Lateral Quickness in Basketball
It is estimated that 60% of basketball is comprised of lateral quickness. The problem that we have found with this is that youth and high school coaches neglect teaching the proper mechanics of lateral movement and most youth athletes simply lack the proper strength development to move efficiently.
Strengthening the Glute Med (gluteus medius) is the first step in proper lateral movement. The Glute Med is one of the three gluteal muscles, situated on the outer surface of the pelvis. The primary movement of this muscle is abduction, pulling the thigh away from the midline of the body. Once this muscle is strengthened (along with general lower body strengthening) we teach lateral bounds. A lateral bound in simple terms is “jumping sideways”. If you were to perform a lateral bound to the left, the athlete would assume an athletic stance, lift their left leg, bend their right leg and jump to the left. Points of emphasis are to fully extend the right knee and hip, not to turn (rotate) the pelvis and land in an athletic stance with proper knee bend. Once this movement is perfected, it is then resisted and assisted. Resisting the movement will further strengthen it and assisting the movement teaches the body to fire thru the plane of motion quicker. This combination creates quickness through lateral movement.