When it comes to improving change of direction speed and quickness, the most under-utilized tool is the low-box. The low-box has many benefits: it can be used as a tool for low level plyometrics, it can improve balance and stability around the foot, and develop proper lateral acceleration and deceleration mechanics.
Here’s a great drill to work on lateral quickness, body angles, and efficient transition from lateral deceleration to acceleration. Normally, when performing change of direction drills you would need anywhere between 5-15+ yards of open space. But the low box provides you a good “bang for your buck” because you don’t need that much room to perform drills and its great for improving many athletic qualities.
When moving sideways, make sure you keep your body in a low athletic position. Have the feet pointed straight, with knees slightly bent while maintaining a rigid torso. For most athletes, the outer leg is the deceleration and acceleration leg. However, when working with on-ice athletes (specifically hockey players) they tend to pull with the inside leg vs. pushing with the outer leg. This is totally fine as long as they’re are moving their mass and momentum across the box instead of switching their feet with their body fixed over the box.
HERE ARE THE PROGRESSIONS:
A) Lateral Shuffle
B) Lateral Shuffle with Low-box (Controlled)
C) Lateral Shuffle Rebound with Low-box
1. Outer ankle is dorsiflexed
2. Stay in that athletic stance throughout the movement
3. Allow for inside leg to open out for natural transition
Keep it simple and train smart! If you haven’t already, make sure you download the FREE Athlete Pack which includes 3 eBook on explosive training and nutrition.