Foundational Plyometrics for an Explosive Base
On my path to a 44 inch vertical, I learned a HUGE training lesson. One that created a shift in my coaching, athleticism, and programming.
For six months, I tested different training protocols, and I sprinkled in different movements. I tried using cleans, then box squats, and more as primary compound lifts.
I wanted to leave no stone unturned…
But, I hit a wall
It wasn’t until two things happened that I finally got the progress I was looking for. And I got it fast.
- I discovered Triphasic Training
- I went back to basics
In other words, my chase for a 44 inch vertical led me back to the beginning. Back to movements that make most athletes’ eyes roll with boredom. Movements that seem basic. Movements that no Instagram IG trainer would even think of throwing up on his page.
However, these movements accelerated my progress.
They raised my explosive capacity, allowing me to perform more explosive movement over longer durations.
They isolated each joint that plays a role in the vertical jump and built their ability to produce force.
In other words, they helped put me on the fast track to a bigger vertical.
And now, I want to share them with you to accelerate your jump training. These movements may seem basic on the surface, but if you can focus on them while other guys are performing nonsense movements that have no practical application… You’re laying the foundation for more explosiveness, more athletic success, and faster progress.
Let’s jump into them:
Pogo jumps have become a staple in a lot of my programs. They’re easy to progress, they’re effective, and they’re versatile. They can play a role in your vertical jump, speed, and even agility.
The main goal with pogo jumps is to build the explosive capacity of the ankle, or raise its ability to produce force. While you’re doing that, you’re also building the force absorption capacity by landing softly on the ground after each jump.
How to Perform Pogo Jumps:
Start with your feet flat on the floor, standing up tall. Relax your knees (don’t bend, don’t lock out) and push through the ankle, using as little knee as possible. Land softly, spend as little time on the ground as possible, and transition into another jump.
Make sure you stay under control when performing your pogo jumps. Don’t move forward, back, or side to side. And make sure you get up as high as possible.
Variations for Pogo Jumps: Forward Pogo’s, Single Leg Pogo’s, Alternating Pogo’s, Lateral Pogo’s, Weighted Pogo’s
Moving up the line we have squat jumps. Squat jumps get the hip and knee involved in the equation. Squat jumps accomplish the same goal as the pogo jump, except for the hip and knee. They raise the explosive capacity, as well as the work capacity of these joints, allowing them to produce more powerful movements over a longer duration of time.
They can also be modified to help you build towards a bigger vertical jump, faster sprint, or more agility.
How to Perform Squat Jumps:
Start with your feet flat on the floor, standing up tall. Descend to vertical jump depth by pushing the hips back slightly and bending the knees. Explode up by extending the hips and knees and using your arms. Land soft, spend as little time on the ground as possible, and transition into your next jump.
Make sure you stay under control with your squat jumps as well. Try and jump and land in the same spot every time
Variations for Squat Jumps: Forward Squat Jumps, Lateral Squat Jumps, Weighted Squat Jumps
Next we have lunge jumps. Lunge jumps are unilateral plyometrics that target the hip and knee, but place slightly more emphasis on the knee. With this movement, we’re teaching the athlete to produce force off of one leg, and we have a chance to work out any side-to-side imbalances.
Again, the goals are the same as the previous jumps. We want to raise the explosive capacity and work capacity of the hip and knee so the athlete can perform powerful movements for longer durations.
How to Perform Lunge Jumps:
The main key with lunge jumps is that you do not get as much depth as you would with a weighted lunge. I tell my athletes to get to about quarter squat depth in their lunge jumps. This is so the athlete can keep their weight on their front leg, and because this depth is more specific to a jump.
Keep this is mind while performing them.
Variations for Lunge Jumps: Weighted Lunge Jumps
Low Squat Jumps
The final movement I want to share is the low squat jumps. Low squat jumps can get pretty challenging, but they’re a great movement to teach the athlete to produce force in the absence of the hip and knee. They’re also a great force absorption movement.
How to Perform Low Squat Jumps:
Lower your hips down to parallel. Place your weight on the balls of the feet, but make sure the heels aren’t off the ground. The heels should only be off the ground enough to slide a sheet of paper under the heels. From there, push though the ankle and get off the ground as high as you can. For the entire duration you’re jumping and landing, make sure the hips and knees stay locked.
That means they don’t rise or sink for the duration of your set.
Progressing Your Jump Training Further
I just laid out step one of your vertical jump progression.
Once you’ve mastered these movements, you can move up the jump training ladder.
If you want to know where to go next, you’ll find the answers inside of my Free Advanced Vertical Series.
Inside this video series, I spill most of my jump training secrets, and give you the skeleton of how to accelerate your jump training.