Plyometrics-Jumping Exercises for Athletes

Box Jump          Weighted Box Jump          Depth Jump          Seated Box Jump          Box Broad Jump         


Plyometrics:

Plyometrics are exercises performed with enough force to create flight. The force produced must be high enough to exceed the force of gravity at completion. The most basic form of plyometrics is jumping. To jump, your muscles must exert a force on the ground greater than the force of your weight. The greater the force beyond this point, the higher your body will be projected. By increasing the height jumped, you increase the intensity. A near maximal box jump produces muscle contraction similar to a near maximal squat or deadlift. Though the exercises are different, the muscle stimulus is very similar. By doing plyometrics exercises before maximal lifts, you can better prepare your body to handle the high intensity. Plyometrics can be done for all the main lifts, however only jump variations have been found to be most safe and effective for increasing maximal strength while using bodyweight . For upper body plyometrics lighter loads are more effective than bodyweight due to the high intensity relative to the main lifts. For all plyometrics exercises, push for new heights every few weeks in order to continue your strength progression.


“If you jump for the moon, you will never reach the stars. If you jump for the stars, you will greatly surpass all of your expectations. Reach higher, push for more and always believe you can do better.”


Box Jump:

Purpose- Build Explosive Power, Teach Jumping Mechanics, Build Maximal Leg and Hip Power

Prime Movers- Hamstring Complex (Legs), Quadriceps (Legs), Glutes (Hips), Gastrocnemius (Calves)

Variations- Weighted Box Jump, Box Broad Jump, Single Leg Box Jump, Box Squat Box Jump, Depth Jumps

Equipment Set-Up:

Set up one or more boxes on top of each other until you reach a desired intensity and always check that it is stable to jump on before making any attempts. The box height is useful in determining intensity as well as decreasing the stress placed upon your body during the landing phase. Always set the box to a height that is difficult, but manageable, and try to jump into the center of the structure rather than just the edge.

During all box jump variations, there should be steps set up to walk down before the next attempt. Stepping down from high box jumps greatly decreases the amount of stress placed upon your body, so you can then use most of your energy for the strength building exercises afterwards.

Preparation:

  • Stand erect with your feet shoulder width apart, or closer.
  • Begin your wind-up by quickly raising your hands overhead with your arms extended while fully extending your hips and arching your back.
  • Quickly reverse this motion by pulling your hands down, flexing your hip and lowering yourself into a half squat.
  • Internally rotate your hands as they extend behind your torso and allow your hips to open as you squat down.

The Jump:

  • Forcefully reverse your preparation motions by quickly extending your ankles, knees and hips.
  • Lead with your arms by raising your hands forward and up to further propel your body into flight.
  • Press hard into the ground during the takeoff and make sure to fully extend your hips, knees and ankles simultaneously to get the most out of each movement.
  • While in the air, curl your knees up towards your chest and use your hands for balance.

Landing:

  • Try to land softly onto the box in a Paleo squat position.
  • Let the balls of your feet touch first to control the descent rather than stomping with your heels.
  • After landing, check your positioning before standing and walking down to prepare for the next repetition.

Things to Remember:

  • Let your hands lead the movement, moving as fast as possible
  • Rebound out of the half squat quickly, with force
  • Use your entire body in unison to get the most force production
  • Land softly on the box
  • Step down safely from the box to prevent unnecessary joint and muscle damage

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Weighted Box Jump:

Purpose- Build Explosive Power, Teach Jumping Mechanics, Build Maximal Leg and Hip Power

Prime Movers- Hamstring Complex (Legs), Quadriceps (Legs), Glutes (Hips), Gastrocnemius (Calves)

Equipment Set-Up:

Set up one or more boxes on top of each other until you reach a desired intensity and always check that it is stable to jump on before making any attempts. The box height is useful in determining intensity as well as decreasing the stress placed upon your body during the landing phase. Always set the box to a height that is difficult, but manageable, and try to jump into the center of the structure rather than just the edge.

During all box jump variations, there should be steps set up to walk down before the next attempt. Stepping down from high box jumps greatly decreases the amount of stress placed upon your body, so you can then use most of your energy for the strength building exercises afterwards.

Preparation:

  • Stand erect with your feet shoulder width apart, or closer, while holding two dumbbells at your sides.
  • Begin your wind-up by fully extending your hips and arching your back, while keeping your arms relaxed at your sides.
  • Quickly reverse this motion by flexing your hip and lowering yourself into a half squat, while having your arms stay extended vertically at your sides.
  • Allow your hips to open as you squat down and maintain a neutral spine.

The Jump:

  • Forcefully reverse your preparation motions by quickly extending your ankles, knees and hips.
  • Press hard into the ground during the takeoff and make sure to fully extend your hips, knees and ankles simultaneously to get the most out of each movement.
  • Keep the dumbbells close to your sides, near your center of mass (approximately your belly button height)
  • While in the air, curl your knees up towards your chest and use your hands for balance.

Landing:

  • Try to land softly onto the box in a Paleo squat position.
  • Let the balls of your feet touch first to control the descent rather than stomping with your heels.
  • After landing, check your positioning before standing and walking down to prepare for the next repetition.

Things to Remember:

  • Let your arms stay relaxed to your sides throughout the movement
  • Rebound out of the half squat quickly, with force
  • Use your entire body in unison to get the most force production
  • Land softly on the box
  • Step down safely from the box to prevent unnecessary joint and muscle damage

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Depth Jumps:

Purpose- Build Explosive Power, Teach Proper Landing Mechanics, Build Maximal Leg and Hip Power, Increase Eccentric Landing Strength

Prime Movers- Calves (Gastrocnemius), Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstring Complex

Equipment Set-Up:

Set up one or more boxes on top of each other until you reach a desired intensity and always check that it is stable to stand on before making any attempts. The box height is used for determining intensity. Always set the box to a height that is difficult, but manageable.

During all depth jump variations, there should be steps placed to walk up before the next attempt, in order to save energy for the movement. Always check the landing space is level and clear of any obstructions before dropping down.

Preparation:

  • Begin by standing on top of a sturdy box, near the edge.
  • Hold your hands out in front of your torso and raise one foot so that it hangs out in front of the edge of the box.

The Drop:

  • Quickly leap about one foot out in front of the box set-up.
  • Prepare to land softly.

The Landing:

  • Lead with the balls of your feet as you touch the ground.
  •  Allow your hips, knees and ankles to flex simultaneously.
  • Try to land softly and silently, controlling your bodyweight.
  • Let your arms drop to your sides as they carry the momentum downward
  • Press your knees outward as you land while flexing your glutes.
  • Hold the base position for two seconds to check your form and get your body used to landing properly.
  • Adjust positioning as necessary before standing.

Things to Remember:

  • Land soft and silent, controlling your body.
  • Lead with the balls of your feet.
  • push your knees outward as you land.
  • Pause in the base position.

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Seated Box Jump:

Purpose- Build Explosive Power, Teach Jumping Mechanics, Teach Squat Mechanics, Build Maximal Leg and Hip Power

Prime Movers- Hamstring Complex, Quadriceps, Glutes, Calves (Gastrocnemius)

Equipment Set-Up:

Set up one or more boxes on top of each other until you reach a desired intensity and always check that it is stable to jump on before making any attempts. The box height is useful in determining intensity as well as decreasing the stress placed upon your body during the landing phase. Always set the box to a height that is difficult, but manageable, and try to jump into the center of the structure rather than just the edge.

During all box jump variations, there should be steps set up to walk down before the next attempt. Stepping down from high box jumps greatly decreases the amount of stress placed upon your body, so you can then use most of your energy for the strength building exercises afterwards.

Preparation:

  • Stand erect with your feet in your squat stance, or closer.
  • Begin your wind-up by quickly raising your hands overhead with your arms extended while fully extending your hips and arching your back.
  • Quickly reverse this motion by pulling your hands down, flexing your hip and lowering yourself softly onto a box set below parallel.
  • Internally rotate your hands as they extend behind your torso and allow your hips to open as you squat down onto the box.
  • Rock back onto the box slightly, the same as a box squat.

The Jump:

  • Forcefully reverse your preparation motions by leaning forward as you pull your heels backward into the ground before quickly extending your ankles, knees and hips.
  • Lead with your arms by raising your hands forward and up to further propel your body into flight.
  • Press hard into the ground during the takeoff and make sure to fully extend your hips, knees and ankles simultaneously to get the most out of each movement.
  • While in the air, curl your knees up towards your chest and use your hands for balance.

Landing:

  • Try to land softly onto the box in a Paleo squat position.
  • Let the balls of your feet touch first to control the descent rather than stomping with your heels.
  • After landing, check your positioning before standing and walking down to prepare for the next repetition.

Things to Remember:

  • Let your hands lead the movement, moving as fast as possible
  • Relax onto the box and rock back
  • Curl your heels into the ground to ascend from the box while leaning forward
  • Use your entire body in unison to get the most force production
  • Land softly on the box
  • Step down safely from the box to prevent unnecessary joint and muscle damage

Back To Top

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Box Broad Jump:

Purpose- Build Explosive Power, Teach Jumping Mechanics, Build Maximal Leg and Hip Power

Prime Movers- Hamstring Complex, Quadriceps, Glutes, Calves (Gastrocnemius)

Equipment Set-Up:

Set up one or more boxes on top of each other until you reach a desired intensity and always check that it is stable to jump on before making any attempts. The box height is useful in determining intensity as well as decreasing the stress placed upon your body during the landing phase. Always set the box to a height that is difficult, but manageable, and try to jump into the center of the structure rather than just the edge.

During all box jump variations, there should be steps set up to walk down before the next attempt. Stepping down from high box jumps greatly decreases the amount of stress placed upon your body, so you can then use most of your energy for the strength building exercises afterwards.

Note: With this box jump variation, ensure that the box will not flip over upon landing due to the horizontal force and allow for a way to stop yourself (a wall) from going too far forward after landing.

Preparation:

  • Stand erect with your feet shoulder width apart, or closer, at least 3 feet or more from a box.
  • Begin your wind-up by quickly raising your hands overhead with your arms extended while fully extending your hips and arching your back.
  • Quickly reverse this motion by pulling your hands down, flexing your hip and lowering yourself into a half squat.
  • Internally rotate your hands as they extend behind your torso and allow your hips to open as you squat down.

The Jump:

  • Forcefully reverse your preparation motions by quickly extending your ankles, knees and hips.
  • Lead with your arms by raising your hands forward and up to further propel your body into flight.
  • Press hard into the ground during the takeoff and make sure to fully extend your hips, knees and ankles simultaneously to get the most out of each movement.
  • While in the air, curl your knees up towards your chest and use your hands for balance.

Landing:

  • Try to land softly onto the box in a Paleo squat position.
  • Let the balls of your feet touch first to control the descent rather than stomping with your heels.
  • After landing, check your positioning before standing and walking down to prepare for the next repetition.

Things to Remember:

  • Let your hands lead the movement, moving as fast as possible
  • Rebound out of the half squat quickly, with force
  • Use your entire body in unison to get the most force production
  • Land softly on the box
  • Step down safely from the box to prevent unnecessary joint and muscle damage
  • Increase the intensity by raising the box height or starting farther away

Back To Top

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