Analyzing the Jump

February 23rd, 2012  Posted at   Sports
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Physically speaking, what actually contributes to the jump? What are the biomechanical components required to elevate the body explosively off the ground with grace and control? Most would say, “It’s all in the legs.” But try jumping with just your legs – clasp your arms behind your back to disallow any participation from the muscles of the back, arms and shoulders, and do not lean forward.

Next, try jumping while using your arms and back and legs. Bend at the waist so your chest and shoulders lean forward about 4-6 inches, pull your arms back, bend your knees and ankles, and explosively contract everything by straightening your legs and back and swinging your arms. Feel the difference? I know it took you longer to come back to ground level on this attempt!

Jumping is a total body movement. You need to bend your ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders and elbows. And when you bend so many body joints, all of the surrounding muscles contribute to the movement.

It’s simple, the more muscle you can use – or the more muscle you can explode with proper timing and technique – the higher and more efficiently you can defy gravity.

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