Lateral Plyos Part 2 & Polish Boxes


When teaching and training lateral and multi-directional plyos, I follow the same general force progression I do with linear plyos. I generally start with simpler (lower or appropriate intensity) lateral jump and stick variations with isometric holds at the landings (can be shuffle to stick/land as well). Plyometric projection begins with assuming a position to project from and isometric landings provide a great opportunity to groove positions while also building safe efficient patterns to absorb force in. You also get a great training effect in route via the high speed eccentric to isometric which hones pretension skills and also offers power specific hypertrophy potential. From there you can manipulate magnitudes and speeds and make things more dynamic both in transition and in direction.

The above picture is taken from a session of an athlete doing a moderate speed diagonal bouncy shuffle to projection and stick. This exercise was chosen for this athlete as a general glute system builder as she has a sleepy glute med and general problems in stabilization. Glute activation schemes and stabilization routines have their place, but training that system at the higher speeds and forces of deceleration or change of direction builds integrative hip strength and function. Achieving and performing this higher functioning work often greatly reduces or eliminates the need to revisit even more rudimentary schemes. While certainly not all sprint programs have lateral work, if you look at the inventories of Dan Pfaff, Boo Schexnayder, Loren Seagrave, and many others, you’ll find lateral based work for general development.

Looking at the above picture, you’re probably wondering why the heck we are doing plyos in a tunnel. I’ve heard Al Vermeil discuss his use of cambered boxes for change of direction and stabilization work and obviously the Polish made great use of them back in the 1960s. While the slight curve of a well made polish box is hard to find, the slight roll of the road from the center to the edges, provides a playground of additional camber for the hip and lower leg to stabilize against a la polish box.
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Matt Gardner
As a track and field coach Matt has produced school record holders and state champions in the sprints, hurdles, jumps and middle distance events. He has coached athletes from a wide variety of sports including Professional Football, World Cup bobsleigh, Swimming, Track and Field, Olympic Weightlifting, Baseball, Tennis, and Golf. Matt has extensive experience consulting and collaborating with high level sports medicine professionals to help rehabilitate injured athletes and optimize the performances of healthy ones.