Cam Burnside- Director of Performance & Coaching
What is the key fundamental for jumping higher/longer or running faster (apart from technique obviously, duh.)?
Rapid/violent “TRIPLE EXTENSION”
By this I mean hip extension, knee extension and ankle plantar flexion.
So what does this actually mean?
Basically we are talking hip hinge mechanics. There is no doubt that to get better at jumping/running your need to do it, and have a coach that understands how to coach the techniques and prioritize motor control development for landing patterns etc. But in order to develop the physiological and neurological attributes of power and speed you need to specifically train this.
A coach must understand rate of force development (ROFD) amongst other training variables to even stand a chance of improving these physiological and neurological qualities. What I mean is:
Do you understand eccentric loading?
Do you understand the stretch shortening cycle?
Do you understand rapid concentric contractions?
Do you know how to correct an athlete’s mechanics for compensatory patterns they have developed from years of incorrect training in regards to generating force?
If you do understand these and know how to use variables correctly then you should have you or your athletes using exercises such as:
POWER CLEAN FROM BLOCKS (only experienced coaches should teach this not, Personal trainers who watch YouTube)
(OR clean pull from blocks for less advanced athletes)
The reason you need this is, look at the angle of the hip at the start position of the movement from the blocks. This is very similar to the forward lean when an athlete initially accelerates when running. As the athlete accelerates the posterior chain, in particular glutes, hamstrings and calves rapidly contract causing the violent triple extension we talked about earlier.
Doing this movement for reps and with little to no rest WILL NOT develop the qualities we are talking about. Doing this for 2-5 reps for 8-3 sets with sub maximal load emphasizing quality of movement and bar speed, with adequate rest intervals (over 60 seconds depending on load and standard of athlete) will improve you or the athlete’s ability to generate greater force therefore increasing the chance of jumping higher/running faster.
You must understand that in this gym based exercise we are training the physiological and neurological qualities that improve power/speed that’ll only help so much if your technique (for jumping/running) is rubbish.