Brandon and I decided to have a little Friday afternoon fun with some box jumps. Starting with our 30 inch box, we continued to add plates, creeping up to our last jumps of 45 1/2 inches.
Jumping is a skill that has virtually disappeared from most fitness programs. Jumping is a very useful skill. The mechanics should involve the ankles, knees, hips, and arms. These same mechanics are rooted in many other exercises. Think about push pressing, push jerking, cleans, snatches, swings, and burpees. Coordinated timing and powerful extension will get you air time. Here are some tips to get you jumping.
- Mental Focus! This is very important. Many people are intimidated by the obstacle in front of them. Strart with a low box and work your way up. You must stay positive and don't hesitate!
- Use the hips! Many people want to jump from the ankles. You need to utilize the powerful muscles in your legs and hips. Bend into a quarter or half squat and quickly chance direction with a powerful extension.
- Use the arms. The swinging motion of your arms will generate momentum. As you dip, swing your arms back. Swing them forward as you initiate your jump. They should end up extended in front for balance.
Tuck. Once you leave the ground your body will only go so high. You will need to gain space by drawing your knees back up towards your chest.
Land softly. The sound you make will tell you if you are moving like a cat. Tucking to gain height will produce a partial squat. Utilize this position upon landing. This position also tells you that you are anticipating your landing and bending to absorb the shock.
Get down safely! You have worked so hard to complete a beautiful jump. Don't screw it up by jumping down carelessly. Jumping down requires the same anticipation of landing and should be met with a bend in the knees and hips. Make it soft and if you are in doubt, simply step down.