Strength and control exercises

Strength and control exercises

Get Footy results with dynamic exercises

Start your Footy season ahead of the game by mastering dynamic strength and control exercises for the legs and hips. Achieving this will not only make your body stronger but enable you to play at your absolute best.

There are many ways to improve dynamic strength and control through the lower limbs, however, the exercises listed below focus upon the essential areas most athletes lack for performing at their best.

#1 Dynamic single-leg balance on a Bosu ball

Challenge your single leg balance – important for running, sidestepping and passing a ball.

Stand in the centre of the Bosu ball on one leg, or simply stand on one leg. Extend your non-standing leg forwards and then back to centre, sideways and then back to centre, and behind you and back to centre to challenge your stability.

Tips – control both the glutes and quadriceps muscles to achieve functional strength and stability in the lower limbs – keep the pelvis straight and still, increasing the activation in the target muscle groups – don’t let the hips drop to either side, keeping them level is essential in maintaining control and muscle activation.

Perform this exercise for 30-second intervals, progressing up to a few minutes as your balance improves.

#2 Pistol squats (from chair height)

Functionally strengthen the quadriceps and gluteal muscles – essential for explosiveness in the lower limbs.

Use a regular size chair for this exercise, hold your hands out in front, lift one leg off the ground and stand up by leaning forward. Control through the hips and knees until standing. Slowly lower back down onto the chair, again controlling through the hips and knees.

Tips –  don’t allow your knee to collapse inward as this decreases the activation of the quadriceps and gluteal muscles.

Start with 10 repetitions for 3 sets, progressing to more repetitions as your lower limb strength improves. 

#3 Pistol squat and pass/catch

Challenge your leg strength with the added challenge of passing and catching a ball, putting your stability to the test.

Start by performing a pistol squat at a right angle to a wall (a few meters away) – hold a ball in front of you, lift one leg off the ground and stand up by leaning forward. Control through the hips and knees until standing.  Rotate your body sideways throwing the ball into the wall and catching it upon return. Lower yourself back down slowly keeping control through your glutes and quadriceps. 

Tips – don’t allow your knee to collapse inward as this decreases the activation of the quadriceps and gluteal muscles.

Perform between 8-12 repetitions for 3 sets, progressing the number of reps and sets to continue challenging your dynamic stability.  

May 20, 2020 11:55 am

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