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Lateral Lunge Warm-Up - RunningDVDs.com

Published by
CoachJay   Jan 20th 2009, 10:59am

Before we go into the specifics of this week's tip, let me ask you this. How do you know if a coach really believes in the information they present at a clinic or in a post like this one? My answer would be to simply ask the coach to show you what they assign athletes.

I'm lucky to have the opportunity to write Brent Vaughn's ancillary work (see image below) and in that you'll see "LL" - short for Lateral Lunge Warm-Up - assigned every day. Every damn day. It's so simple and can be done anywhere and is a great way to make sure that're legs are ready for the task ahead - runnning well.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that the LL warm-up is tough and will make you sore; Brent didn't do this in September and only did the Lunge Warm-up, or LM, before each run. We introduced this 2-3 times a week in October, though he probably could have done it daily at that point.

The LL warm-up is great because it fires the glutts and hamstrings, while also challenging your abductors and adductors. We're annal about the feet in the warm-up; you should always have your feet perpendicular to the line/direction you're moving. It's difficult and frustrating the first 7-10 days you try it and you'll prog have both feet splayed out, yet that the fact that you're presenting that proprioceptive challeng in the warm-up is important if you want your nervous system to wake up. The single leg squats are not only a good general strength exercise but they also provide you with a self-check to see where you flexibility is. I was fortunate to be around Phil Wharton at a clinic last winter and as he demonstrated his Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) routine he made comment that "flexiblity changes from day to day, workout to workout." So if you can't keep your heal on the ground during the squat, or you're leaning to far forward on the squat then you know that maybe you'll need a few extra minutes of AIS/rope stretching before you begin your workout.

I should explain that I made up this warm-up 2 or 3 years ago after watchign Dathan do a routine that Dan Pfaff had given him, though Dathan would do this as post run/post workout ancillary work and his routine had 8-10 exercises...I just picked the two that had the athlete moving in the frontal plane. Dathan was anal about his feet during both the lunge and the shuffle, so that's where the cue "good feet" comes from. Again, this should be done imediately after the LM warm-up, but the two of them together - LM and LL - take only 4 minutes. Then the athlete goes for their warm-up run or simply does their run workout for the day.

Okay, that's it for the LL warm-up. Write your questions or comments below and I'll be happy to answer your questions.

Jay Johnson

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4 comment(s)
LMT - "Lunge Matrix Tweaked" Sorry about not explaining that. First, this is an experiment and second, we'll video this later this spring. But simply following Gary Gray's idea of tweaking the movements in the various planes...you have to have done the LM for a month or two but once you have you can, for instance, twice to the right for 10 lunges in a row, even though you alternate with your legs; that means on every other lunge your hips and shoulder move like a golfer rather than a runner.

I promise we'll show a video of this later this spring and it will make a lot of sense once you see it.

Thanks Richey.
Sorry if I am missing something - but what is the LMT? Is this different from the LM?

Thank you for sharing Brett Vaughn's program. As a high school cross country coach do you feel the above schedule is to much for younger athletes to follow? If so, what would you recommend. Also, I am interested to learn more about the leg circuit that you refer to. Thanks for your time and I have both of your videos.

Should this warm up be modified at all if one leg is significantly stronger than the other?
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