You’d think you wouldn’t really need to be taught how to jump. It’s a natural thing, isn’t it?
Well like most things, it both is and isn’t. Yes, we automatically move to jumping when we explore movement as toddlers, and when we grow up playing sports (both organized and unorganized). But that doesn’t mean we jump efficiently and well from the get go.
In fact, it’s a rare individual that can jump strongly and with precision without any instruction.
If that’s you, that’s great! But the rest of us would benefit from learning the fundamentals of skillful, safe, and powerful jump technique.
How to Really Jump – Precision Jumping in Detail
Jumping isn’t all about leg and hip strength, though that’s a big part of it. If you don’t know how to properly apply that lower body power, it will be wasted.
Better technique and consistent practice in that technique is what helps develop any skill, and it’s especially important for jumping.
In this video, I’ll explain the detailed elements needed for proper jumping technique and how to get the most out of your strength. I’ll also demonstrate how work on precision jumping improves your athleticism more than just randomly jumping around.
As I demonstrate in the video, there are two main aspects of precision jumping – what the legs are doing, and what the arms are doing. Let’s take a look at those in detail:
The Ski Jump Position
Correct positioning and sequenced movement must be in place to synchronize your body for the jump. A lack of coordination not only decreases your total power, but it also lessens the degree of control over your body.
The “ski jump” alignment position involves a good hip hinge and forward bend, with your butt back and knees just in front of your toes. This position aligns you for the best coordination of muscular action. With your torso hinged forward and your butt back, you prime your hip extensor muscles in a “pre-stretch” for optimal force generation.
Fast and strong hip extension is the main source of jumping power.
The depth of your jump position will vary depending upon your strength, speed of generating force, and the goal of the jump.
Are you jumping up to something that is stationary or moving? Do you want to hit a certain sport or just go as far as possible? Just as in everything else all these details take practice to do well.
Using Your Arms Effectively
In addition to generating force from the hips, it’s important to use a proper arm swing, which both generates momentum and keeps the focus on an upward trajectory.
If you do a poor job synchronizing the arm swing with the drive off your legs, you’ll lose height and positioning, and it’ll just plain feel awkward!
I also emphasize a soft landing to protect your joints and lessen the strain on your body from repeated jumping. If you keep in mind the goal of landing as softly as possible, you’ll be able to practice more without injuring yourself.
Precision in your jumping requires good form and technique, and emphasis on these fundamentals improve your overall athletic ability. You’ll notice improved body awareness for both coordinated movement and knowing where your body is in space.
These are essential skills that help in every physical activity from sports to even just the everyday physical responsibilities we all have.
Where Jumping Can Take You
Of course, the above video is only the tip of the iceberg. It shows the basic details you’ll need to begin jumping well, but proper jumping also gives you a solid foundation to move forward in other skills.
Knowing how to jump will allow you to progress to tumbling, jumping over objects (a la parkour/freerunning), and other sweet tricks like those shown by the master Damien Walters. You might not want to jump over a moving car, but it’s nice to think it could be an option someday.
Proper jump technique improves coordination, power, and strength throughout your body, and is a worthwhile addition to your training.
In fact, jumping plays a big role in our new program, Integral Strength.
Build Strength for Physical Skill and Mastery
Over eight weeks, Integral Strength will help you build the kind of strength that carries over into demanding physical skills and dynamic sports.