Tag Archives: triple extension

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?

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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?

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?

Master the Hang Clean to Develop Explosive Power

23 Mar

Hang-Clean[1]Want to jump higher?  Run faster?  Hit and throw harder and farther?  The Hang Clean is one of the best exercises you can do to build explosive strength.  This exercise emphasizes triple (hip, knee, ankle) extension, which is common to movements like running, jumping, hitting, and throwing.  I like the clean from the hang position (as opposed to the power clean from the floor position) because it’s relatively easy to learn and safe to perform, and there are few exercises that produce more power.  Like all Olympic lifts, technique is extremely important — the hang clean must be taught and performed correctly.  Here’s a video of U.S. Women’s Soccer player, Abby Wambach, performing the hang clean.

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we teach the hang clean in 3 phases:

  • Hang Shrug
  • Hang (high) Pull
  • Hang Clean

Here are some tips to ensure that you perform the hang clean with proper technique:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart
  • Hold bar with hands just wider than shoulder width
  • Assume “hang” position, with bar positioned just above knees
  • Use lower-body and hips to jump and drive bar upward
  • Use upper-body to pull bar upward with shrug and high elbows
  • Keep weight close to your body (linear); don’t swing the bar out in front of you
  • “Catch” bar with knees bent, on front shoulders, upper-arms parallel to ground

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Improve Explosive Performance with this Triad

16 Mar

1243546_10152343645707164_704678511_o-jpg[1]For most athletes, the development of explosive muscular strength is desirable, since most sports involve movements that require powerful actions.

Sprinting, jumping, and changing direction (as well as throwing, kicking, tackling, etc.) are high-intensity actions that require athletes to generate intermittent bursts of explosive strength and power.

Lower-body triple extension (hip, ankle, knee) exercises — for example, the squat — mimic explosive actions like sprinting and jumping.

Incorporate this three-component strategy into your workout to enhance explosive performance:

RESISTANCE TRAINING

Perform exercises like squats and deadlifts, with about 50% of your 1 repetition maximum (1RM); 2-3 sets of 6 repetitions.  (Don’t ignore your posterior chain.  Complement your squats and deadlifts with glute-ham raises and Romanian deadlifts.)

RESISTED SPRINTING

Pull a weighted sled.  Use a load equal to about 10-15% of your body weight (don’t go too heavy; you want to maintain proper running mechanics).  Perform 8 sets of 20-yard sprints.

PLYOMETRICS

Perform box jumps, hurdle hops, vertical jumps, and horizontal jumps.  Choose 6-8 plyometric exercises, and perform 3 sets of 3 reps for each exercise.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

 

Get Stronger, Faster with Triple Extension Training

15 Dec

squat-jump2[1]“Triple extension” refers to a type of exercise training movement used to develop lower-extremity explosive power and force production. Triple extension training involves the hips, the knees, and the ankles. When executing a triple extension movement, all three sets of joints move from a flexed (bent) position to an extended (straight) position.  Thus, triple extension movements involve the flexion and subsequent forceful extension of the hip, knee, and ankle joints.

I am an advocate of triple extension training for the development of lower-body strength, speed, and explosive power, for virtually all athletes. Triple extension training is important for all athletes, as this movement is executed when running, jumping, kicking, swimming, throwing, hitting, blocking, and tackling.  Specifically, jumping in basketball and volleyball: pushing off the back leg to throw in baseball and football; driving through a block or tackle in football; even pushing off during swimming and diving are examples of how this movement applies to sports. Because of its broad application, triple extension training is a great way to prepare and develop the body for such explosive movements by conditioning the muscles and ligaments for these types of movements.

Ultimately, triple extension exercises build lower-extremity strength and power, increasing the amount of force you are able to generate against the ground, providing the means to run faster, jump higher, etc.

The following exercises are a few examples of movements that employ triple extension:

  • Olympic lifts, such as cleans and snatches
  • Plyometrics, such as squat jumps and box jumps
  • Traditional strength training exercises such as squats and deadlifts
  • Non-traditional strength training exercises, such as  kettlebell swings and tire flips

Because these exercises are higher intensity and require greater energy expenditure, they should be performed at the beginning of your workout, after an appropriate warm-up.  Don’t go overboard with the amount of weight you use to perform these exercises. The benefits of triple extension exercises can be realized with relatively light weight. The key is to employ a full range of motion and try to execute each rep under control. Any of the exercises (above) performed with light-to-moderate weight can improve your strength and power.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How “Hip” is Your Workout?

17 Nov

barbell-hip-raise[2]

Barbell Hip Thrust

15-most-important-exercises-barbell-hip-thrust[1]

Barbell Hip Thrust

Hip drive, which initiates the triple extension movement, is important for virtually every sport, regardless of whether it involves running, jumping, throwing, swinging, or kicking

Here’s more support for adding “hinge” (hip flexion and extension) exercises to your training regimen:

Strong hips can help you become strong all over, according to a Men’s Health article.

Researchers in New Zealand and the U.K. found that as you increase the weight in lower-body exercises like the squat and deadlift, the muscles around your hips carry a larger proportion of the load.

“Your hips are the most powerful part of your body, so they take over as exercises become strenuous,” according to the study’s lead author.  “Working them directly can enhance your overall strength.”

In addition to “hinge” exercises like squats and deadlifts, kettlebell swings and barbell hip thrusts (pictured) are great additions to any workout regimen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Build Explosive Power with this Medicine Ball Exercise

18 Jul

2sb0251bx-medicine-ball[1]

Medicine ball throws are great for developing explosive power, and can be used as an alternative to Olympic lifts.  These exercises strengthen and stabilize the core musculature, reinforce the biomechanics of force generation, reflect the demands and movement patterns of many sports, and can be performed in virtually every plane of motion.

Here’s one of the total-body exercises we use with our athletes to build explosive power.  This triple extension exercise is basically a heavy medicine ball clean and jerk, immediately followed by a forceful vertical or horizontal push/throw.

In the first video, Julianne — one of our high school basketball players — demonstrates the exercise with a 25 lb. medicine ball and a vertical throw, pushing the ball as high as she can.  Note how she uses her hips and legs (with minimal bend at the waist and back involvement) to get under the ball and generate force.

In the second video, Julianne uses the same medicine ball with a horizontal throw, pushing the ball as far as she can.  Mechanics and technique — hip and leg drive — are similar to the first exercise.

We have our athletes perform 3 sets of 4 repetitions, with a one minute rest between sets.  Typically, these types of (power) exercises are placed at the beginning of a workout, following an appropriate, dynamic warmup.

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?

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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