Complete Track and Field

Plyometric / Bounding Drill Progressions

 

The use of plyometrics / bounding is fundamental to the training programs for jumpers and sprinters.  Using them constructively and through periodization (seasonal and organized phases) will enhance performance and reduce the risks of injury.

From basic through advanced training, novice to elite athletes can progress (using plyo’s) in any event requiring speed and power. The photo sequences contained in this article are organized from a perspective of specific warm-up, general drill progressions for posture, rhythm, and force application.  The proper use of dorsiflexion, posture (tall stance with proper hip angle), balance, coordinated rhythm, and “active contact” are utilized with these drills.

SPECIFIC WARM-UP – denotes the use of smooth and rhythmic movements that relate to the skills of successful jumpers. Among these skills are acceleration, increase of force production, triple extension (hip, knee, and ankle extended) in take-offs.  These movements *shown above are precursors to the use of advanced drills.

Rhythm Skip/Hops

Double Leg Hops

Mini (Hurdle) Double Leg Hops

*not shown – Skips for Height and Skips for Distance

GENERAL DRILL PROGRESSIONS - these activities range from double leg hops; low box double leg jumps using “active landings” (flat to rolling contacts with immediate rebound into the next jump) caveat – these movements are more dynamic than the warm-up. Athlete should use medium to high intensity in execution.

BEGINNING BOX DRILLS – these platforms may be 10cm / 4” – 76cm / 30”

*my experience ranges from youth to collegiate training; coaches observation and better yet pre-testing for strength should be the determining factor.

DOUBLE LEG JUMP GROUND – BOX – GROUND – BOX …….

ALTERNATING LEG – GROUND – BOX – GROUND – BOX……. R-L-R-L

SINGLE LEG – GROUND – BOX – GROUND – BOX……. R-R-R-R-to L-L-L-L

ADVANCING BOUNDING – this is basic bounding, but with the addition of cones.

“Target Bounding” can be a workout of its own. Adjust the cones at distances that challenge each athlete. Regardless of the measure, it’s vital to maintain postural control and balance. Avoid reaching! This negates any benefits of any drill of this nature!

In each landing, the hip should be over the contact foot!!

It’s also a benefit to use a landing pit to work on full extension at the finish. The next segment will include box drills and training for the advanced athlete.

 

Rhythm Skip/Hop

MG1-RythemSkipHop

Starting position

MG2-StartingPosition

Active skip to short hop

Active Skip to Short Hop

Active Skip to Short Hop

MG4-MaintainUprightPosture-DorsiflexFoot

Maintain upright posture / dorsiflexed foot

MG5-PushVertically

Push vertically!

MG6-Use ArmSwingRunning

Use arm swing as if running

 

Double Leg Hop

MG7-DoubleLegHop

MG8-FlattoRollingActiveContact

Flat to “rolling” active contact.

  Mini (Hurdle) Double Leg Hops

MG9-MiniHurdleDoubleLegHops

Standing start position

MG10-LandFlatwithMinimalKneeFlexion

Land Flat with minimal knee flexion.

MG11-KeepHeadinNeutralPosition

Keep head in a neutral position.

MG12-KeepFeetDorsiflexedBeforeLanding

Keep head in a neutral position.

MG13-MaintainPostureWhileActive

Maintain posture while active.

 

 Advanced Bounding Drills

MG14-RunOverTakeOff

Run over the take-off, hip over plant step,
keep the head, shoulders, and hips over the contact foot!

MG15-MaintainUprightPosture

Maintain upright posture, “toe up”.
(dorsiflexion) with lead foot (knee over foot)

MG16-EmphasizeTripleExtensiononLanding

Emphasize triple extension on landing phase.

 

Beginning Box Drills

MG17-UtilizeStandingStart

> Utilize a standing start
> Push on take-off
> avoid reaching
> extend through the hips
> THESE DRILLS CAN BE R-L-R-L
OR R-R-L-L…….
> consider the maturity and ability of each athlete!

MG18-LandwithHipOverFoot

> Land with hip over the foot.

MG19-KeepKneeFlexiontoMinimum

> Keep knee flexion to a minimum.

MG20-KeepLandingsActive

> Keep landings active.

MG21-AvoidAggressiveKneeDrive

> Avoid aggressive knee drive, roll the foot contact, push the hip vertically.

MG22-MaintainVelocitythruFinish

> Maintain velocity through the finish.

 

 

Double Leg Box Drills

MG23-ForBeginnersDLBD

For beginners / Good introduction for teaching force application and rhythm.

MG24-UseStandingStart

Use standing starts for beginner drills.

MG25-KeepPostureUpright

Keep posture upright and stable, move the hips/feet over the center of the box!

MG26-KeepLandingActive

Keep landing active with control and good posture!

MG27-HipExtensionisVital

Hip extension is vital to learning proper force application.

MG28-WorkonLandingMechanics

Work on landing mechanics.

Errors and Corrections

MG29-HipsBehindFeet

Hips are behind the feet, emphasize active pushing and keeping hips high.

MG30-SomeKneeFlexion

Though some knee flexion is necessary for safety, a squat position leads to a slower movement and longer contact to ground or box; working on eccentric strength and core stability will help with this issue.

MG31-ForwardLean

Forward lean and anterior pelvic tilt prevent the athlete from using force properly and compromises the ability to balance as well as reduce the mobility of the hip flexors; postural drills and hurdle mobility drills can reinforce postural integrity.

 

Plyometric / Bounding Drill Progressions, PtII

Part I of this article, above, emphasized the importance of programming plyometrics, especially box jumps, for the sprinter and jumper. Elementary skills (hops, skips, double leg jumps, and low obstacle drills) are precursors to advancing jump training. These should be combined with body circuits, core training, and resistance training making these workouts similar to complex training – this is the combination of weight/power training and supplemental jump drills

* The athlete depicted in this article weighs approximately 67 kg. and power cleans 88 kg. Fall training consisted of fundamental bounds at 6 X 30 meters, including multiple hop and double leg jumps. These were executed on a Monday/Thursday. Much of the sprint training was 4X4X10-20-30-40 meter repeats . Tuesdays were 6-8 120meter hill repeats. The box bounding began in early November, “low volume and graduating intensity” – boxes were 25 cm. / 10 in. in height.

The distance ratios and box heights were determined by “pre-testing”.

Several of the jumpers I coached “never” reached a level of strength to perform the more challenging drills. This is the fine art of coaching; I do not believe in “cookie cutter” programs where all athletes do the same workouts. Captions below photos state critical points when viewing performance!

Coaching Resource: Complete Program Design for the Jumping Events (High School, College) with Boo Schexnayder

 

Advanced Box Training for the Horizontal Jumps

MG33-PostureandHipAlignment

Posture and hip alignment are excellent; lead knee over foot preparing for contact.

MG34-ArmsWereBack

Arms were back and now forward accelerating torso.

MG35-TripleExtension

Triple extension of hips, knee, and ankle;
posture remains upright.

MG36-HipsStayAligned

Hips stay aligned over plant foot,
a vital part of maintaining acceleration!

MG37-ArmsPositionedBehindHips

Arms are positioned behind the hips
coordinated with foot, contact for momentum.
Take note of the swing leg position.

MG38-SwingLegDoesNotDrive

Swing leg does not drive above the waist line!
The hip is the rudder!

MG39-MomentumisMaintained

Momentum is maintained with chest up and focus up and forward.

MG40-UpperBodyErect

Arms “block” at chin before rising to counter rotation.

MG41-ShouldersChestRemainUpright

Shoulders and chest remain upright as long as possible on landing.

 

Maintenance of posture, rhythm, balance, and momentum are the determining factors in making box workouts safe and effective! The posterior chain, core, and lower leg/feet complex must be conditioned! Even very strong athletes who have no experience in bounding and elastic strength activities may have difficulty in executing basic bounding drills. Much of the learning and success of plyometric training is interconnection of the nervous system to the muscular system. This includes fascia, muscle/tendon apparatus, and overall joint integrity.  I strongly encourage readers to explore Complete Track and Field.com for a better understanding of the specifics of jump training!

Mike Goss

Email me @: jumpdocg@yahoo.com