up position.
Metabolic conditioning (intervals) should always remain at the end of a
training session that incorporates "explosiveness". If you fatigue the
athlete with conditioning, you canít expect the athlete to perform
explosively and you may even compromise safety. Like all other aspects of
the program, in order to develop "groin-specific" adaptations, you must
incorporate lateral movement into the conditioning drills.
This means short, high-intensity intervals that include lateral
shuffling, crossovers, and sprints into and out of lateral movement.
Intervals can range from 10 to 60 seconds (or more). Rest intervals will
vary, but one option is to rest an equal amount of time to the work
- 5-10-5 yard shuttle using lateral movement for a set period of time
- 5 yard shuffle for a set period of time
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