The Lateral Platform Drill looks like something out of a Richard Simmons video. But hear me out; it's an incredibly effective way to become a quicker and faster athlete.
This isn't a traditional speed drill. It won't directly translate to improved speed, but it sets the foundation for the strength and power you acquire in the weight room to actually make a positive impact on your speed, agility and quickness.
This drill is purely technical. I can already hear some coaches complaining about it, because it's a high-frequency-based plyo, much like ladder drills and ankling. Specifically, it improves control of your hip height.
When athletes plant and cut, they often lose hip height. The brain finds find the strongest angle and muscle group to carry on the movement. This could be from lack of strength, poor exercise selection (i.e., Wall Sits) or faulty technique that forces your body to compensate.
So you need to teach your body to move in the optimal positions. That's where the Lateral Platform Drill comes into play.
To perform the drill at a high speed, you must pre-set your hips and lift your feet in the process. Being able to elevate and generate lift at the foot and ankle while staying still and holding your position—especially at the hips—is critical to being quicker by putting you in the optimal position to put force into the ground.
Added benefits: It fires your central nervous system, and it's a great way to prepare your body for a subsequent speed workout or high-intensity workout.
How to Perform the Lateral Platform Drill
This drill should be combined with calf stretching and ankle mobility work in warm-up phases, cooldown periods and off-day recovery workouts.
- Place your right foot on top of a low step and your left foot on the ground.
- Drive off your grounded foot and hop to the right so that your left foot lands on top of the box and your right foot on the ground.
- Rapidly jump from one side to the other, always keeping one foot on top of the box.
For more tips on speed training, check out my Speed Encyclopedia, which features a comprehensive research-based speed training system for athletes and coaches.
- The 10 Best Speed Exercises for Athletes
- Why P90X Plyo Doesn't Work
- The 10 Best Plyometrics for Speed