The Lateral Posterior Cross Over to Diagonal Lunge speed ladder drill can be used by all athletes to improve synergy of the neuromuscular system, footwork, body control and coordination.
During the Lateral Posterior Cross Over to Diagonal Lunge speed ladder drill the focus is on improving neural pathways (nervous system signal transmission) to enhance overall neuromuscular system efficiency since improvements of the neuromuscular system will allow the athlete to move faster on the tennis court.
In particular we want to improve the quick start footwork sequence when rushing sideways to hit a volley.
First you have to emphasize perfect movement mechanics of the Speed Ladder Drill to improve movement economy and hence maximize foot speed because we don’t want to “waste” any energy for undesirable movements.
Once you can perform the Lateral Posterior Cross Over to Diagonal Lunge Speed Ladder Drill in perfect form you want to increase the speed until you can execute it at maximum velocity before you progress onto the advanced- and professional level (explained below).
Because you are holding a tennis racquet in your hands while moving on the tennis court upper body movement mechanics (arms) don’t have to be in sync with lower body movement mechanics (legs) for maximum performance improvements and hence can be neglected.
Lateral Posterior Cross Over to Diagonal Lunge Description
- Place speed ladder on an even, solid, non-sliding surface (e.g. clay court)
- Position agility ring ~3 feet in front of the speed ladder, parallel to the 2nd square
- Hold a racquet in both hands
- Take on athletic stance position standing inside the 2nd & 3rd square; knees and hips are slightly flexed; upper-body is straight; look down towards the feet during movement
- Move the right foot behind the left foot inside the 1st square (posterior cross-over); hips remain neutral (face forward) during cross-over
- Push off the right foot and step into the agility ring with the left foot into a diagonal lunge; maintain straight upper-body but lean slightly forward so that chest is above the knee
- Swing the racquet simulating a volley
- Push off with the left foot and return to starting position
- Side-step to the right
- Move agility ring to the opposite side, switch legs, and repeat
Lateral Posterior Cross Over to Diagonal Lunge Progressions
If you use additional weights…make sure you use appropriate weight so you can control the action throughout the entire range of motion. Otherwise you defeat the purpose of the exercise.
Very often, people use too much resistance and they become sloppy. Especially when it comes to maintaining dynamic stability and hitting in the same spots repetitively.
Also, don’t just progress with adding more weight. First, maximize the speed while maintaining perfect form. Next extend the length of the speed ladder.
Increasing the length of the speed ladder makes it more challenging for the nervous system!
Here are the progression levels:
- Beginner: look at your feet while moving through the speed ladder
- Advanced: look forward while moving through the speed ladder
- Professional: look forward & track an object (e.g, coach) while moving through the speed ladder
Related Speed Ladder Drills
- Fast Feet Speed Ladder Drill
- Lateral Fast Feet Groundstroke Step In
- Inside Out Fast Feet Speed Ladder Drill
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