Jump Training is essential for primarily all sports.
Basketball players dunk, volleyball players spike, soccer goalies dive to block the ball, gymnasts soar in the air from the high beam, and baseball players leap to catch the ball for an out.
In all of these instances, athletes need to jump in order to excel in their sport. A few inches in jump performance can be the difference between an amateur player and a nicely decorated athlete.
The utilization of equipment such as a Vertimax platform can take an athlete’s jump training to the next level. The Vertimax platform has cords of varying resistance that are strapped to the athlete with a belt, to put the body under stronger stress stimuli than expected when they would need to perform the same movements on game day. Boxes can also assist in the training of box jumps, depth jumps, and more exercise variations of the sort.
Anatomy and Physiology of Jump Training
Jump training with Vertimax platforms can increase your broad, vertical, single-leg, hop, bound, and split jumps in multiple axials of motion, such as the frontal and sagittal planes.
Being able to propel and jump in any direction with maximum power output in varying movement patterns can be further developed with jump training, needed to compete in the sport. Using sport specificity and appropriate progression and periodization in jump training can be catered for each and every athlete to improve their performance on the field.
Jump training can improve the force-speed and force-velocity relationship, and overall power production in an athlete’s biological kinetics and kinematics. Counter arm movement strategies can also be adopted, making an athlete’s plyometric movements more efficient, decreasing energy leakage in another direction of the intended path of the application.
Conditioning the series elastic component (SEC) and the stretch reflex through jump training will result in the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) being able to more efficiently store greater amounts of potential energy, and therefore maximize net power.
Jump training with the Vertimax platform will improve performance from the involved muscle groups of the lower extremity, boosting neuromuscular recruitment from the phase of concentric to the eccentric phase of the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC).
Less time spent in the amortization phase of the SSC will mean further gains in mechanical movement during the jump phases. In other words, decreasing the amount of time spent in the eccentric, amortization, and concentric phases will increase power output, force overtime.
Enhancing the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) leads to greater sports performance and generally increased athletic ability and success.
Effects of Jump Training on Speed and Agility
Other benefits such as rate of force development (RDF) and musculotendinous impulse, will improve with jump training, and will translate over into speed and agility performance in athletics.
If the SSC is at its best as a result of jump training, then athletes will better master change of direction movements needed for their competitive sport.
Though not appropriate for novice athletes, more elite athletes can benefit from complex training which includes strength training, such as a compound lift like a squat, and either plyometric, speed, or agility exercises combined.
The use of this strength and conditioning design has become increasingly popular and effective in the field of athletic performance. The augmented performance gains from this approach to training, complex training, is called post-activation potentiation. Anatomical recoiling via the spring mass model (SMM), can be enhanced from jump training, also seen in running.
Musculotendinous tendencies are much like a rubber band. Jump training makes the version of our rubber band elastic for the most bounce and reactive spring like characteristics to be the most successful in our sports.
Sprint performance is essentially jumping from one foot to the other. Therefore, jump training will translate over into sprint speed capability through increases in stride length and stride rate within the swing phases of running and sprinting.
Jump training can also include resistance which will make the skeletal system stronger and healthier, decreasing the likelihood of osteoporosis later in life, especially for women as they enter into menopause.
Negation of the Achilles tendon, and further to the Soleus and Gastrocnemius can be potentiated with the stimuli of jump training. Jump training with Vertimax platforms and other jump training devices can also enhance sprint and running performance.
Jump Training and Energy Systems
Jump training will not only bring about musculoskeletal adaptions but also adaptions of bioenergetics, also known as the Phosphocreatine energy system.
Jump training can help improve explosiveness with bouts of ten seconds or less, with adenine triphosphate (ATP) utilization in response to the energy demand. Jump training is an anaerobic activity and involves the catabolism of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) reduced to (ATP) for immediate energy.
Jump training will prepare the body to use high energy phosphates to fuel maximal bouts of power output needed for many varying anaerobic sports. Jump training can also accommodate anaerobic glycolytic system dependent athletes who still need powerful, but more endurance as well with similar amounts of energy production for one to two minutes.
Jump Training and Injury Prevention
Jump training can also benefit athletes in the prevention of injuries. Correcting biomechanics, such as knee valgus, can save a player, especially female athletes, from the devasting injury of an ACL rupture.
Correcting technique in ankle and foot compensatory mechanisms, such as pedal pronation and supination, along with Trendelenburg characteristics of the pelvic girdle will also decrease athlete’s chances of having to sit on the side lines during the season due to an injury of improper and unmonitored training protocols.
Jump training can focus on evenly distributing weight and push off percentage on each lower extremity to not development dependency and dominance unilaterally. Though some sports have a dominant leg over another come game day, jump training should aim to strengthen both lower extremities, bilaterally, to avoid imbalances which lead to pain and injury.
Jump training should also emphasize landing mechanics with knees being cued to be pushed out via glute activation and making contact with the ground as softly as possible instead of slamming abruptly onto ground surfaces.
A lot of stress is already put on the patellofemoral region, and forming a habit to increase impulse, which is the force applied over time, will be less damaging and harmful in the long run to joints and the soft tissue surrounding it.
Though jumper’s knee is very prominent in heavy jumping impact sports, jump training can correct dysfunctional movement patterns to convert the stress of the ground forces into larger muscle groups like the glutes by sitting back instead of leaning forward, giving ill-equipped structures such as the knees, shins, and ankles all of the contact load.
Jump training with Vertimax platform or similar device is also a preventative measure in reducing lower extremity injury in sports and exercise
Jump Training Overview
Here are a few key takeaways from jump training with Vertimax platform or similar training device and an experienced trainer or coach:
- Most athletes can benefit from variations in jump training.
- Jump training develops higher efficiencies in biomechanical processes, SSC.
- Running performance can improve from jump training.
- Refining energy system competency can be a secondary benefit of jump training.
- Jump training is one of the best ways to prevent lower extremity injuries.