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Two legs, Two separate Jobs

photo by Weston Carls

Two legs with two separate jobs

When talking about multi-direction (MD), it’s important to think about our legs as separate motors one being the lead leg and the other being the trail leg. Whether you are shuffling side to side or some sort of crossover run you have one leg in front “lead leg” and one leg following “trail leg”. This is the biggest difference from linear running where both legs are responsible for the same action over and over.  With two separate motors this results in having two independent actions. Each action will result in using a particular side of your foot to establish the best angle for the greatest amount of force to be transferred into the ground and back through your body. Remember being fast is a all about be able to produce power into the ground as quick as possible, it’s not a matter of who can move their legs the fastest.

Ryan Goins is one of the MLBs fastest infielders,  here he is honing in on his speed, quickness and body awareness. These drills teach him to sweep his feet  in the best position so he can push efficiently and redirect his body in a new direction as fast as possible. 

When looking at pushing with a particular side of the foot we have two general edges, The Inside edge and Outside edge or “IE” and “OE”. Each edge has a particular strength and weakness in that it requires it’s counter part to be  properly utilized. The IE will help us reaching full extension with finishing with the big toe pushing off. The OE gives us a stable plant leg so that we are to absorb forces when changing directions without losing power.

One of my top drill for teaching how to use the inside edge of your foot.

Another great way to develop single leg power is with “Lateral Jumping Lunges” as seen below.

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