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Torsion Training

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What is torsion training?

To explain Torsion training correctly one needs a lot more than just a short article in order to do it justice. This article therefore is only going to cover the basics of all the many different considerations that need to be taken into account when designing a correct Torsion training program.

We have to start somewhere so the best place is to consider professional athletes who rarely run in straight lines. Like baseball players that swoop out to round the bases well before they reach it. Stealing a base requires a rapid pivot on the start. In fact, athletes who don't train this will not develop this.

Many track burners turned baseball players commonly find themselves not recovering from the problems that exist during that simple pivot and sprint movement on the basepath until they are about ready to slide into the next base.

Throwing a baseball, hitting a baseball, an outfielder making an effective break on a baseball, etc. are all examples of the need for "torsion training". Another example is the football player on the field has to control his body in non-linear mechanical way.

For example spinning to avoid a tackler or to juke a blocker; rushing on angle of pursuit by an outside linebacker; twisting under control to hand off the ball; making an effective cut as a wide-receiver to gain separation; making an effective cut as a defensive back to hug the receiver; etc. all more examples of the need for "torsion training."

Any athlete needs to learn how to control his body as early on in his sports training efforts as he can. This involves two major criteria: He must be able to move many different ways(horizontal, rotational, vertical), AND he must be able to generate a great deal of force when doing it.

As mentioned above the true Torsion training would take a lot of text to explain correctly but in summary here is an example of the specific type of training that would be done to enhance the athletes ability to control his/her sport effectively.

You should only use one or two movement(s) per session, thrown in with other Neuro-Dynamic components of your training routine. Start this Phase with the first exercise and exit to Phase 2 with mastery of the last exercise.

Down and Up Vertical Jump: you should be able to move your entire body in a sequence of fluid motions in order to descend and then ascend into the jump, as well as land softly and under perfect balance(i.e. like the perfect dismount of a gymnast). Forward ADA Drop Squat: step forwards off a box height equal to your vertical jump. Concentrate on enhancing your ability to land effectively.

Lateral ADA Drop Squat: step sideways off a box equal to your vertical jump height, landing efficiently in squat stance. Backwards ADA Drop Squat: step backwards of a box equal to your vertical jump height. Don't look for the landing; rather, prepare yourself for the blind-side landing and then once you begin to feel it, quickly absorb the impact and bring yourself into good jump-ready squat position.

Blind-Folded Vertical Jumps: seal off your vision completely using a soft cloth material. Set yourself, then perform a down and up vertical jump. Once you can achieve the same jump height as in your standard down and up vertical test, as well as land softly and efficiently, then you can progress to the next Phase.

Phase 2: Intermediate Force Imposed Movements

This phase takes the basics of Phase 1 a step further. You will learn how to utilize more neural energy and master exercises that have greater difficulty and much greater carryover to the general sport arena (i.e. related to our goals of being able to respond and react better, as well as cut, juke, and control your body with better overall mastery).

Forward ADA Split-Squat Drop: step forwards of a box equal to your vertical jump height with one leg in front. Push off with your back leg in order to give you some horizontal movement. Land in split-squat position, well balanced so that you could explode out in any direction.

Lateral ADA Split-Squat Drop: get in staggered-stance position on top of a box equal to your vertical jump height, with your leg closest to the side you wish to drop-off of in front. Take your front leg/close leg and reach it out sideways, effectively stepping off the box laterally. Land in split squat position, with the step off leg in front. You should be controlled in the landing, building energy throughout your system so that you could explode out in any direction if needed.

Backwards ADA Split-Squat Drop: using a box height equal to your vertical jump ability, step off the box backwards and land in a split-squat. Be sure to have your feet make contact at the same time, stress good plantar flexion dynamic minimization of the rear leg, and be in ready position to move in any direction required.

Single Leg ADA Landings: performed from a height equal to 40-55% of your vertical jump height, this is actually 6 movements rolled into one. That is, landing on one leg with your free floating leg held behind you for one version and in front of you for the other version, you will master landing on each leg for each step off(forwards, backwards, and sideways). A deficiency in either one restricts you from further progression.

RA Squat Jumps: using the same format listed in my reactive jump appraisal, find your peak reactive jump ability for a two-legged squat-style forwards reactive jump, sideways reactive jump and backwards reactive jump. That is, step off in each direction, land as you have learned in the previous steps, but this time you will react out into a vertical jump.

There is a phase 3 as well which is just a more specialized and more specific to the specific sport chosen. But the key is to learn how to manage force in any circumstance, regardless of what position your body is in, and regardless of how it ended up in that position.

You don't have time to think about it in sport. You have to be prepared to handle anything that comes your way. You can't shy away from the nasty situations you will get in on the playing field, you have to attack those head on with intelligence. Squatting off-balance is definitely not the answer, as anyone with any Modality understanding knows this. And beach-ball workouts don't cut it either, unless you are preparing for the circus.

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