How To Jump | Proper Jumping Biomechanics

Jumping in Sports

Whether you are a volleyball athlete, a basketball player, you're a soccer player, maybe you're a goalie, or if you are into CrossFit or do plyometrics, and jumping incorporated into your training, chances are that you are doing and loading sort of jumping explosive movement, where you are engaging your hips, springing them back, exploding off of the floor, and bringing your arms up to help you accomplish that movement.

[ Watch video version below]

I know that you've probably seen there's tons of information out there, and I think a lot of the training videos that you see out there focus on using things like resistance bands, boxes, maybe pulling you from one direction, maybe bungees, and different things like that, maybe adding weights. 

And that's all perfectly fine, but if you know me, you know that I'm all about mobility and making sure that you are doing a movement for quality over quantity. 

 And what I mean by that is that if we break down that movement, that jumping movement, again, whether you are doing your volleyball approach to hit the net, to do some blocking, or you're going to go shoot a free throw, or you're going to just do a box jump, the foundational mechanics of it are the same.

Obviously starting on the ground, it's very important that you practice a lot of grounding techniques. 

If you don't know what I mean by that, it's essentially bringing back that awareness into your feet and getting your brain to fire and getting your sense of stability on the ground first, before you're doing any type of movement. 

Right? 

And that's a pretty big difference; There's a reason why I'm barefoot right now.

I know that this is something that maybe you can use as a self-assessment and see where you're at and maybe identify some areas where you have more tightness, you have some restriction, that then you can kind of focus on doing either some soft tissue techniques or some stretching to then make the actual jump in your training later on a lot more efficient, a lot more powerful.

Then when you load, you can actually perform better. 

So if we break down that basic move and we're essentially going from an arm swing back, doing a hip hinge action, bringing your glutes back, feet with the floor, reacting to the force, pushing off of that ground, and then elevating up.

And soft landing, of course.

Here is the exercise. I recommend doing this barefoot, again, so you get a nice sense of the ground and you get all those sensory receptors really firing and get your brain turned on like, "Okay, we have a lot more awareness to the area," so you tend to be more focused. I also want you to be intentional about this.

Again, very simply just standing, my hips stacked over my knees and ankles, just very comfortable. 

I want you to spread your toes so that, again, you have contact on the ground as much as possible. 

Your forefoot, your big toe, and your heel, are nice on the ground, and you feel like you're trying to grab onto the ground. 

We're going to squeeze our glutes, bringing our hip into neutral, our pelvis into neutral, really vacuum this so we protect the spine, bringing our belly button into our stomach. 

Nice, strong core. 

And you're going to bring your arms straight back.

About a nice, little bit of a 45-degree angle here. 

And then you are going to explode up with your arms raised up, only on your tippy toes, and back down.

See the idea there is that it's all in one motion, so driving up all the way you want to hold yourself on your tippy toes, a good two second hold, where you're not toppling over. 

That's where keeping your core tight really comes into play, and reaching like you're actually reaching for something and staying nice and strong, and then deciding that you're going to come down and have that downward motion be as one.

So again, it's just right here. Nice and ready. 

My head is not down or up, just keeping neutral. 

Ready, up, hold, and back down. And up, explosive, hold it, and back down. 

 

This is the side view, so you can take a look at my spine position. 

Should all be in line. 

Up, hold, hold, and down. 

And up and down. Once more.

And let me tell you, that exercise alone, that movement break down, really... As you can see, I'm a little bit out of breath, and I only did a few reps. 

And the reason is I'm really being conscious about my foot contact with the ground, I'm squeezing my glutes like crazy, I'm squeezing my quads, my hamstrings, everything is pretty much tight. 

My core is tight and I'm really intentional, so that once this is nice and tight, then I can move, and I'm moving pretty explosively. 

But then holding my spot up top, engaging all those intrinsic muscles of the ankle and foot, and then coming back down. 

I would say this is a great way to even warm up, get your heart rate going. 

As you can see, I'm starting to sweat, my breathing is a little bit difficult right now. 

Whether you are a volleyball athlete, a basketball player, you're a soccer player, maybe you're a goalie, or if you are into CrossFit or do plyometrics, and jumping incorporated into your training, chances are that you are doing and loading sort of jumping explosive movement, where you are engaging your hips, springing them back, exploding off of the floor, and bringing your arms up to help you accomplish that movement.

I recommend you start doing 10, 15 repetitions and build from there.

It's a great kind of prep and prime before you're getting ready to do the rest of your training. 

So I would do this first, then go into maybe some of your mobility, stretching and dynamic warmup. 

But this is a really great foundation, especially on days that you're going to be doing some jumping training, some plyometrics, and some explosive exercises.

 

 

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