Today we’re going to be talking about weight shifts for better sports performance.
In basically every sport that we play and almost every human activity, one of the key things that we have to be able to do is shift our weight efficiently, elegantly and also forcefully so what I want to go over a very quick exercise that you can perform with a band that will help you improve, if you play golf, if you play tennis, you play baseball.
If we start to think about all the different things that we do, again, we have to be able to shift weight onto that front leg and usually create some kind of hip rotation in order to create good power in everything that we do.
One of my favorite little exercises and, again, this is not necessarily particularly just a strength exercise. It is a movement quality exercise that we add load to, to help us improve the movement quality first and then we can increase the band resistance or our distance away from our attachment point in order to increase our power generation.
Very simply what we going to do … Take a band. In most cases I would recommend starting with a lighter band so that you can just use it and get comfortable with the feeling of the band attachment. Then as you improve in your movement, you can go to a heavier band.
Basically what you’re going to do is just as we have in many other exercises, you’re going to step inside the band. Now, what I want you to do here is I want you to place the band below your, what’s called iliac crest. If you think about where your belly button is, navel, go about three inches below that so the band is in essence centered on the pelvis. Now, what I’m going to have you do next is obviously we’re facing sideways. I want you to now think about weight shifts.
There are three primary ways that we do this in the real world. Number one, if I’m a golfer, I have to keep my feet still. So one of the first things that we want to do is focus on a weight shift and rotation with our feet still.
If you’re a golfer, you’re someone that winds up having to do a lot of movement without a lot of lunge accompanying it, you’ll step out, get some resistance from the band, a little bit of knee bend and I’d like to begin in a neutral position and then just focus on shifting my weight over my front foot. I’m facing forward, sort of neutral, drive out, shift my weight out into that front foot and then come back.
Now, what I typically do not do is a weight shift back toward the opposite leg because one of the things we often don’t want to see people doing in sports in which the feet have to stay planted, is a big weight shift back and then a big weight shift forward.
So, we start in neutral, shift forward and then back, shift forward, back. Now we add the rotation to it. So, we’re going to shift forward, now we think about the belt buckle. We’re going to rotate the belt buckle forward, again keeping the pressure on that front leg and then out of it. So, shift, rotate, back. Shift, rotate and back.
Very simple. You can do as many reps as you want, as many as feel comfortable.
One of the reasons I do like this for many athletes is it also requires good foot, knee, ankle and hip mobility on the side that we’re rotating into. That’s version one.
Version two, we now start to think about a sport like baseball. In baseball we’re going to have to step and create what I call a post. So when I step and my leg comes down, what I’m looking for is for that knee to lock and create some resistance so that I am now rotating across the ball of the foot of the back foot.
So, in this particular exercise, start tall, step and post on ball of foot. As my heel drops down, I’m going to rotate against the resistance of the band. Step, post, rotate. Step, post, rotate. A very, very simple exercise. Obviously if I’m thinking about hitting an incoming ball, I can be mimicking that with my hands and my arms and also with my eyes.
So, that’s version two where I’m now creating a weight shift into the band resistance creating that pose by locking that front leg and then the secondary pelvis rotation.
The third version, I am now going to leave the front knee bent. If I’m a boxer I’m going to maybe step, first step that knee stays bent and then I rotate through. So, same exercise. Press out, side step into that lunge, shift my weight, keep the knee bent and rotate and I’m now driving my weight onto that front leg. Alright?
So again here, step, knee stays bent, weight shift, rotate, drive into that front leg. One more time. Step, knee stays bent, hip shift, rotate, drive on that front leg. Alright? Three very, very simple exercises but all of them have application across different sports.
Depending on what you do, what you like to play, you want to make sure that you get a little bit of resistance work into your hip shift practice. Doing it very specifically like that is great because you can get lots of reps in the basic force production that you’re interested in for your sport without having to leave the safety of your office.
You just have to make sure you have a good, solid anchor point for your band, make sure it’s at pelvis level or waist level. Start with a lighter band. In terms of repetition, aim for 15 to 30 reps. Very importantly, try to do it bilaterally. If you are primarily a right-handed player, you want to make sure you’re getting some work on the left side.
Obviously if you’re a tennis player you’re going to have to get forehands and backhands. Just in general in terms of improving your coordination, making sure your brain understands how things are supposed to work.
Try and do it bilaterally, aiming for that general rep range.
This, because it’s fairly light weight, fairly light resistance, you can do it every day.
Just make sure that you’re not creating any kind of excess tension in your hip that you’re not taking care of.
That’s it for now. If you have any questions about this let me know.
Otherwise, good luck.