Lateral movements are key for preventing injury, both in daily activities and in sports performance. Most often throughout the day, people are in constant forward and backward movements. Therefore, our muscles which control lateral movements tend to be underdeveloped. In sports, developing skill in lateral movements helps increase stability, speed, and agility, and minimized the chance of injury from fast sudden movements.
Speed Skaters focus on developing the muscles in your hips, groin, quadriceps, and core. Ankle stability and strength are also enhanced. This exercise provides a great cardio blast as well, so get to it!
1-Start in a squat position, with your right leg extended behind your left leg, as close to a 180 degree angle as possible (lateral to your core). See picture above.
2-Bring your right hand down to touch the floor outside of your left foot.
3-As quickly as possible, switch your position so that you bring your right foot to where your left foot was placed, and extend your left leg laterally behind your right. Your left hand touches the ground outside your right foot. Keep your glutes low in a squat, and your back flat.
4-Repeat this motion, alternating which leg is extended laterally behind you, for 1 minute, as fast as you can.