Quick feet, explosive legs and a bit of conditioning are just three of the many benefits that result from Scott O'Dell's stadium stair routine.
"We can do so many things on the stadium stairs," says O'Dell, Cal's assistant strength and conditioning coach.
"We can work on our lateral resistance, on minimizing foot contact time, and we can also do resistance sprints and plyometric work."
According to O'Dell, many people think working on concrete stairs is high impact. "But we see it as low impact work," he says, "because the stairs catch you in the air. You don't have the impact of landing hard on the ground."
The Cal softball team, along with the men's football and women's lacrosse and field hockey teams, perform stadium stair workouts for four to six weeks at the start of training. "Stadium stairs keep the monotony out of our program; it's something our athletes enjoy doing," O'Dell says.
The routine has five parts: the warm-up, quick footwork, lateral resistance, plyo work and conditioning.
|One step each stair||40||2||Walk down|
|One step every other stair||40||2||Walk down|
Coaching Points: Keep your toes up to minimize foot contact with the ground. Also, keep your arms bent at 90 degrees and drive your hands from cheek to back pocket with a good arm drive.
|Two steps each stair||14||2 leading w/each foot||Walk down|
|Four steps each stair||8||2 leading w/each foot||Walk down|
Coaching Points: You want to get a little bit of conditioning from these drills, but still give yourself enough rest time to feel fresh for each rep. This works quickness, so don't drag your feet on the ground.
|Carioca||40||2 per direction faced||Walk down|
|Shuffle||12||2 per direction faced||Walk down|
Coaching Points: Each carioca step is a step up with a hip rotation. Take only one step for each stair and go as fast as possible. As you shuffle up the stairs, leave one stair between your feet.
|Double leg, one-stair hop||10||2||Walk down|
|Double leg, two-stair hop||20||2||Walk down|
|Double leg, three-stair hop||40||1||Walk down|
|Double leg, four-stair hop||40||1||Walk down|
Coaching Points: Keep your heel off the ground to minimize ground contact time and maximize the plyos' effectiveness. Drive your arms ahead of you as you jump; this keeps your chest up and helps you maintain good posture, which allows for better force production in your arms and legs. Go as quickly as possible for the one- and two-stair hops. Depending on your ability, you may have to slow things down for the three- and four-stair hops to reset between hops.
|Sprint||40||2-5 reps||Walk down|
Coaching Points: Do this at the end purely for conditioning work. Sprint up the stairs as fast as possible. Try racing another player to see who can sprint faster. Start with only two sprints and work up to five over time.
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