Chances are you have done the Ickey Shuffle before. Chances are, unless you are in your mid 30’s or older, you don’t know where the name came from (Ickey Woods from the Cincinnati Bengals would celebrate his touchdowns with a dance named the “Ickey Shuffle”). Even fewer probably know how or why to use the Ickey Shuffle.
The Ickey Shuffle is an exercise to improve cutting mechanics. Simply going through the ladder without purpose is not maximizing the movement to its fullest teaching potential. Plant angle, shoulder sway, footwork leading into cuts and even force production can be coached in the Ickey Shuffle.
Good plant angles are created in the ladder by staying in an athletic stance and getting your feet outside the ladder. Without good plant angles the effectiveness of the cut will greatly be reduced. Proper deceleration and re acceleration will not take place. The footwork inside the ladder teaches the gather steps needed to prepare the body for the cut.
Shoulder sway can be coached by adding some slight lateral movement while still remaining over the ladder. As you move through the ladder, slight move into the cut, staying in an athletic stance and keeping your trunk still with the shoulders over the hips.
Force production can be taught by emphasizing the cut. Be aggressive with each cut and punch your foot into the ground. Using tempo in your Ickey Shuffle can allow you to focus on the actual cut itself. Your steps in the ladder can be at a comfortable speed, while speeding up the plant foot on the outside. This will create a faster, more forceful cut.
Always know your purpose when using an exercise. Don’t just use because it’s what you have done before or have seen done. Next week I will be show you a video containing the points listed above, so if you liked this blog or wonder what these points look like then check back in next week!