Strength (Video): Jumping-Mat High Hops

Strength (Video):
Jumping-Mat High Hops

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education

Jumping-Mat High Hops are an excellent way to develop leg power and joint stability in the hips, knees and ankles for those who must jump and land in potentially unstable and unbalanced situations.

This includes basketball players while rebounding, volleyball players while blocking and even cross-country runners whose feet must constantly land on unstable ground.

The exercise is particularly effective for triple jumpers, whose step phase begins and ends with the feet hitting the ground at high speed under intense load.

Because the exercise is so intense, it also develops strength endurance and fitness.

How to Perform
The exercise takes place on a high jump or pole vault mat. The athlete hops in place on one leg, jumping as high as possible on each repetition. The focus is on the following:

  • Lifting the knee as high as possible while getting the heel close to the backside.
  • Driving both arms upward together, as high and hard as possible.
  • Performing every repetition as quickly and explosively as possible, with the foot driving off the mat as soon as it makes contact.
  • Landing on the same spot on the mat on every repetition.

Perform for 5-8 repetitions then switch legs. Perform three times without stopping for a total of 15-18 reps per leg. Do this 2-3 times, with 2-3 minutes recovery between each set. It's an intense exercise and your athletes will definitely feel it afterwards.

To see a demonstration of the Jumping-Mat High Hops exercise,
featuring coach Jim Taylor and triple jumper, Caroline Ehrhardt, watch the video below:

Reference: Jim Taylor, Jumps Coach, Track North Athletic Club, Sudbury, Ontario. October 2008.

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