LEG PREPARATION

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Leg Preparation Is ESSENTIAL and should be done IN ADDITION to a PROPER STRENGTH & CONDITIONING PLAN!

Without proper leg preparation, athletes have a much high chance of experiencing shin issues.  Unfortunately, a large percentage of athletes don't reflect on preparing themselves in a manner that will avoid shin splints or other jumping-related injuries/soreness.  Below you will find a progression of drills, movements, activities, etc. that I use to help athletes properly prepare.  Each "phase" below should be done in order and combined for maximum results.  Once you get past phase one, you continue doing jumping rope but add the next phase's suggested actions.  Athletes should simply be adding to what they've already done.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODIES FIRST AND FOREMOST - AVOID PUSHING TOO HARD PRIOR TO A SEASON!

To begin, athletes need to start doing some low-level jumps roughly 1-2 months before the start of the season.  I generally like to prescribe 1-2 minutes of jumping rope for that phase in preparation.  Everyone knows how to jump rope and a rope itself is a very inexpensive training aid that many should have access to.

As jumping rope becomes easier I highly suggest adding some low-level plyometrics like "baby bounding", low depth jumps/drops, and skipping (for height and distance).  Again, all movements in these suggestions can be done almost anywhere and need very little (if any) training aid!

About 2 weeks from the beginning of the season I suggest higher level movements, but only if the athlete(s) have progressed through the other suggestions above properly.  At this point, I suggest adding regular bounding coupled with higher reps of the aforementioned movements.

When there is only one week left prior to track starting - REST.  Don't perform any jumping movements that week to allow yourself to recover properly.

Here's an example:

Phase 1

Jump rope for 1-2 minutes

Phase 2:

Continue jumping rope and add some low-level plyometrics

Phase 3

Continue doing everything in phases 1 and 2 and add bounding.

Phase 4

Rest for the week prior to the start of the season