DST Exercise of the Week: Crossover Series Part 1

  • By Dynamic Sports Training
  • 01 Aug, 2017

Kyle Kleeman, DST Director of NFL Combine 

Dynamic Sports Training Director of NFL Combine, Kyle Kleeman, takes some of our NFL athletes through various drills working on the inside edge cut. This is the first video in a series of agility drills working on cutting from different parts of the foot.

In this exercise of the week video, we will be going over the inside edge cut on the ladder. To start this drill you will need two ladders set up side by side. If you’re starting on the left side of the ladder your right foot will start in the box. Next, we will cross over with our left leg keeping a high and tight knee to our body into the next ladder. After that, we will step outside the ladder with our right foot. Here we are really focusing on inside edge of the foot.


We do this drill to help in our inside edge cuts. More than likely we are cutting and opening up in one direction. While going through the ladder, we are also focused on body lean - always towards the center of the two ladders. The benefits of this drill are to help feel the inside edge of the feet, it teaches athletes how to bring the knee drive up and over, and it helps athletes with motor control/skills.


Speed and agility drills should focus on explosive movements and cutting from all parts of the foot because, in competitions, athletes are going to cut from all parts of the foot. This is training one part of the foot - the inside edge. We want to train and improve movements that are sport-specific and will improve in-game performance.

Dynamic Sports Training Blog

By Dynamic Sports Training 15 Aug, 2017
Dynamic Sports Training Director of NFL Combine, Kyle Kleeman, takes some of our NFL athletes through various drills working on cutting from all parts of the foot. This is the third and last video in a series of agility drills working on cutting from different parts of the foot.

In this exercise of the week video, we will be going over reaction drills. The athletes don't know which direction they will be cutting before starting each rep, so they will have to react to whichever direction Kyle points. They also won't know if they'll be taking two steps, three steps, or four steps before the cut. We make sure they attack vertically and then react to Kyle's hand, still focusing on being explosive each change of direction. 


Speed and agility drills should focus on explosive movements and cutting from all parts of the foot because, in competitions, athletes are going to cut from all parts of the foot. This is training one part of the foot - the outside edge. We want to train and improve movements that are sport-specific and will improve in-game performance.
By Dynamic Sports Training 08 Aug, 2017
Dynamic Sports Training Director of NFL Combine, Kyle Kleeman, takes some of our NFL athletes through various drills working on the outside edge cut. This is the first video in a series of agility drills working on cutting from different parts of the foot.

In this exercise of the week video, we will be going over the outside edge cut. To start this drill you will only need three cones. We will first work on the three-step cross over with our back leg staying nice and tight to our body as it comes up and over to change direction. After that, we will work in a heiden at the beginning of the drill to work on deceleration and acceleration coming back through that cut. Here we are really focusing on sticking the landing each time and driving out into the outside edge cut drill.


We do this drill to help in our outside edge cuts. More than likely we are cutting and opening up in one direction. The benefits of this drill are to help feel the outside edge of the feet, it teaches athletes how to bring the knee drive up and over, and it helps athletes with motor control/skills.


Speed and agility drills should focus on explosive movements and cutting from all parts of the foot because, in competitions, athletes are going to cut from all parts of the foot. This is training one part of the foot - the outside edge. We want to train and improve movements that are sport-specific and will improve in-game performance.
By Dynamic Sports Training 01 Aug, 2017
Dynamic Sports Training Director of NFL Combine, Kyle Kleeman, takes some of our NFL athletes through various drills working on the inside edge cut. This is the first video in a series of agility drills working on cutting from different parts of the foot.

In this exercise of the week video, we will be going over the inside edge cut on the ladder. To start this drill you will need two ladders set up side by side. If you’re starting on the left side of the ladder your right foot will start in the box. Next, we will cross over with our left leg keeping a high and tight knee to our body into the next ladder. After that, we will step outside the ladder with our right foot. Here we are really focusing on inside edge of the foot.


We do this drill to help in our inside edge cuts. More than likely we are cutting and opening up in one direction. While going through the ladder, we are also focused on body lean - always towards the center of the two ladders. The benefits of this drill are to help feel the inside edge of the feet, it teaches athletes how to bring the knee drive up and over, and it helps athletes with motor control/skills.


Speed and agility drills should focus on explosive movements and cutting from all parts of the foot because, in competitions, athletes are going to cut from all parts of the foot. This is training one part of the foot - the inside edge. We want to train and improve movements that are sport-specific and will improve in-game performance.
By Dynamic Sports Training 25 Jul, 2017

During our assessment process, we do an active straight leg raise to assess the athlete’s ability to go into a max hip flexion. Often, we have athletes who complain about hamstring tightness if they aren't able to achieve a certain range, but many times the issue stems from the anterior core not working as well as it should.

The primary hip flexors are the psoas and iliacus muscles, which make up the iliopsoas where they merge at the thigh. These connect to your lumbar spine, so when you go into hip flexion and your core isn’t functioning properly to align your spine or to keep it neutral, it's going to pull your spine into extension and your pelvis into anterior tilt. This action will pull your hamstrings tight before you even start to lift the legs. 

This is actually a false indicator of hamstring tightness. If we assess the problem to be the anterior core firing, we’ll do an exercise called the active straight leg raise with a band pull.

The athlete is going to start with his or her hands straight up, then they are going to pull the band downward toward their sides. This pulling down movement serves as a physical cue which helps the athlete activate their anterior core. When he lifts his leg at the same time, he is activating the core and stabilizing the lumbar spine, which is how we achieve truer hip flexion.

Key things to focus on in this movement are the leg being lifted and the opposite leg on the ground. It is important for the leg being lifted to stay straight throughout the entire movement, while the opposite leg (specifically the knee) should push into the ground while keeping the toes up. He is going to pull down to engage the core and lift the leg, and then do the same alternating with each leg. We usually do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps each.

By Dynamic Sports Training 18 Jul, 2017

This week's DST Exercise of the Week is the Dowel shoulder mobility series, which is an alternative to the old-fashioned shoulder dislocators that a lot people do for their shoulder mobility work. The problem with the old-fashioned dislocators is when we go up and over, we’re forcing our body into a fixed range of motion that might not be appropriate for that athlete at the time. This is going to lead to anterior glide of the shoulder once we turn it over, and that is going to lead to a lot of excessive extension when we are trying to go over the top.


We have the athlete grip a PVC pipe about shoulder width apart. He’s going to turn one hand out and one hand in, right in front of his body. We tell the athlete to take his bottom hand and push the other hand straight to the sky. Don’t worry about rotating yet, just try and reach up. As we reach up as high as we possibly can, we’re getting a good stretch through this entire side through the lat. Then, we tell the athlete to take this bottom hand and start pushing his other arm into a big arm circle. He’s going to rotate back so we’re also getting a little bit of thoracic mobility and core stability while he maintains this position. 


We want to maintain pressure through the entire range. Then, when he gets back to the start, he’s going to do the same movement in the other direction. We go up and over pushing up with the other hand. It is important to know that whichever hand starts at the bottom is always applying the force, so we want to tell the athlete to try to keep the hips as square as possible. 


After the athlete does eights reps or so on each side, we’ll go backwards with it. So we will have the athlete start in the same position, and we'll use the top hand this time to push the bottom hand down. Going through the Dowel shoulder mobility series is a better option to get that extra should mobility work or movement preparation work before your workout. We usually do one or two sets of eight to twelve reps of this.

By Dynamic Sports Training 17 Jul, 2017
Mindset Principle: Integrity

Integrity - “The State of Being Whole and Undivided”

This definition fits the building analogy we often use with our athletes. We compare our approach of training our athletes to the construction of tall buildings - you have to have a strong foundation, a well-thought out blueprint, and perfect execution to get the result you want. Following that analogy, a structure is said to have “good integrity” when it’s architecturally sound - sturdy and unmovable. The same should be true of our athletes’ bodies and character. To stand for truth and what is right - unable to be moved or shaken.

You don't have to dig too far to find stories of athletes who had all the right pieces physically but didn't meet their potential due to issues outside of their sport. That's why we want to work on more than just physical preparation. The way you talk and the way you act matter on and off the field.

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold."
- Proverbs 22:1

Nutrition Principle: Supplementation  

Supplementation is a large part of many athletes' nutrition plans. And, just like in training, there isn't a 'silver bullet' when it comes to taking supplements. Every athlete has different demands (in-game, training, etc.) and should plan both their diet and supplementation intake with those demands in mind. Typically, we recommend getting most, if not all, of your necessary nutrients from natural food sources. We know sometimes this isn't possible - especially  for extremely active athletes or people with deficiencies outside of their control. In these instances, a well-planned supplementation strategy can be very effective to help you get all the nutrients your body requires to prepare and recover. Below are some supplements that our trainers recommend looking into (*note: this is not an exhaustive list).

  • Supported for use  (In specific situations in sport using evidence-based protocols):
    • Sports drinks, Gels, and Bars
    • Whey Protein
    • Iron & Calcium Supplements
    • Multivitamins
    • Vitamin D
    • Probiotics
    • Caffeine
    • Beta Alanine
    • Creatine

*For any specific questions about certain supplements, or a supplement strategy, get in touch with any of our trainers*

Physical Principle: Periodization  

One of the core principles for our athletic development processes is the concept of periodization. Having goals is vital for all athletes. You need to know where you want to go before you can take the proper steps to get there. However, constant fixation on an end-goal can be detrimental to actually achieving it. That is where the idea of periodization helps immensely.

Periodization is taking the end-goal and breaking it down into smaller, more achievable steps. Think of it this way: Your end-goal is a finished bookcase from IKEA . Periodization is what helps you build it with steps A through J.  This process-oriented mindset creates daily opportunities for little victories, which helps sustain the motivation required to accomplish long-term goals. Focusing on, and believing in, the process is what periodization is all about.

"Rome wasn't built in a day, but  they were laying bricks every hour."


By Dynamic Sports Training 11 Jul, 2017
DST Sports Performance Specialist, Dennis Koenck, teaches us how to properly perform the hamstring curl on the slide board for the DST Exercise of the Week.

Begin by laying down on the slide board, back flat, knees bent. Next, raise the hips up into a hip bridge, keeping the hips up and the glutes tight. The main pressure needs to be focused in the heels, pushing down into the ground as the feet slide out in front of the body.  Slide the feet out slowly, maintaining the hip bridge position. Once both legs are fully extended, activate the hamstring and glute muscles to try to "scrape" the heels across the ground back towards the body, bending the knees. The hip bridge position is to be maintained throughout this entire movement. 

The posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, and lower back) are often weaker than other muscle groups in most athletes. However, a strong posterior chain is a very important element in allowing athletes to create explosive power and speed. This region should be not be neglected! The slide board hamstring curl is a great exercise to work into any training program, as it targets the hamstrings, glutes, and the lower back. And if you don't have a slide board, all you have to do is find a slippery floor and throw on some socks, and you can do this movement just the same. 

If you're looking for more posterior chain-strengthening exercises, try the glute ham raise , RDL , and the split squat
By Dynamic Sports Training 29 Jun, 2017

Everyone loves an underdog story. A long-shot with little hope who defies logic, silences doubters, and overcomes all obstacles on their way to ultimate glory. But that’s not always how it plays out in real life, is it?


The truth is, some teams are really hard to beat. Some obstacles are big . Some goals are nearly unattainable. Some challenges are actually impossible.

What do you do when you're faced with a situation like this?

This month, our Trigger Focus is dedication. When I asked DST athletes and coaches what it meant to be dedicated, I got a lot of really good answers. One of my favorites was very simple: "Being committed to a task or cause and never giving up." I love this answer because it mentions nothing about the completion of the task or success of the cause -- only the commitment to never give up. You see, failures are bound to happen. Un-winnable games will be played. Goals won't be hit. Impossible challenges will prevail. But here's the good news:

Just because you ended up failing doesn't mean you were wrong to start fighting.​

If you haven't seen the movie Mr. Holland's Opus, add it to your must-watch list. I won't spoil the movie, but I do want to share a very poignant scene with you. The titular character is a substitute-turned-lifer music teacher whose music program is at risk of falling victim to budget cuts. In the scene, Mr. Holland talks to the current principal, Mr. Wolters, about how his mentor, Mrs. Jacobs (the former principal), would not have sat idly by while the school abandoned the fine arts departments. The dialogue unfolds with the following:

Mr. Holland : ​ "Jacobs would have fought this."​

Principle Wolters : "She would have lost."

​    Mr. Holland : "Yes, she would have lost. But she would have fought this. And so will I."

This is a prime example of what true dedication looks like. Sure, it's dedication to a losing cause, but Mr. Holland absolutely refused to go down without a fight.​

I've found that I'm drawn to this same mentality in fiction and reality alike.

One of the most inspiring stories in all of mythology is the Battle of Thermopylae -- Anyone want to do a Gerard Butler "This is Sparta!" impression?  Now's the time -- I'll wait. What an incredible narrative: 300 men vs. hundreds of thousands . The Spartans faced certain death, yet remained undeterred in their resolve to fight for their land and stand up for what they knew was right.

Or how about a historical account? The Battle of the Alamo is essentially the same storyline. We absolutely love it here in Texas -- and for good reason. If you don't know the details, you need to do some research. The epic line in the sand drawn by William B. Travis. The willingness of every last man to give his life for the greater good. THAT is dedication.

Here's my point: You're not going to win every game you play.¹ You won't achieve every goal you ever set for yourself. You cannot and will not be perfect. But does that mean you shouldn't try? Absolutely not. Find something of great value, throw caution (and probability of success) to the wind, and dedicate yourself to it.²

By Dynamic Sports Training 27 Jun, 2017
For anyone who is trying to build the strength to do a regular pull-up without any assistance, we recommend starting with these pull-up progressions. DST Director of Adult Fitness, Chelsea Bellinger, takes us through three pull-up progressions, beginning with a modified pull-up, progressing to a band-assisted pull-up, with the final progression being an unassisted pull-up.

The pull-up is a compound lift that builds the pulling muscles of the upper body. These muscles include the latisimus dorsi, biceps, and the smaller stabilizing muscles of the shoulder and upper back.

A strong back is a major advantage for athletes of all sports. Along with bent-over rows, pull-ups are a major way to achieve this. The lats are one of the bigger muscle groups of the body and span from under the arm all the way down to your waistline. Because of their big, cross-sectional area, they play a key role in stabilizing the lumbar spine and, therefore, can help you improve on all of your major lifts, including the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Another advantage to strengthening the lats through pull-ups is to help reposition and stabilize the shoulder joint. Scapular elevation (shrugged shoulders) is something that is seen quite often when we are conducting our bio-mechanical assessments. Pull-ups will help counteract this poor posture by driving scapular depression (shoulders down and back).

On the flip side, it is common for baseball players and other throwing athletes to develop very tight lats after a long season of throwing. We will still incorporate pull-up variations for this type of athlete, but may need to emphasis the eccentric (lowering) of the movement to improve mobility.

There is a reason pull-ups have been around forever and are a staple in any good strength program. If you are seeking to achieve your first unassisted pull-up, start with the modified pull-up shown and work your way through the other progressions. Once you feel like you've mastered the unassisted pull-up in neutral grip, watch this video  by Director of DST North, Kevin Poppe, showing a more advanced pull-up. 
By Dynamic Sports Training 22 Jun, 2017

WALL DRILL

The wall drill is a drill we use with all of our athletes. It emphasized body position and leg action during the Acceleration phase of sprinting. Here are simple coaching cues for the wall drill.

  • Good forward lean with body in a straight line
  • Head position is neutral
  • Core is tight
  • Big chest
  • Glutes contracted
  • Don’t flex your spine when your knee drives into flexion
  • Knee Up, Toe Up once in maximum hip flexion
  • Keep opposite glute contracted and knee straight as your knee drives into flexion
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