To see a video introduction to plyometrics and jumping, click here.

One thing higher level athletes do that developing athletes don’t, is get off of the ground quickly.  Less developed athletes spend a lot of time absorbing the forces their moving bodies produce, which requires a long ground contact time to do so. Developing stiffer, better-controlled joints allows the tendons of the body – particularly the achilles tendon – to more effectively stretch and recoil, unleashing large amounts of power with little muscular energy.  When muscles are kept tight, and joint motions better controlled , it takes less time to rebound off of the ground, leading to a more bouncy, spring-like action when athletes move.  Activities that develop short ground contact times – and the physical qualities necessary to produce them –  are called plyometrics.

Sprinting is the ultimate plyometric:  ground contact times of top-level sprinters are around 70-80 milliseconds, and the ground is only contacted with one leg.  While the act of sprinting itself helps improve plyometric ability, a great way to improve an athlete’s springiness – and spend less time on the ground – is to perform specific activities designed to expose the athlete to short ground contacts in a variety of ways.

Something kids used to do for fun – that almost no one still does as a child – is jump rope.  Jumping rope is very plyometric, and helps develop the basic ability to spring off of the ground.  It’s also very fun, and is a great way to introduce plyometrics to young athletes. We provide movement achievement opportunities by asking athletes to do single hops, double unders and single-leg skips.

Our other plyometric development exercises involve hopping over small hurdles and landing off of boxes.  Both require the body to quickly absorb the force produced by falling.

In everything we do, we promote a basis of sound movement, with good shapes where angles are straight, and lined-up for good force absorption.  Following are the available movement achievements in the Mad Hops Movement Achievement Category:

  • Jump Rope Single hops x 10sec
  • Jump Rope Single leg single hops x 10sec each leg
  • Wicket hops x 5
  • Landing stick from box
  • 180 Landing stick from box
  • 360 Landing stick from box