Sport Plyometric Programming
Physiologically, plyometric jumping exercises put a very high demand on the tendons , muscles, and neuromuscular system of the hip, knee and ankle joints. The learning and perfection of jumping skills must be technically correct and specific to the athlete’s age, sport and physical development. Restricted use of the exercises in young athletes from ages 10 – 16 is recommended since the exercises undoubtedly stress the spine and lower body joints. The load, recovery and exercise specificity must be monitored to minimize the chance of injury.
Why Use Plyometrics?
• Increase sprint capability
• Increase jump capability
• Increase change of direction speed
• Increase power
• ACL prevention measure
• The summation of these products equals increased athletic performance
We Take For Granted that an Athlete Will Know How to Jump or Land.
- 1st learn the landing. Step off of a 6” to 12” box, landing in a quarter squat stance, with back flat, knees slightly bent. Body weight is evenly distributed over the power pads of the feet with heels slightly elevated. Landing should be soft and held for at least 5 seconds.
If you cannot control your landing from a 12” box, you do not want to progress to jumping until you master it.
- 2nd master a 1 rep jump. Start with a slight knee bend then a powerful upward extension of the arms with a forceful hip and ankle extension.
- 3rd master multiple jumps and landings.
- 4th master skips and bounds
- 5th master hops
- 6th master depth jumps. Depth jumps should be mastered at a 12” height then mastered at an additional 2” height until the athlete reaches 24”. Most young athletes cannot handle the gravitational forces of landing from a box higher than 24”. If the athlete’s foot ground contact time is longer than .15 seconds the box drop height is to high. The object of any jump is to come off the ground as quickly as possible and if you have a long ground contact time upon landing the drill is useless in its attempt to make you a more explosive athlete.
How Many Repetitions?
You should only perform 25 to 40 contacts per session and 100 to 160 contacts per week. You need to have at least one day of recovery between each session.
What is the Correct Plyometric Terminology?
• Jump – 2 leg take-off with a 2 leg landing
• Hop – single leg take-off with a landing on the same foot
• Bound – single leg take-off with a landing on the opposite foot
• Skip – single leg take-off with 2 foot contacts and take-off
• Depth jump – multiple landings and jumps utilizing multiple boxes
Drop jump off of a 6” box – 4 sets 5 reps
Drop jump off of a 6” box – 1 set 5 reps
Drop jump off an 8” box – 2 sets 5 reps
Drop jump off of a 10” box – 1 set 5 reps
Drop jump off of an 8” box 1 set 5 reps
Drop jumps off of a 10” box 2 sets 5 reps
Drop jump off of a 12” box 1 set 5 reps
You will progress in this fashion each week until you can handle a drop jump from a 24” box without any technical breakdown. From this point you would incorporate jumps, skips, bounds & hops into your workouts.
Week – 5
Agility Ladder speed jumps – 2 sets
6” hurdle jump and stick – 2 sets
6” hurdle speed jumps – 2 sets
Total of 32 contacts
6” drop jump to 4 – 6” hurdle jumps – 2 sets
Squat jump stick & jump – 2 sets 5 reps
Skip for height – 2 sets – 15 yds
Total of 30 total contacts
8” drop jump to a vertical jump – 2 sets 5 reps
Double leg jump – 15 yards – 2 sets
Skip for distance – 15 yards – 2 sets
Total of 40 contacts
You would progress through the weeks dropping off of higher boxes to vertical & linear jumps as well as jumping over higher hurdles but with every jump have as little ground contact time as possible. If you feel that your feet are sticking to the ground then the box drop height is to high or the hurdle jump height is to high.