North Carolina Baseball's Hurdle Hops

October 1, 2008 | Featured in the October 2008 Issue

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The ability to steal hits, grab extra bases and slide smoothly into home results from being fully agile. However, if you lack leg strength, you won’t reap all the benefits agility drills can offer.

Baseball entails a lot of lateral movement, starting and stopping, and change of direction,” says Greg Gatz, director of strength and conditioning for Olympic Sports at the University of North Carolina. “[All of that] requires balance and stability in the legs, so you have to strengthen your ankles, knees and hips. They are all integral parts of athletic movement on the diamond.”

Here, Gatz dishes one exercise that helped the Tar Heels coast to their third consecutive College World Series.

Single-Leg Rotational Hurdle Hops
• Place one six- to eight-inch hurdle on ground
• Balance on right leg facing hurdle
• Hop over hurdle, turning body 90 degrees in air; hold landing for three seconds
• Return to start position; repeat
• Perform 10 hops with each leg

Adaptation: Place eight hurdles on ground. Hop over them in succession; return to facing hurdle before each jump. Hold landing only over last hurdle.

Coaching Points: Perform this drill twice a week // Land as softly as possible and with slight bend in your knee // Maintain tight core // Stick each landing without allowing opposite foot to hit ground

Single-Leg Hurdle Hops
•    Place one six- to eight-inch hurdle on ground
•    Balance on right leg facing hurdle
•    Hop over hurdle; hold landing for three seconds
•    Return to start position; repeat
•    Perform 10 hops with each leg

Single-Leg Lateral Hurdle Hops

•    Place one six- to eight-inch hurdle on ground
•    Standing to left of hurdle, balance on right leg
•    Hop over hurdle; hold landing for three seconds
•    Return to start position; repeat
•    Perform 10 hops with each leg

Related Exercises

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