Depth Jumps

What does everybody think is the bette way to perform depth jumps; to jump up and reach something such as a vertect, rim ect, or just to jump up and focus on jumping as high as possible?

I believe that both are good but some people have said that it is pointless to do them unless you are reaching for a goal, I disagree although competition brings out the best, jumping without a goal/target also is good cuz u can really focus on jumping as high as possible and not reaching as high as possible…any thoughts?

Both are good…

I like a goal to reach for. In college we have an ventilation system on the ceiling that’s about 10’ in the air. Always felt I got better DJs reaching for that than doing them out on the track. If you’re training for track (60-100) I would reach for a goal but still try to keep the contacts quick.

I’m with Mortac. There was actually a study done where two groups did vertical leaps (one with a target and one without), and those with a target to jump for jumped higher.

I personally do my DJs with something suspended above me that I try to touch my head to. If I get it, I move it up .5-1" and try for that next rep.

That may sound great but what i have found when trying to jump for objects ground contact gets really slow which may be ok if your training for the vj but not soo good if you want sprint times.

I haven’t experienced the same thing. Then again, I do focus on a quick takeoff as well as going for max jump height.

i just dont see the point in having to use a object esp when the athlete understands the concept and isnt lazy.:slight_smile:

The depth jump serves three possible masters:

  1. Reactive strength- the lowest of the three drop heights which, correspondingly, allows for the fastest amortization
  2. Explosive strength- the second highest drop height which, correspondingly, slows amortization more so than the reactive height yet the inertia which must be overcome is not so great as to inhibit the development of explosive strength on the subsequent rebound
  3. Maximal strength- highest of the drop heights which, correspondingly, allows the athlete to generate the greatest amount of intertia going into the ground which then presents the greatest challenge to overcome in the subsequent rebound

Due to the dynamics of the sprint we know that any training means, other than sprinting, that is geared to positively transfer to the sprint must reflect the biodynamic/bioenergetic nature of the phase of the sprint (start, acceleration, max V, speed endurance) that is the target for development.

It is for this reason why we know that the deep knee bend position in the box jump and the box jump up and off into the high jump pit has a greater impact on acceleration vs hurdle hops which have a greater transference towards max V as the sprinters position is vertical when traveling over the hurdles.

Considering this we know that the depth jump, performed on it’s own as a single repetition effort and with respect to sprinting, is more optimally favored as the first effort in a series of hurdle hops towards the improvement of biomotor activity specific to the upright max V position.

It may also be argued that, from a biomotor standpoint, that the higher drop heights transfer more favorably to early acceleration as the contact phase is longer. From a mechanical standpoint, however, the positions are much different unless the rebound jump is performed as a standing long jump as opposed to a vertical jump.

Correction- Regarding drop heights, Verkhoshansky found that 75cm was optimal for the development of reactive strength and explosive strength with 110cm proving more optimal for the development of maximal strength.

Very important to note is that the drop heights are generally reflective of the training of athletes smaller than the throwers and larger weightlifters. As a result, the drop heights for larger athletes must be carefully regulated; the barometer being the athlete’s capacity to perform the jumps with mechanical efficiency.

The force incurred at ground contact, the amortization times, and the kinematics being the primary determinants as to the training effect.

The graphs that Charlie features in the Vancouver 04 slides are a great illustration of the use of various jumps that correspond to different phases of the short sprint . The progression of jumps that have a greater transference towards acceleration positions (jumps up, jumps up + off) that then become more favorable towards top speed positions (depth jump to series of hurdle hops) follows a logical progression with respect to the morphological preparation of the organism for the the jumps of greater structural demand (depth jumps) in addition to corresponding to the nature of a short to long program.

Regarding drop heights, Verkhoshansky found that 75cm was optimal for the development of reactive strength with 110cm proving more optimal for explosive strength and even higher drop heights for the development of maximal strength.

I think the vast majority of sub-elite athletes would find these heights excessive for the development of said traits.

Great post. I would have said the same thing if I could fit it into a 3 sentences:)

Great post James.

I agree sprinterouge; however, the determining criteria in this case deserves consideration as, in my experience, there is no one absolute criteria for determining drop height more suitable then having the athlete gradually work up in drop height and monitoring their performance.

I would add that one should never begin with
drop jumps, but mandatory, use jumping and hoping exercises before engaging in methods of training involving the shock method.

Fully agree, hence my reference to the illustrations in Charlie’s Vancouver 04 slides that follow such a progression.

If your activity involves a significant plyometric element is there any need to include depth jumps? Weightlifters, sprinters, basketball, netball etc. Non of the bulgarian weightlifting team included them in their program, Ben Johnson didn’t and there are many more World Class performers who didn’t?

Depth jumps are a significant intensification over normal sports activity.

Chances are your next client wont be from any of the aforementioned category. So its less interesting what those guys did for their training (Ben Johnson, the Bulgarians … ), and much more interesting what can be used to improve your client, the specific case. Depth Jump is just another tool. A very useful one. Its up the the coach to decide whatever he uses them , proper dosage and progressions …

just something to think at.

I would agree, I felt so much better/faster jumping and focusing on my jump per say rather than me reaching for a goal… could be mistaken but would venture to say my ground contact time is definitly better when i do not have a goal.

There is a description of Naim’s early training on Mike Burgener’s site, don’t know how accurate it is but according to the article Naim did do jumps and a significant volume of them quite often. Not depth jumps though.

I would not be the least bit surprised if they Chinese weightlifters perform jumps. It is well documented that along with the classical lifts and variations they use numerous exercises including rows, bench, tri-ext, etc. And they at times it could be argued have dominated as much as the Bulgarians.

As you say not depth jumps though. There are so many other ways to intensify training through other safer means imo.