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8 Jump Training Drills to Be a More Explosive Athlete

Brett Kuehn

Exerting maximal force in minimal time is having explosive strength and being explosive is essential in just about every sport.  It’s been proven that displaying high levels of explosive power is believed to be one of the most important factors in determining athletic success according to Jeffrey McBride, Travis Tripleett-McBride Allan Davie and Robert Newton in their research studying power lifters, Olympic lifters and sprinters.

Jump training or plyometrics consists of quick, explosive movements designed to increase speed and power.  Jump training drills maximize muscle contraction by strengthening the fast-twitch muscle fibers that convert strength into speed.  When an athlete can increase the strength of the tendons they not only help with reducing injury but also can be more explosive.

Below are 8 great jump training drills to be more explosive.  These drills can be used to increase an athlete's vertical jump for basketball, jump higher in volleyball, run faster in track, change direction faster in football or be a more explosive athlete.  

  1. Lateral Jumps

When playing sports an athlete is constantly moving side-to-side.  Lateral jump drills will help improve sports performance for those athletes that frequently change direction, cut, and pivot.  Intent is critical here and the athlete needs to give effort with minimal ground contact.

2. Single Leg Bounds

Single leg bounds help athletes increase leg strength, power, explosive coordination and sprint speed.   Make sure the athlete aims for maximum power and minimum ground contact time on each repetition.

3. Squat Jumps

The squat jump is actually used quite a bit to measure lower-body power.  As well as improve explosive hip extension which is the foundation of athletic movement.

4. Tuck Jumps

A more advanced exercise than the squat jump is the tuck jump.  When the knees are tucked during the movement the athlete increases abdominal and hip flexor activity which can help develop motor mechanics that are used during an athletes sport.  

5. Depth Jumps

Depth jumps are another great jump training drill to improve reactive strength as well as one of the best jump exercises to increase an athlete's vertical jump.

6. Split Squat Jumps

This jumping movement is a movement that involves the ankles, knees, and hip flexing to produce triple extension.  This jump training drill will help the athlete support themselves on one leg explosively.

7. Broad Jumps

The standing long jump (broad jump) is the test used in the NFL combine.  It’s used to test for explosive leg power. One key to the broad jump is maintaining your balance at the end of each jump.

8. 180 Jumps

This drill will help with landing coordination as well as develop explosive leg power.  

Jump training drills and plyometrics require no equipment and can be done just about anywhere.  These drills can easily be implemented into any training regiment. If you want to find more drills check out the VertiMax App which includes drills for every sport.   

Brett Kuehn is a sports enthusiast, health seeker, athlete, and mentor to #TeamVertiMax. He is a USMC veteran and is a business development professional at VertiMax. Brett’s passion is to help others achieve their goals whether they are an athlete looking to improve their speed, agility, and vertical; a coach looking to help their athletes gain an edge, or a sports performance owner or trainer seeking new ways to increase their business. Learn more at VertiMax.com and follow Brett on IG @BrettAKuehn Twitter @BrettAKuehn

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