To have success on the playing field, you need to train your body closely to the demands of your sport. This is a difficult task—and one not easily addressed with static lower-body exercises.
To get you going on more than one plane, I describe for you two of my favorite dynamic lower-body exercises. They push the limits of single-leg balance, work your core in an integrated fashion, and place you in a single-leg, split position to push your body to new heights.
TRX Bulgarian Squat
Perform this movement without shoes to increase the amount of feedback received from the sensors on your soles and increase the stability demands on your ankle. I use the TRX suspension system for a purer and more mechanically sound motion compared to placing the rear foot on a bench. This allows you to really load up your front leg, improve hip mobility and increase stability.
Finally, when you incorporate a goblet hold position and change your center of gravity, your core must engage first, before you start the squat motion.
I suggest performing three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions per side to start, although volume will vary depending on training seasons, individual goals, etc.
Improve your Bulgarian Split Squat form with these three tips.
Single-Leg Dumbbell RDL
Perform this movement without shoes for the reasons listed above.
Maintain proper spinal alignment from start to finish. Athletes who perform this incorrectly continue to look at themselves in the mirror as they perform the movement. This places the neck in extension and starts a chain reaction all the way down to the hips and lumbar spine.
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Instead, let your eyes follow your movement from the starting position, down to the floor. Push through the heel of your moving leg, as this will “lock” your entire body. Additionally, you can maintain a slight retraction of your shoulder blades and a mild “push” forward of your chest.
The real benefit of this lower-body exercise is the anti-rotational component of the core. The degree of intensity depends on the grip you choose. You can either grab the same side as the moving leg or cross-body. Typically, I suggest grabbing cross-body to start and working up to same side.
Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions per side to start. Again, volume will vary depending on training seasons, individual goals, etc.