Engaging Obliques - Sugar Pushes

During fast practice yesterday, my practice parter and I noticed that I wasn't fully doing the go-out-come-in motion of sugar pushes, instead barely moving forward and back. The motion is easier to do at slower tempos but I was having a hard time at the higher bpms; it just didn't feel like I had the time to come in more, especially since I would probably be going back out again.

I call this type of thinking "thinking positionally", which I think I originally got the term from Laura Glaess. When you're thinking about "needing to get somewhere" rather than just going where you can/where you're body is telling you to go in the moment. Instead of focusing on the cues my body is receiving and my quality of movement (i.e. rhythm and frame), I was thining "omg I have to get all the way in and then all the way back out -- yikes".

Catching myself thinking this way, I thought about how I might be able to move faster and the common running analogies came to me. If you're trying to run fast, you tense up your core and get low and reading to spring out. So to move faster in and out of the sugar push, I needed to engage my muscles more -- specifically my obliques. The next round, I cued into the lead to move back and in and tried to react more immediately to it and with greater intensity (i.e. engagement). That seemed to do the trick -- and will work like a charm with a bit more practice.

Side note here: This likely applies to all moves at faster tempos. To move faster, react faster & engage more. I found applying this to just the sugar push to be a really nice exercise and would recommend it as a great place to start.