Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dynamic stretching: Drop Lunge

Alternative names: --
Objective: "To improve flexibility in your hips, glutes, and iliotibal (IT) bands -- thick bands of tissue in either leg that extend from the thigh down over the outside of the knee and attach to the tibia (the larger lower-leg bone)." (1)
Typical length of drill: 3 mins
Materials needed: None
Skill level required: None
Description: "A proper warm-up routine is very important to the health and performance of an athlete. If the body is not adequately prepared for the demands of the upcoming sport or activity, injury is more likely to occur.  In addition, it is impossible for the body to perform to the peak of its ability without warm, flexible muscles. ... Dynamic warm-ups can increase muscular flexibility for the short-term through the neuromuscular system and potentially reduce injury though decreasing reflexive muscle contractions." (Dynamic Flexibility vs. Static Stretching for Warm Up, Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy)

Drop Lunge

Starting position: Stand balanced with your arms extended.

Procedure: Turn your hips to the left and reach back with your left foot until it's about 2 feet to the ouside of your right foot, your left toes poiting to your right heel.  Rotate your hips back so they're facing forward again and square with your shoulders and feet.  You want your chest up and tummy tight, and the majority of your weight on your right leg.  Drop into a full squat by pushing your hips back and down, keeping your right heel on the ground. Now drive hard off your right leg, stand back up, and repeat, moving to your right for the allotted number of reps.  Switch legs.  Return to the left.

Bambi CrushBone, #13. By Marko Niemelä

Coaching key(s): Turn your hips to drop your leg behind.  Keep your toes pointed straight, with the back toe to the front heel.

You should feel: A stretch in your hips, glutes, and IT bands.

Bambi CrushBone, #13. By Marko Niemelä.

Additional notes: All text from Core Performance by Mark Verstegen and Pete Williams (1) unless otherwise noted.  This is part of a series of dynamic stretches that we have been posting over the last few months.  Click on Stretching in the column on the right to see the other dynamic stretches in this series.  If dynamic stretching interests you, the most recent issue of Blood & Thunder Magazine just published a 2-page column called "Shirley's Plan" by Shirley N. Sane, covering the topic and suggesting a few different exercises as well.

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