Jumping is a fundamental part of most athletic endeavors. Some sports obviously rely on this skill more than others, but most field sports will include jumping in some capacity. Improving your jumping ability has tremendous transfer to other fitness categories as well. Improving your explosive strength and reactive capacity through jumping will positively affect your strength and acceleration. A sound approach will include a variety of different kinds of jumps:
• Jumps Up – the most popular jumps are for height. These include box jump variations, squat jumps, and vertical jump variations
• Jumps Out – another popular variety are jumps for distance. These include broad jump variations, hurdle jumps, hop variations, and bounds (linear and lateral).
• Jumps Down – Most people forget about jumping down. However, jumping down should be the first skill you master. By learning to land, and absorb force, you will be better able to land safely with the jumping varieties listed above. Furthermore, how often in sport does one jump only to never land? After said landing, how often does an athlete not have to reverse the forces of landing into a new movement? By incorporating options such as the depth drop (stepping off a box or other structure and landing softly into an athletic position) you will improve your capability to absorb force.
• Combinations – The final variation is a combination of the modalities listed above. Now that you can jump up, out, and down, start combining them. One example is the depth jump to a box. Step off a small box, land softly and quickly reverse directions into a box jump.