Lateral Zig Zags

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Lateral Zig Zags

Target Body Part:
Legs - Calves and Shins, Legs - Thighs

Equipment Needed:

Step 1

Starting Position: Lay out your cones as illustrated creating a zig-zag line for 10 - 15 yards (9 - 14 m). The cones should be 2 - 4' (approximately 1 m) apart.


                              X                                        X

                  X                    X                  X                   X

           X                                    X                                       X


Step 2

Start by standing to the outside of the first cone, with both feet together or hip-width apart and toes facing forward. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine and maintain your abdominals engaged throughout the exercise.


Step 3

Squat down, then immediately explode upward in a diagonal direction over the cone in a direction towards the 2nd cone. Your jump should push through your the heels of your feet and extend your hips, knees and ankles in one movement. Swinging your arms upwards as you jump will increase your power and jumping ability. Maintain your foot alignment during the jump, landing with your feet aligned in the same position as when you jumped.


Step 4

The most important components of the landing phase are correct foot position and control of the forward movement in your knees. Excessive forward movement in the knees places additional stress on the joint. Try to land softly and quietly on the mid-foot, rolling into the heels. Always push your hips back and down to absorb the impact of landing. Do not lock out your knees on your landing. Land with your trunk slightly forward, head aligned with your spine and back rigid or flat. Keep your abdominal / core muscles engaged, bracing your torso to protect your spine. Continue to drop into a 1/2 squat position before exploding upward into another diagonal jump.


Step 5

With ONLY a very brief pause at the bottom of your downward phase, explode up through your lower body, fully extending your hips, knees and ankles jumping over the second cone with another diagonal jump. As your jump into the air, try to keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor. Continue this sequence until you have cleared all the cones.
Exercise Variation: Progress the drill intensity by jumping higher over the cones, spacing the cones further apart (4 - 6') or increasing the overall length of the grid. However, one set through the drills should not exceed 10 seconds (if performing at a 9 or 10-out-of-10 effort) or 15-20 yards for lower intensities.

Always learn the proper mechanics of landing before jumping. Alignment of the foot, knee and ankle, and the mechanics of landing are critical to minimizing injury associated with jumping activities.