One of the first things that we teach young athletes that start training with us here at Sparta is the importance of controlling your body in relation to the ground (see Sparta Point). Not only is this the basis of functional movement, but it is also the difference maker in performance and injury prevention.
Landing mechanics are one of the basic areas where athletes have the chance to practice the fundamental elements of body control and stability. The Forward Hop is one of our reactive strength (see Sparta Point) exercises that we use to practice single leg landings in the vertical plane. Additionally, this movement benefits athletes with a movement signatureTM that needs an improved ability to LOAD (see Sparta Point) through the ankle and knee. The eccentric strength to control the landing of the forward hop is great at addressing this LOAD quality.
- Vertical load
- Drive through the sweet spot of the foot
- Stick the landing with knee and toe tracking in line
While this movement may seem very simple, the stability and body control needed to stick a perfect landing are extremely challenging. By incorporating these difficult force absorption challenges in training, we can be more confident that our athletes will be able to protect their joints in less than ideal situations that will occur in their sport.