Deceleration or "Force reduction" Training

By Brian Yeager

Most coaches seek to improve an athlete's acceleration by concentrating too hard on improving linear speed. Imagine if you could not only make yourself faster but reduce your likelihood of injury by 90% by learning how to stop or decelerate. An athlete's stopping ability is a crucial component for injury prevention and improving acceleration.

Thousands of athletes every year suffer from non-contact ACL injuries with the most common causes being landing from a jump or sudden change of direction. This risk can be significantly reduced by performing deceleration training on a regular basis.

Below are several drills that can be performed to improve the eccentric or "braking" forces in the muscles. Make sure to warm up thoroughly before attempting any of these exercises. At the end of this article I have a sample workout for you to follow. It's important to identify and utilize your center of gravity (COG) while doing these excercises. The COG will be the point at which all body parts are equally distributed. One can think of it as a balance point. Its line of action, due to the forces of gravity, is always vertical or downward to your "base of support".


The Landing Position

  • Land softly with your weight on the balls of the feet.
  • Bend at the knees and sit the hips back.
  • Keep the chest over the knee and the knee over the ankles.


Deceleration Position
  • First lower your center of gravity closer to your base of support.
  • Use "soft" foot contacts as you decelerate.
  • Keep the shoulder over the knee and the knee aligned over the ankle.
  • Make sure you come to a complete stop and hold.


Side lunge
  • Stand with feet about 3 feet apart.
  • Keeping back flat and shoulders relaxed, put hands on right thigh and bend right knee.
  • Put all your weight on one foot and sit back into that heel and hold.
  • Now do the other side.


Front lunge
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, legs straight, abs contracted.
  • Take a large step forward with left foot, bending your knees so the left knee is in line with left ankle as you lower hips. Keep the back leg as straight as you can, without locking knee. Keep your torso erect.
  • Push off left foot, bringing legs back to start position. Repeat on same leg, or alternate legs, to complete reps on each side.


Squat jump
  • Begin in the landing position.
  • Jump into the air as high as possible and extend the arms overhead.
  • Land softly back in the landing position and hold that position.


Standing broad jump
  • Begin in the landing position.
  • Fire the arms forward and jump as far forward as possible.
  • Land softly on the whole foot in the landing position.
  • Come to a complete, controlled stop and the repeat.


Lateral broad jump
  • Begin in the landing position.
  • Fire the arms upward and jump as far to the side as possible.
  • Land softly on the whole foot in the landing position.
  • Come to a complete, controlled stop and the repeat.


Altitude Landing
  • Stand in an upright position on a box or bench.
  • Remember that the higher the box the greater the eccentric stress.
  • Step off the box. Do not jump into the air first.
  • Athlete should pretense the muscles before they contact the ground.
  • Land softly in the landing position and come to a complete stop and hold.


WEEKLY WORKOUT

Monday: Heavy lower body workout

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Upper body strength workout/deceleration training
1. Squat jumps 2x10, 60s rest
2. Standing broad jumps 2x10, 60s rest
3. 10m sprints w/stop in deceleration position 3x5, 120s rest
Thursday: Moderate/Light lower body workout

Friday: Off

Saturday:
1. Squat jumps 2x10, 60s rest
2. Lateral broad jumps 2x10, 60s rest
3. Lunge series 3x5/leg, 60s rest
4. 10m sprints @ 75% speed 3x5, 90s rest
5. 40m sprints @ 75% speed 3x5, 120s rest


Pro Strength will be holding several speed camps in the Philadelphia area this summer. Visit www.laxspeed.net for dates and locations.


PREVIOUS E-LACROSSE WORKOUTS:
Olympic Weight Lifting for Lacrosse Players, Part 2
Olympic Weight Lifting for Lacrosse Players, Part 1
Top 10 Rules of Nutrition for Optimal Athletic Performance
Functional Training for Lacrosse: Part 2
Functional Training for Lacrosse: Part 1
Building Explosiveness
Improving the Velocity of your shot


Brian Yeager is the owner of Pro Strength, the official strength and conditioning provider of the Philadelphia Barrage. Brian has also trained lacrosse players from the Philadelphia Wings, Villanova University, Malvern Prep School, and Villa Maria High School. You can email questions to brian@laxspeed.net

For more information on Pro Strength, visit www.prostrength.net or contact Brian at phillyfitpro@yahoo.com.

Medical Disclaimer: The information and routines outlined in the article are intended only for healthy individuals. Individuals with health problems or a history of injury should not use these or any exercise routines without a physician's approval. Before beginning any exercise or dietary program, please consult with your physician and/or coach, as well as with your parent/guardian if you are a minor.






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