There are double-footed jumpers and there are single-footed jumpers. Double-footed jumpers tend to have difficulty jumping off one foot when they want to maximise their vertical leap.
The main reason for this is they aren’t aware of their body’s mechanics that will help them maximise their jump.
Why can you jump higher off one foot?
The athlete can transfer horizontal force into vertical height more efficiently when jumping off one foot compared to jumping off two feet.
The athlete can potentially gain an extra 3-10 inches by jumping off one foot.
How do you increase one leg vertical jump?
There are a few things that they can do to help them jump off one foot.
Single-leg take-offs work best when there is a run-up. Get the athlete to practice with a 3, 5, and 7 stride approach so that they can take-off and maximise their vertical jumping height.
Have the athlete at least try to take-off with one leg and reach as high as they can with the opposite arm.
The athlete can train their mind-muscle connection so that they are more aware of how to jump vertically with a one-foot take-off.
The athlete should do:
- Single-leg hops for height
- Single rotating hops for distance
- Hop-hop steps over hurdles
- Single-leg take-offs with a knee drive and hold
- Single-leg skipping
Focus on doing the following exercises to build your strength and power for your one-foot take-off.
- Calf raises
- Single-leg hip thrusts
- Single leg squats
- Reverse lunges
- Walking lunges with weights
- RDLs/Romanian deadlifts
- Single leg press
What are some other things that the athlete should consider?
- Jump off the front of your foot (the ball) and explode vertically through your toes.
- Utilise the penultimate step as much as possible so that you can maximise your vertical height.
Does it hurt to jump off one leg?
You should be accelerating off the ground. So your last 2-4 steps should have quick turnover so that the force through your take-off foot doesn’t put too much of a strain on your leg. If it is, you will need to practice using your turnover and acceleration so that you can properly transition into the take-off.
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