Saturday, December 29, 2012

How Track Athletes' Jumps Differ from Ball Players' Jumps

Yes, athletes in track and field jump (plyometrics) with different technique than ballplayers. Any jump program has to be designed with your sport in mind.

Track and field athletes use heel-to-toe push-offs when doing the long jump, triple jump and high jump. Ballplayers in sports like basketball, football, baseball, etc. jump using the balls of their feet.

Track and field athletes jump after taking a pre-run, such as running and doing the high jump (pictured below). Ballplayers jump in reaction to unexpected situations or they must jump quickly from a standstill or running position.

So, your plyometric program should include exercises that closely mimic movements in your sport (sport specific training or transfer-of-training effect). It makes no sense for a track and field athlete to practice squat jumps (pictured below) or standing long jumps. Ballplayers do these exercises all the time.

Plyometric exercises should also progress from simple to complex. For instance, you would practice simple bounding exercises before progressing to depth jumps.

Practice exercises that prepare you for your sport!

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