Regardless of your sport, you can never predict exactly when, how and where you’ll land on the field or court during a game. The best thing you can do as an athlete is to prepare your body as thoroughly as possible for every scenario imaginable—like leaping in front of a quarterback to knock down a pass, staying in front of a speedy point guard working his or her way up the court, or leaping up to catch a baseball heading over the fence. And you can prepare yourself by developing multi-directional strength.
Unless you’re a sprinter, you need to be able to move your lower body in any direction at any time—forward, backward or laterally. Thus, it’s essential to train your muscles in each of these directions. Training your lower body this way will strengthen your glutes, hips and legs, making it harder for opponents to get by you. Also, when you’re fighting other athletes for that top spot, you don’t want any chinks in your armor!
NBA All-Star Devin Harris continually develops multi-directional strength in his lower body, improving his ability to explode from every angle on the court and giving his defenders nightmares. Emulate Harris and develop multi-directional strength with the exercise below.
Three-Way Med Ball Lunge
- Perform in circuit fashion with other exercises
- Holding med ball at chest level, perform forward, lateral and reverse lunges
- Keep chest up and core tight
Sets/Reps: 3×3 in each direction, each leg