The Hop and Stick: Improve your motor control to reduce injury risk

Here we can see a basic exercise in which the primary goal is to control a single leg landing and ensure good knee alignment. As the saying goes "if you can't stop, you've got no business starting!"

Improper alignment of the ankle, knee, hips and torso can lead to an increased risk of injury through the wrong structures being overloaded multiple times. This kind of drill is designed to teach you to always land in the correct position and to cushion the landing through proper joint alignment. We use it as a warm up drill or a precursor to someone being taught plyometric exercises.

It's also a fantastic screening tool - check out the intentionally bad rep at the end of the video. If every one of your reps looks like this it's a sign that something at the hip or foot isn't doing it's job... Imagine this happening with every foot strike when running!

Guest Author: Alex Adams BSc, ASCC, CSCS

Alex has worked in the fitness industry for 11 years, working with clients ranging from elite athletes to general population. Currently based at Performance Pro in London, Alex coaches olympic weightlifting and strength and conditioning as well as presenting and tutoring on both subjects.