Tag Archives: squat jump

Build Explosive Power with the Dumbbell Squat Jump Pyramid

11 Aug

Dumbbell Squat Jump

Here’s a simple but challenging, triple-extension “finisher” we use for some of our athletes at Athletic Performance Training Center to build and develop leg drive and lower-body explosive power.

Here’s how to perform our Dumbbell Squat Jump Pyramid:

  • Grab a pair of 15 lb. dumbbells and do five (5) squat jumps
  • Immediately grab a pair of 20 lb. dumbbells and do four (4) squat jumps, followed by
  • 25 lb. dumbbells – three (3) squat jumps
  • 30 lb. dumbbells – two (2) squat jumps
  • 35 lb. dumbbells – one (1) squat jump
  • Repeat two (2) squat jumps with 30 lb. dumbbells
  • Three (3) squat jumps with 25 lb. dumbbells
  • Four (4) squat jumps with 20 lb. dumbbells
  • Finish with five (5) squat jumps with 15 lb. dumbbells

As your dumbbell weight increases, your repetitions decrease, until you do one rep with your heaviest dumbbell.  Then you reverse the process, decreasing dumbbell weight and increasing repetitions, until you reach the weight and reps with which you started.

Observe proper squat jump technique, as follows:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells at your sides.
  2. Start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively.
  3. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible (which requires control) and proceed to the next repetition.

You can adjust the weight of the dumbbells – lighter or heavier – to meet your needs.  For example, a lower-intensity (lighter dumbbells) pyramid might look like this:

Body weight – 3 lb. – 5 lb. – 8 lb. – 10 lb. – 8 lb. – 5 lb. – 3 lb. – body weight

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Jump to Build Your Explosiveness

23 Sep

Hockey-Squat-Jump[1]Most sports require lower-body strength and power, and the ability to generate explosive force — and release it powerfully — with your hips and legs.  The more power you’re able to generate, the easier and faster you’ll run and/or jump past your competition.

Body-weight squat jumps and broad jumps are a great addition to any training regimen.  Both employ forceful “triple extension” of the hips, knees, and ankles.

To perform the squat jump, stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Pull your elbows back, dip and push back your hips, and leap vertically.  When you land, drop into a squat with hips down and back, and knees bent and facing forward.  Complete 3-5 sets of up to 6 reps, with 30 seconds of rest between sets.

To perform the broad jump (standing long jump), use the same takeoff and landing form as the squat jump, but jump forward as far as you can.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Power Up Your Workout

18 Jul

plyometric_483x350_1[1]Plyometric pushups (aka, military pushups) and squat jumps are great additions to any workout because of the way they target your fast-twitch muscle fibers, leading to gains in muscle strength and size.

To perform a plyometric pushup, push yourself away from the ground with enough force so that you raise your hands off the floor between repetitions.  Try substituting this exercise for regular pushups or, for more of a challenge, perform a set of plyometric pushups immediately after a set of regular pushups.  If you’re not quite ready for ground-based plyometric pushups, try doing them with your hands on a bench (and feet on the floor) to reduce your load.

To perform a squat jump, stand with your feet slightly apart and knees aligned over your toes. Bend from the hips to lower your rear until you are in a full squat, keeping your back straight. Keep your knees aligned; don’t let them fall open. Push down with your heels and explode up into the air. Don’t let your knees hyperextend; keep them slightly bent. Go right back into a full squat when you land and repeat.  Similarly to plyometric pushups, you can substitute this exercise for regular squats or increase the intensity by doing squat jumps immediately after regular squats.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Improve Your Vertical Jump Performance with Jump Training

10 Jun

Hockey-Squat-Jump[1]The improvement of an athlete’s vertical jumping ability can contribute significantly to overall sports performance.  Basketball and volleyball players are obvious examples of athletes who benefit from the ability to execute a strong vertical jump (VJ).  However, most other athletes can also benefit from jump training, because many sport-specific movements rely upon extension of the hip, knees, and ankles (triple extension).

Vertical jumps use a forceful and rapid concentric (pushing) action of the leg muscles to create separation from the ground.  Fast-twitch (Type IIa) muscle is a major determinant of force production.  For more on fast-twitch muscle development, please refer to Developing Fast-Twitch Muscle to Improve Power Output.

The following are examples of different types of jumps that can help you improve your strength, explosive power, and athleticism:

A squat jump (SJ) is a vertical jump from a static start.  From the static start position, maximal concentric muscular action is exerted, using triple extension.  You can further improve force development by adding resistance (an external load), such as a hex barbell, dumbbells, or weighted vest.

A countermovement jump (CMJ) starts with a movement in the opposite direction of the jump, followed by an explosive upward movement.  In addition to loaded squat jumps, this movement is executed in Olympic lifts, such as high pulls, power snatches, and power cleans.

The one-step approach jump (1-step AJ) is an exercise where an athlete takes a step forward into a CMJ.  An example of the 1-step AJ is a volleyball player approaching the net during the execution of a spike.  It’s preferable to incorporate the 1-step AJ into an athlete’s jump training only after the athlete has demonstrated the ability to perform a technically correct SJ and CMJ.

Depth jumps (DJ) are a type of plyometric exercise that use potential energy and the force of gravity to store energy in the muscles and tendons.  The DJ is performed by having the athlete step off an elevated platform, landing, then reversing the movement into a powerful, vertical jump.  Depth jump training is a common training modality for improving lower extremity power and speed.

Jump training should always incorporate proper landing mechanics: The athlete should focus on landing with hips down and back; knees bent and pointing straight ahead; and on the entire surface of the foot (not only on the balls of the feet)

Athlete’s who engage in both strength training and VJ exercises have a better chance of improving their VJ performance to a greater degree than those who only strength train or jump train independently.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Jump to Build Your Explosiveness

12 Jul

Hockey-Squat-Jump[1]Most sports require lower-body strength and power, and the ability to generate explosive force — and release it powerfully — with your hips and legs.  The more power you’re able to generate, the easier and faster you’ll run and/or jump past your competition.

Body-weight squat jumps and broad jumps are a great addition to any training regimen.  Both employ forceful “triple extension” of the hips, knees, and ankles.

To perform the squat jump, stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Pull your elbows back, dip and push back your hips, and leap vertically.  When you land, drop into a squat with hips down and back, and knees bent and facing forward.  Complete 3-5 sets of up to 6 reps, with 30 seconds of rest between sets.

To perform the broad jump (standing long jump), use the same takeoff and landing form as the squat jump, but jump forward as far as you can.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Power Up Your Workout

31 May

plyometric_483x350_1[1]Plyometric pushups (aka, military pushups) and squat jumps are great additions to any workout because of the way they target your fast-twitch muscle fibers, leading to gains in muscle strength and size.

To perform a plyometric pushup, push yourself away from the ground with enough force so that you raise your hands off the floor between repetitions.  Try substituting this exercise for regular pushups or, for more of a challenge, perform a set of plyometric pushups immediately after a set of regular pushups.  If you’re not quite ready for ground-based plyometric pushups, try doing them with your hands on a bench (and feet on the floor) to reduce your load.

To perform a squat jump, stand with your feet slightly apart and knees aligned over your toes. Bend from the hips to lower your rear until you are in a full squat, keeping your back straight. Keep your knees aligned; don’t let them fall open. Push down with your heels and explode up into the air. Don’t let your knees hyperextend; keep them slightly bent. Go right back into a full squat when you land and repeat.  Similarly to plyometric pushups, you can substitute this exercise for regular squats or increase the intensity by doing squat jumps immediately after regular squats.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Improve Your Vertical Jump Performance with Jump Training

1 May

Hockey-Squat-Jump[1]The improvement of an athlete’s vertical jumping ability can contribute significantly to overall sports performance.  Basketball and volleyball players are obvious examples of athletes who benefit from the ability to execute a strong vertical jump (VJ).  However, most other athletes can also benefit from jump training, because many sport-specific movements rely upon extension of the hip, knees, and ankles (triple extension).

Vertical jumps use a forceful and rapid concentric (pushing) action of the leg muscles to create separation from the ground.  Fast-twitch (Type IIa) muscle is a major determinant of force production.  For more on fast-twitch muscle development, please refer to Developing Fast-Twitch Muscle to Improve Power Output.

The following are examples of different types of jumps that can help you improve your strength, explosive power, and athleticism:

A squat jump (SJ) is a vertical jump from a static start.  From the static start position, maximal concentric muscular action is exerted, using triple extension.  You can further improve force development by adding resistance (an external load), such as a hex barbell, dumbbells, or weighted vest.

A countermovement jump (CMJ) starts with a movement in the opposite direction of the jump, followed by an explosive upward movement.  In addition to loaded squat jumps, this movement is executed in Olympic lifts, such as high pulls, power snatches, and power cleans.

The one-step approach jump (1-step AJ) is an exercise where an athlete takes a step forward into a CMJ.  An example of the 1-step AJ is a volleyball player approaching the net during the execution of a spike.  It’s preferable to incorporate the 1-step AJ into an athlete’s jump training only after the athlete has demonstrated the ability to perform a technically correct SJ and CMJ.

Depth jumps (DJ) are a type of plyometric exercise that use potential energy and the force of gravity to store energy in the muscles and tendons.  The DJ is performed by having the athlete step off an elevated platform, landing, then reversing the movement into a powerful, vertical jump.  Depth jump training is a common training modality for improving lower extremity power and speed.

Jump training should always incorporate proper landing mechanics: The athlete should focus on landing with hips down and back; knees bent and pointing straight ahead; and on the entire surface of the foot (not only on the balls of the feet)

Athlete’s who engage in both strength training and VJ exercises have a better chance of improving their VJ performance to a greater degree than those who only strength train or jump train independently.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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