Jul
10

The Application of Elasticity

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In the "biology of elasticity" we discussed pure science of the quality, which is very specific unlike the vague internet definitions you here floating around the profession these days. Here that science will come to life in a very purposeful way that can easily be applied to your training program.

The Methods

If we are looking for the biggest bang for your buck method to develop a quality, in this case elasticity, look no further than depth jumps/hops. Let me first say that for this blog post is not for beginners. What I outline from here forward is meant for upper intermediate and advanced athletes in your system. With that said, developing lower extremity elasticity is less about the exercises you choose and more about how, when, and with whom you perform depth jumps/hops. However there’s a number of guidelines I use that I feel make the difference between developing truly significant lower body elasticity and merely spinning your wheels on air. Below is a list of them that I “stole” from Dr.Verkhoshansky, Dr.Siff, Joel Jamieson, James Smith, and many other European training theory followers regarding depth jumps/hops. These are based on both scientific research and professional experience:

Programming

  • Depth Jumps/hops should always be proceeded by loaded ballistic exercises (barbell/KB jump squats) and further proceeded by unloaded ballistic exercises (traditional long amortization plyometrics)
  • Depth jumps/hops are best done with other explosive qualities ("blocked") in a program, by itself, or with similar sporting event practices.
  • Only perform depth jump/hops after reaching training potential of other means.
  • Training effect residuals tend to be about 6-8 days and therefore should be ceased 8-14 days before competitions.
  • Should be done in the off-season only. However, if level of athlete can handle stress or if coach desires a brief CNS stimulation, 2×10 depth jumps can be performed in-season but must ensure complete recovery before next competition.
  • Best done before any strength training.
  • It’s optimal when depth jumps are the only exercise performed in the session.
  • Never load them intensely at a high volume for more than 3 weeks at a time.  Ultimately, the period of depth jumps/hops ends when you reach the total load volume described below.
  • Be careful not to let the athletes standing countermovement jump decrease more than 3 during the peak loading. If it does, the stimulus is likely too great.
  • Depth jumps/hops are not for beginners and/or young athletes. Only intermediate and advanced trainees.
  • Frequency for Advanced athletes – 2-3x/week maximum
  • Frequency for Intermediate athletes – 1x/week maximum
  • Throwers and Jumpers should fulfill depth jump/hop requirements 3-4 days before training “main” exercise
  • Can be performed vertically or horizontally
  • 2 Legged version – Generally, start with a height of 18-24 and never exceed 46 even for advanced athletes
  • 2 Legged version – Generally, if desiring an optimal reactivity (drop height minus jump height) or “explosive strength” use about 30”. If desiring a greater contribution from maximal strength during the jump/hop use about 43”.
  • 2 Legged version – For large athletes progress from 18” to 30”. Do not increase the height much from there.
  • 1 Legged version – Start with a height of 18 and stay roughly around 18-20” even for advanced athletes
  • Loading parameters per session should range from 20 reps (2×10) to no more than 40 reps (4×10) for two series, with 10-15 minutes rest between series.
  • Volume per block/phase should never exceed 300-400 repetitions.
  • Gradually increase series from 1 to 4.
  • Between reps use approximately a 1-2min (according to Verkhoshansky) or a 10-30sec rest period (according to Joel Jamieson) either by active recovery means or simply standing or walking around slowly.

Coaching

  • It’s CRUCIAL that the mindset during the depth jump/hop is to not THINK particularly about minimizing landing time. The research has shown that optimal jump height/distance is obtained when the athletes are simply told to “land softly and jump as high as possible!” A coaching cue to “try and spend as less time on the ground as possible” will cause the athlete to think about this on the decent towards the ground, which as Verkhoshansky has shown, causes a loss of reflexive nature that comes along with the unconscious action of “just reach the highest/farthest jump/hop height you can!” So to reiterate, the athlete must not think about the landing itself and is only concentrated on the take off phase of the movement.
  • Conversely, for large athletes, allow a decrease in end result performance by having them focus on the landing with a good knee bend.
  • Ensure the athlete reaches with his arms during the take off portion.

 

 

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