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Skills to improve jumps?

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gymgymgymnast08

Active Member
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Dec 8, 2007
1,233
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USA
Put weights on your feet and jump and then put like an elastic band thingy on both ankles and do split jumps and straddles
 

ToeTheLine

New Member
Mar 26, 2008
12
We do a lot of plyometric-type work outs. Just put a couple spotting blocks and/or panel mats in a line on the floor/runway/anywhere there's space about two feet apart, maybe some hula hoops to jump through or across so you've built a type of obstacle course. Then, you're going to go through it several times (we do a couple sets of three times), jumping with both feet onto mats/blocks and then down and then up to the next one, all the way through your course. Again, we go through the course three times, then rest, and do it again. If that's too easy, even after several sets, try doing one foot at a time. This will also help your height in tumbling.

Another thing is to do jumps (straight, tuck, etc) on a mat (a squishy 8" works, or a squishy 12"... really anything squishy, as long as its 8" or more) constantly for a given amount of time. Start with 30 seconds; if that's too easy, feel free to increase your time. Again, several sets of 30.

One last drill we do is to put a block or a panel mat (nothing really above a foot and a half, maybe two feet) and practice doing jumps from the ground up on to it. 10 of whatever jumps you need. Be careful with this one though, because it forces you to travel forwards when you do your jumps (it's fine for the drill, but don't let it happen in your normal jumps), and depending on the jump may force you to move your legs strangely to avoid hitting the block/mat (ex: pike jumps).

One last general warning: stay focused while you're doing these. I've seen more than one gymnast roll an ankle or just catch a block with her foot and completely whipe out.

In terms of flexibility... what kind of jumps do you need more flexibility in? Split? Straddle? Pike?
 

Gym-Nice-tics

Member
May 14, 2008
115
US
Building up strength will help increase flexibility in jumps and leaps. Leg swings, developes (Start in passe and extend your leg forward, then return, do also to the side and back), just holding your leg out extended are all great ways to improve leg strength so that you are strong enough to get your legs up.

An exercise that I found to really help straddle jumps and switch sides is done like this:
lay on your back on the floor and lift your legs up so that they are pointing straight to the ceiling. You want to straddle your legs as hard as you can so that you try to touch your toes to the floor on either side of you. Then you try to snap them back up just as quickly and you cross one in front of the other and switch so that the other one is in front. The switch of the feet should be done quickly. Then repeat. This exercise has improved my straddle and switch sides so well and helps to improve straddle flexibility, which is a weakness of mine.

ToeTheLine's suggestions of plyo drills are also great, but as she said, be careful of ankles. I've had many gymnasts roll ankles really bad because they didn't pay attention.

At home frog jumps are great plyo drills you can do without mats, as well as candlestick jumps and alternating jumping lunges. (Do a lunge with your right foot forward, touching your left knee almost touching the floor, then quickly jump in the air and land in the opposite leg lunge, left in front, right knee to the floor)
 

CookieBarn

New Member
Jul 2, 2008
17
My own little universe
At my gym, they tell us to push through our toes to get higher. Flexibility isn't really my forte, but I find that doing splits on the beam and then doing your jumps directly after your split works very well. You could also use elastic bands or ankle weights.

:hyper::jump::bouncy::rotfl:
 
G

gracefulone

Guest
One last drill we do is to put a block or a panel mat (nothing really above a foot and a half, maybe two feet) and practice doing jumps from the ground up on to it. 10 of whatever jumps you need. Be careful with this one though, because it forces you to travel forwards when you do your jumps (it's fine for the drill, but don't let it happen in your normal jumps), and depending on the jump may force you to move your legs strangely to avoid hitting the block/mat (ex: pike jumps).

QUOTE]


I really like this one! I had never heard of it before. I'm no stranger to plyos(with my triple jump, long jump, and pole vault) but this was something specific to gymastics.
 
K

KBT

Guest
I would recommend doing ballet. I find most gymnasts don't use optimal jumping technique, but the ballet dancers have the technique down. You need to have a little background on plies and other basic ballet positions to take advantage of that optimal technique. It's all about using the plie/knee bend and extending through the feet as you jump to generate power.
 
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