With Easter comes rabbits, and with rabbits comes jumping. I just couldn't help myself. Today's program covers a wide range of jumps that can be used to build agility and explosiveness. There's a workout for beginners, intermediate, and advanced trainees.
What You Need to Know: Implement each of these workouts into a pre-existing workout program. If you plan to perform these movements on the same day as heavy lower body work, make sure to perform these first. If not, your technique will suffer and you may be more likely to experience injury. Spend 3-4 weeks at each level, then progress to the next.
1) Pogo Jump, 3x20
Become a human spring. The pogo jump is a low intensity movement, but still great for beginners. Try to achieve a rhythmic bouncing motion, as seen in the video. If the movement feels good, add some height. Make sure to avoid landing on your heels - it's quite an impact.
2) Ladder Zig Zag, 5 sets down and back
For ladder drills, your best bet is to watch the video and start slowly. Remember, the goal with this type of movement isn't to increase explosive power (unlike many of the other jumps in this program), but to increase agility and quickness. Eventually, you'll be able to translate that agility and quickness to explosiveness.
3) Squat Jump, 3x10-12
If you're a regular reader, you've seen the squat jump many times. Today's version features a TRX-free option, though those with a TRX can certainly use it for additional balance. When you hit the bottom of the squat, immediately spring into the air. The quicker you're out of the hole, the better. This movement is not only great for building explosiveness and jumping ability, but it can translate to bigger squat and deadlift numbers.
4) Frog Hop, 3x8
Consider the frog hop the beginner's version of the broad jump. Perform each jump from the pseudo-squat position shown in the video. Don't worry too much about extreme distance at first, but feel free to work up to longer jumps. Try to maintain optimal balance and get used to the impact of more intensive jumping movements.
1) Lateral Hop to Box, 3x8/side
Stand perpendicular to a low box. Raise the foot closest to the box into the air. Staying as straight as possible, explode off your outside foot onto the box. Land with both feet together. Drop to the other side and repeat the process. This movement may not seem difficult to perform, but it can be difficult to maintain good balance and an upright posture - focus on those.
2) Ladder In-Out Skip One, 3 sets down and back
The video demonstrates the in-out - for each square, hop with both feet inside and then hop with both feet outside. Now, for the "skip one". Crank up the impact and explosiveness by skipping every other square. Hop with both feet in the first square, then both feet out. Now, skip the next squat and land with both feet in the third square. Repeat! If you're feeling adventurous, try skipping two squares.
3) Tuck Jump, 3x6-8
This, and the broad jump that follows, are two intermediate movements designed to prepare you for higher impact jumping. Perform the tuck jump from a standing position, with no forward or backward movement. In a way, it simulates the more difficult box jump found in the advanced workout. Quickly and explosively pull your knees to your chest, creating as much distance as possible between the bottoms of your feet and the ground. Bonus tip: instead of opting for immediate back-to-back jumps, settle into a few pogo jumps between reps.
4) Broad Jump, 2-3x5
Now it's time to toy with one of the more explosive jumping variations, the broad jump. Start with both feet on a line, about shoulder-width apart. Perform a quick downward movement and swing your arms behind your body. Now, in one explosive motion, swing your arms forward and leap. Aim for big distance and try to maintain a soft landing - no landing on your heels and no falling forward or backward.
1) Box Jump, 2-3x5
Finally, it's time for a few reps at one of the most popular jumping movements, the box jump. Start with a fairly low box to build comfort. Similar to the broad jump, start in a shoulder-width stance. Perform a slight dip, letting your arms swing behind you. Now, similar to the tuck jump, explode forward and upward. Try to bring you knees high up to your chest and use your arms to generate extra momentum. Progress slowly - a small miscalculation can result in bloody and unhappy shins.
2) Ladder Lateral Skip Two, 3 sets down and back
This time, start in a lateral position - you'll be moving side to side. With both feet, hop into the third square, skipping the first two. Repeat this movement to the end of the ladder and back. Try to keep your body in good alignment - no leaning to the side or leading with one hip. When this feels comfortable, try the same movement with only one foot.
3) Vertical Jump, 3-5x1
Athletes from a wide variety of sports may be familiar with this movement. It's often used as a test of overall jumping ability. Stand along a wall and reach one arm as high as possible - mark the spot at the end of your fingertips. Now, line up next to the wall in a shoulder-width stance. Take a brief dip, swing your arms behind your body, and explode upward. Mark or eyeball the spot where you touch. Now, measure the distance between the bottom line and the top line - that's the number to beat. As a word of warning, this movement is highly intensive and fatiguing. Utilize low, max-effort reps and be very careful about your landings.
4) TRX Side Lunge Jump, 3x8/side
The TRX allows for a nice progression from the usual lunge jump. Set a TRX to mid-calf length and single-strap mode. Place one foot in the foot cradle and turn perpendicular to the TRX. Hop out a few steps to give yourself extra room. Squat down with your free leg and allow the foot in the TRX to slide away from you - this is the TRX version of a side lunge. As you finish the movement, explode upward with your free leg. The major difficulty: maintaining balance. Practice makes perfect.
**The information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Before starting any new exercise program we recommend consulting your doctor first.**