From the Trainer: Summer Edition 2014
Welcome back to another installment of From the Trainer: Summer Edition! June 21st officially marks the start of summer so get out there and move! With warmer weather finally arriving, don’t forget to keep your water bottle within reach and exercise during the coolest parts of the day.
This month’s exercise can be performed outside and is named the Lateral Cone Jump. This is a plyometric exercise that helps increase muscular power in the legs. Power is the rate at which work is performed. It is different than strength; however strength has a huge influence on power. The faster you can jump, lift, or throw translates into more power. Similarly, the more force (strength) you can exert will also help increase power output.
To start this exercise, stand a few inches to the side of a cone (figure 1). Cone heights can vary, but I used a 7-inch cone in the pictures. Perform a quick counter-movement by bending the hips and knees slightly and without pause, jump up and over the cone laterally. Your momentum should carry you sideways to land with both feet on the opposite side of the cone (figure 2). It is important to land softly by bending the hips and knees and not slam the feet to the ground. I did this exercise outside in the grass because it’s a forgiving surface, but you can perform this indoors on wood, rubber or carpet floors. Stay away from concrete!
The lateral cone jump can be done in a couple of ways. I recommend trying this with a pause between each jump to gather your balance. Once you are comfortable with the landing, you can try performing repeated jumps without a pause. Remember to wear proper footwear such as athletic shoes, no sandals or bare feet and also non-restrictive clothing such as athletic shorts and t-shirt. Try 10-20 jumps during your first session, then progress to 50 or more per session. You can do this exercise at the beginning of your workout while the legs are still fresh. Allow at least 48 hours rest before trying anymore plyometric exercises like the lateral cone jump. As I stated in the beginning, get out there and move!
Written by: Ryan Unverzagt