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Jumping development: The best jump kicks are not about height.


Jumping development:

The best jump kicks are not about height.

By Steven Lemner


    “Vertical jumping power declines naturally with advancing age, which is theoretically explicable by loss of muscle mass and increases in body fat.” National Institute of Health

Now not all “jumping” kicks are about height. They are designed to use total body mass behind the kick in a forward motion. They help to cover distance. The best target area for jump kicks is the torso, mid chest, because with the body mass not supported by the ground it is directed forward. Even with a good guard, the mass of the body weight drives through.

Another good example is the inside/outside jump kick. The objective of the kick is a circular elevated forward attack. This is a good example of circular and straight lines of attack in one. “Image swinging a large sledge hammer and leaping forward to strike”.

Another kick to look at is a jump, spin kick. When done with full potential it engages circular, forward and elevation combined energy’s.


The younger an individual begins the development of these muscle groups the more successful. The ages of ten through mid twenties is the prime time for developing.


The ability to jump requires constant leg development and understanding the muscle groups.

The specific muscles responsible for 80% of the leaping/ jumping  power are in the central and lower body parts. Out of these muscles, those who play a significant part in jumping are the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles. The overall muscle activity involves the hip, knee, and ankle extension in three stages. Mostly phases of contraction and expansion. Shin /chook (tension/relaxation) 신축


  1. Preparatory Stage:

When you jump, you go through three stages. Before the takeoff stage, the knee and hip joint flexion occurs with the ankle joints. The calves and Achilles tendons get tense and prepare themselves for lifting. The gravity that pulls the body downwards is the driving force here. 


  1. The Takeoff Stage: 

The takeoff stage is where you generate the power to leap. In the takeoff stage, the extension hip joint happens, followed by knee and ankle extensions.

Muscles’ shortening and lengthening effects look similar to an elastic band working via stored potential energy. The physics involved is the rebound force generated when you bend your hips, knees, and ankles to push your body upwards. The more you bend down, the stronger your recoil will be. The key for kicking is the “tuck” chamber of each kick, and release after full contraction to the expansion of the muscle groups.

  1. The Landing Stage: The last stage is the landing stage, where the musculoskeletal system braces itself to bear the impact. During the landing stage flexion happens again to absorb the impact.  During this stage, you can injure yourself if you’re not careful and allow the action of flexion to occur.

Good simple exercises to start to build jumping skills. Smaller sets to begin. 10 times, 3 sets.

Don’t be concerned by height. These are designed to build the muscle groups needed.

Note: Age and joint status should be adjusted. The younger the age that begin these exercises, the better development of muscle groups for jumping skills.


Learning to jump higher can improve your performance in activities like basketball, martial arts, volleyball, and track and field. You’ll also gain power, balance, and agility, which can benefit all your movements — both functional and athletic.


Here are five good key exercises to develop the muscle groups required for jumping.

A. Jumping jacks: Jumping jacks are a type of plyometric exercise that can help you jump higher by building lower body strength. This exercise is beneficial for improving performance in activities that require you to quickly move in different directions.


B. Single-leg deadlifts with jump:

From standing, extend your right foot behind you. If possible, keep your foot from touching the floor.

  1. Lean forward and align your torso so that it’s parallel to the floor.

  2. Extend your right hand down toward the floor.

  3. Raise your right foot behind you to hip height.

  4. Explosively jump up straight, lifting your left foot.

  5. At the same time, raise your right knee in front of you and extend your left arm overhead.

  6. Return to the starting position.

  7. Do 2–4 sets of 3–10 reps on each side.


C. Burpees:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then drop your hips back and down into a squat position.

  2. Press your palms into the floor in front of you, just inside your feet.

  3. Jump, walk, or step both feet back into a high plank.

  4. Do a pushup.

  5. Jump, walk, or step both feet forward toward your hands until you’re back in a squat.

  6. Explosively jump up and extend your arms overhead.

  7. Do 1–2 sets of 10–16 reps.


D. Forward linear jumps:

  1. Stand with your feet directly under your hips and your arms alongside your body.

  2. Engage your core while drawing your shoulder blades back and down.

  3. Drop your hips back and down into a squat position.

  4. Keep your elbows straight as you extend your arms behind you.

  5. Jump forward, pushing with your feet and straightening your legs. At the same time, extend your arms overhead.

  6. Pull your legs forward as you land. To reduce the impact, bend your knees and hinge your hips slightly forward, lowering into a squat position. Keep your gaze on your landing place.

  7. Once you land, stand up to return to the starting position.

  8. Do as many reps as you can with proper form.


E. Squat jumps:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms alongside your body.

  2. Draw your shoulders and shoulder blades down.

  3. Engage your core to keep your lower back straight. Keep your knees slightly bent.

  4. Slowly lower your hips down and back into a squat position until your heels nearly raise from the floor.

  5. Hinge forward slightly at your hips to keep your spine straight.

  6. Pause for a moment in the lower position.

  7. Explosively jump up through your ankles, knees, and hips at the same time.

  8. While in the air, draw your knees up toward your torso.

  9. Land as gently as possible on the middle of your foot before shifting your weight back toward your heels. To help absorb the impact, move your hips back and down as you land.

  10. Do 2–4 sets of 6–12 reps.


Tips to improve vertical jumps

Here are a few pointers to help you jump higher:

  • Warm up your body before performing jumping exercises.

  • For each exercise, perfect your form before increasing the height of your jump.

  • Maintain a slight bend in your knees.

  • Land softly and gently. If the impact of landing puts stress on your body, place foam tiles or cushions on the floor beneath you if available.

  • Use the momentum of your arm swing to help pull your body higher.

  • When jumping and landing, keep your feet at the same level.

  • When you land, always distribute your weight equally between both sides of your body.

As we can see it’s a process for the body to develop the mechanics necessary to be able to achieve the outcome.

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