Thursday, February 6, 2014

Athlete Performance Testing - Part 6

Like the vertical jump, the broad jump is a test of lower body power and explosiveness, albeit in the horizontal plane. It is a great indicator of an athlete's ability to accelerate. However, the broad jump is a unique test in that it requires the athlete to not only jump, but to demonstrate control when landing. This requirement can quickly turn into a performance testing nightmare for athletes with poor ankle and hip mobility or insufficient leg strength. 
In these athletes, we’ll often see a landing that looks something like this:

No control? No score.

It can be very frustrating for an athlete who has the capability of jumping 9+ feet to only hit a 7 foot broad jump because they could not stick the landing. Fortunately, all is not lost! With a couple of simple exercises, we can quickly add an extra 12-24" to the athlete's initial jump!

The following 3 drills are just a few of the handful of exercises we can use to accomplish this task!

Ankles feeling like rusty hinges? Ankle joint mobs are perfect for improving mobility.

The dreaded infant squat. Loosens the hips and teaches proper squatting mechanics.

Tight groin? Having a tough time getting down? Give the squat stretch a try!
Give these a try prior to your next broad jump test! You'll be surprised at the difference they make! Next week we'll take a look at the 10-yard dash, a test of power and pure acceleration!

Keep Training!
Coach Anthony and Akron General Sports Performance

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