Core Activation and Hip Mobility for COD Training

Core Activation and Hip Mobility for COD Training

At Wheeler Academy Sports Science, we are dedicated to optimizing sports performance through science-based training. Today, we will cover how to perform a warm-up tailored to strength training for braking actions with lateral directional changes. These exercises are crucial in many sports where speed and efficiency in lateral movements can mean the difference between success and failure.

Warm-Up Structure

The warm-up should follow a specific structure to adequately prepare the neuromuscular system. This structure comprises four stages:

  • Core Stability and Activation: Start with exercises that combine stability and core activation movements. These exercises vary according to the plane of movement and the muscle chain to be activated. Core stability is essential for maintaining control and strength during directional changes.
  • Neuromuscular Activation: After core activation, perform specific movements that activate the neuromuscular system. These movements should mimic the patterns to be used in the training unit. For example, if the central training includes quick lateral starts, the neuromuscular activation exercises should reflect these movements.
  • Specific Strength Exercises: This stage focuses on eccentric strength, which is the force generated while the muscles lengthen. This type of strength is crucial for braking actions as it allows for efficient deceleration. Exercises here can include bodyweight movements or additional resistance.
  • Sport-Specific Movements: Finally, perform movements specific to the sport being trained. These can be short or long but should reflect the actions to be performed during training or competition.
Example Warm-Up

For strength training with a focus on braking and directional change, we use simple tools like a wall and a cone or hurdle. Below is an example warm-up:

  • Joint Mobility and Core Stability: Start with mobility exercises for the major joints, followed by planks and bird-dogs to activate the core.
  • Neuromuscular Activation: Using the wall and cone, perform lateral starts (open step) and cross steps. The wall helps maintain stability while the cone increases neuromuscular complexity.
  • Eccentric Strength with Directional Change: Introduce exercises like lateral jumps with landing control, emphasizing efficient deceleration. Cable exercises can also be included for added resistance.
  • Sport-Specific Movements: Finish with movements that simulate game situations, such as short lateral runs or quick directional changes. These exercises should be as specific as possible to ensure effective transfer to sports performance.

The key to an effective warm-up lies in the progression of exercises that prepare the body for the specific demands of central training. By focusing on core stability, neuromuscular activation, eccentric strength, and sport-specific movements, we can significantly improve performance and reduce injury risks.

If you are interested in receiving more information like this and improving your sports performance, we invite you to subscribe to our membership. Click here to join and access exclusive content from Wheeler Academy Sports Science.


Carlos Wheeler

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