When I was training for the high jump, this was my favourite plyometric exercise because it greatly improved the elasticity in my legs. What this means is it made me feel more ‘springy’, thus it was much easier to jump higher.
It is a plyometric exercise that I would encourage all high jumpers to include as a part of their program.
There are quite a few plyometric exercises that you can do in your program, but the hurdle jumps (or hurdle hops as they are also known) should be done with a focus on height.
How can you do the hurdle jump exercises?
- Place 4 to 5 hurdles close to each other. You don’t want the hurdles to be too far apart because you want to maximise the jumping height over each hurdle.
- Set the same hurdle height (or ascending heights for a variation) across all of the hurdles.
- Stand in front of the first hurdle with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Drive your body up over the hurdle while driving your knees up and your feet over. Your toes should also be pointed up as you are jumping over the hurdle.
- When you land on your feet, you want to make as little contact with the ground as possible.
- When you hit the ground, you want to explode up as high as possible over the next hurdle.
- Repeat this sequence until you reach the last hurdle.
- Complete 3 to 5 sets.
You can see a demonstration of the exercises in the video below.
These plyometric exercises are demanding on the body, so it is important that you warm-up and stretch well before and after doing the exercises. If you don’t, you might find that your muscles will tighten and cause strains, pains and possibly tears in your body’s muscle groups.
Over the weeks that I implemented this into my high jump training, I was able to gain an extra 10cm in my jumping ability. I can guarantee that if you implement this correctly into your training, you will make noticeable improvements.
Place your current personal best in the comment section below and let me know when you have started using this in your training and what results you have accomplished after implementing it.
Featured image credit: Speed Endurance
Want to improve your high jump?
Sign up to our newsletter and learn how to become a better high jumper in the next 90 days!