How To Do Lateral Hops Properly

For a warm-up, Lateral Hops are a great start as they help stimulate body muscles before a workout. You may hop around like a bunny but be sure your muscles are heating up and energizing.

This exercise helps to improve your stability and increase your lower body strength. It helps activate and relieve muscle stiffness before a workout.

Balance and stability for athletes are of importance because it sets apart swift and stable athletes from others who lack quick reflex and lateral change while moving fast.

HOW TO DO LATERAL HOPS PROPERLY

You will need comfortable training shoes because they are lighter and versatile for lateral movements. This way you will avoid messing up your ankles or knees.

How to do it:

  • Stand on a flat surface and make sure there are no bumps that can trip you. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Place your hands on your hips or hold them in front of you. This is your starting position.
  • Begin by hopping from left to right with both feet at the same time and imagine there is a line you are hoping over.
  • You can increase your pace as you progress. Try hopping in a circular motion to increase the effect of the technique.
  • With each hop, land with soft knees and on the balls of your feet. This reinforces the stability of the movement.
  • Do 3 sets each with 10-12 reps or hops.

WHAT MUSCLES DO LATERAL HOPS WORK

QUADRICEPS

Obviously, the thigh muscles are at work here and they help to create force when launching to hop. The muscles tighten and activate when hopping which helps create force and stability to the technique.

The exercise does not necessarily develop the muscles but it helps strengthen and activate the muscles.

CALVES

The calves helps to support the feet when you hop and allows you to lock at your knees with each motion.

You will feel the muscles tighten and almost feel like a burn when doing the Lateral Hop. This prompts calves muscle activation and stimulation.

HAMSTRINGS

The back of the thigh muscles helps to stabilize the impact when you land on the balls of your feet, which prevents you from falling.

The muscles tighten and helps your legs to rotate from side to side while your knee is bent.

ABDOMINAL MUSCLES

Your core muscles will forever help stabilize every lower muscle workout. This helps relieve tension from the spine and back muscles.

The hops help build strength and burn the abs muscles effectively.

LATERAL HOPS BENEFITS

IMPROVE STABILITY

Balance is important especially if you want to keep up with certain workouts or running. For athletes, it is mandatory because it helps you have good footwork and protects your ankle and knees from injuries.

Stability lessens tension from your back muscles and spine because they do more of the stabilization when your lower body does not have that range of stability but when your lower body has a great stability range your back is safe and protected.

LEG MUSCLE EXPLOSIVE IMPROVEMENT

It is not easy to hop around with both feet together especially if your stability is below zero. Constant hopping and change of lateral direction gives your leg muscles stability and quick reflex to be explosive without tripping on yourself.

RELEASE MUSCLE TENSION AND STIFFNESS

Warming up energizes the muscles and relieves muscle tension.

Working out without warming up messes up with your muscles and muscle pain may just be what you get halfway through your training. Sometimes you will not even get that far into your training.

Lateral Hops loosens up your muscles and prepares them for more muscle workouts and activation.

ALTERNATIVES TO LATERAL HOPS

BURPEES

From warm-up to a full-body workout, burpees are a great alternative because they push the leg muscles very hard.

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and going down is a crouch position with hands on the floor.
  • Shift your body weight to your arms and thrust your feet outwards behind you and straighten them.
  • At the same time bend your elbows and lower yourself to a pushup position.
  • Maintain controlled breathing even with sharp motions.
  • Press your body up and jump your feet back to a crouch position and with a great push jump up using your legs to a standing position clapping your hands above your head.
  • Do 2 sets of 5-6 reps.

LUNGES

Lunges are a great alternative for Lateral Hops as it works on the same muscles and more.

How to do it:

  • You can add weights to the dumbbell for more strength and muscle development.
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your hips for balance. This is your starting position.
  • Step the right foot outwards in front of you and bend at the knees as you also bend the rear knee in to a kneeling position.
  • Hold the position as you stretch the thigh muscles and tighten the calves and core.
  • In a slow and smooth motion, retract your foot to your starting position as you tighten your glute muscles. Be careful not to lose balance.
  • Do the same with the left foot.
  • Try to keep up the balance when doing the technique.
  • Do 2 sets of 12-15 reps each set.

LATERAL HOPS MISTAKES TO AVOID

FLARING YOUR HANDS

The workout helps the lower body muscles increase stability, flaring your hands will shift the techniques effectiveness.

Keep your hands secured on your hips or held in front of you to enforce stability on the leg muscles.

INCREASING THE DISTANCE

Do not get me wrong, the wider the distance the more stable your form gets but if your stance is not that stable, falling will be a norm.

Start with a controlled distance that will not end you up on the floor in pain.

CONCLUSION

Lateral Hops are a good exercise and as much as they warm up the muscles, they also help develop and strengthen the leg muscles.

Warm-ups are recommended before workouts because they help loosen up the muscles and motivate you to engage more in other workouts.