We just wrapped up our first 6 week Jump Program here at TCBOOST. At the end of the program we had an average max touch increase of 2.2”. Everyone was able to improve to at least a basketball rim height touch of 10’ and one athlete touched 11’4”. A few of the athletes in the program were only able to train once a week and were still able to improve their touch significantly within that time frame.
The program focused on more than just jump height. We improved knee control during take offs and landings, balance, glute and hamstring strength, as well as properly functioning ankle joints. One of the big concerncs for many jumping athletes is non contact ACL injury. A big factor in these types of injuries is valgus knee action during a cut, jump or landing.
This picture is from and article by Bret Contreras titled Knee Valgus (Valgus Collapse), Glute Medius Strengthening, Band Hip Abduction Exercises, and Ankle Dorsiflexion Drills, and is a great representation of knee collapse during a squat, jump and running. Bret goes on to describe 4 main causes of knee collapse including weak hips, tight ankles, impaired quad function and impaired hamstring function.
Often times having a minor prior injury or a strength imbalance can lead to a major injury down the road.
Throughout the Jump Program workouts we utilized banded glute and hip exercises, single leg stability ladder work, hurdle hops, and jump patterns as well as split squat, lunge, and calf raise variations to build knee control. Mike Boyle writes that there are an estimated 100,000 ACL tears each year and 30,000 of those are by high school aged female athletes. He offers a few tips on ACL injury reduction strategies focusing on stability/eccentric strength= landing skills, strength development with an emphasis on single leg strength, learning how to stop during change of direction and developing conditioning levels. ACL injuries through jumping, cutting, and landing are more prevalent than most people think, make sure you are working to increase your stability and eccentric strength during your workouts.