Research has shown a definitive correlation between jumping ability and running performance, including speed and agility. Generally, there is a stronger correlation based on the sprint distance. The contribution of muscle power may be most important in shorter distance sprints (for example, 60, 100, and 200 meters), although middle- and long-distance running performance is positively impacted, as well. Development of muscle power — via jump training — should be considered as a component for training for most sports, including both sprinters and middle- and long-distance runners.
Running velocity, including the ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction quickly, has been shown to be a function of force and power production. The high-power output associated with jumping activities has led researchers to determine that jumping tests could be used as a predictor of running performance.
Force and power are obvious components of running ability. Maximal squat strength has been significantly correlated to sprint performance. So, how do you incorporate strength and power training — including jump training — into your strength and conditioning regimen in a relevant way?
Before you start jump training, including plyometrics, you’ve got to be strong. In order to be safe and effective, high-intensity power training requires adequate strength. Bilateral, lower-body strength exercises like the squat, deadlift, and Romanian deadlift will help you build a strong foundation. Unilateral exercises like the stepup and Bulgarian split squat are more functional, requiring strength and stability
Plyometrics are the most effective way to build lower-extremity power. These exercises, done correctly, are designed to help you generate the greatest possible force in the shortest amount of time. Jumping rope and jumping jacks are basic plyometric exercises, and a good place to start. Once proficient at these exercises, you can progress to multiple, continuous box and hurdle jumps.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!