High School Coaching – Leaping Lunges

For baseball and softball players to jump high enough to catch

flying balls and run fast enough to beat a baseman, they need

strong leg muscles. While the running drills will help with

this, drills based just on leg strength are also important. For

high school coaching as well as little league, this drill does

that–placing an emphasis on the quadriceps and the glutes.

To do leaping lunges, athletes should start with their legs

apart, farther than shoulder width. They should bend their knees

until their legs make a 90 degree angle, with their knees over

their feet. Their arms should be clasped behind their backs.

From the lunged position, athletes should push into the air,

jumping until their legs are straight. They land back in the

lunged position.

Coaches should tell athletes to focus on doing the move safely

for their knees and feet. When they land, they need to roll

through the foot, starting at the ball of the foot. From the

ball of the foot, athletes should press down through the foot,

ending with the heel on the ground. This prevents damage to the

foot, since there is not so much pressure put on the foot joint.

Coaches also need to inform athletes of the importance of keeping

their knees over their feet. If an athlete lets their knees bend

too far over the feet, so that their knees extend over the

ankles, they risk injuring their knees. Also, if athletes keep

their knees from overextending, they will use their gluteal

muscles and not just their quadriceps muscles.

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