2.3 Why do plyometrics improve sprinting?

The slam dunk of Vince Carter, the high jump of Javier Sotomayor and even the flip turn of Michael Phelps during his 200m butterfly are amazing examples of the eccentric, isometric and concentric phases of explosive movement described above. Jump focused classes should always be guided by building the skills to apply more force off the ground. Strength training efforts must help its athlete transfer their strength gains into speed and/or higher or further jumps. Jump training offers more value to youth athletes than simply improving their vertical jump.

The mechanics and training applications used in jump focused classes also enhance speed. Jumping is another example of speed strength. There is a synergistic relationship between jump and sprint training. There is an athletic reciprocity between the various Parisi speed and jump curriculums. The goal is that all our youth athletes experience the complete Parisi program. This includes linear speed, multidirectional speed, plyometrics, jump and strength training. Parisi athletes perform plyometric movements in all categories of speed classes. During acceleration speed classes quarter 2 and 3 will often include resisted jumps. Maximum speed is improved by performing rudimentary jumps which promote lower leg stiffness and helps teach the amortization phase of ground contact time. In multidirectional speed classes Parisi coaches can rely on progressing the skater series to include single skater bounds. In strength classes, rate of force production (RFP) intervals will include plyometrics and jumps to stimulate the nervous system which enhances strength performance.

Examples of Plyometrics/Jump Drills in Acceleration Focused Classes

  • Power Jumps
  • Resisted Jumps
  • Single Leg Box Jumps
  • Pushing Jumps
  • Forward Leg Bounds
  • Right, Right, Left Jumps
  • Jumps that Include More Flexion

Examples of Plyometrics/Jump Drills in Maximum Speed Focused Classes

  • Rudimentary Jumps (Pogos, Jacks,)
  • Advancing Pogos & Jacks
  • High Skips
  • Straight Leg Bounds
  • Shuffle Bounds
  • Any Jump that Assist the Effective Stride Length
  • Bosch Drills with No Counter Movements

Bosch Drills Using Dowel & Hanging Weights

Examples of Plyometrics/Jump Drills in Multidirectional Focuses Classes

  • Hurdle Jumps
  • Diver Load Series
  • Box Jumps
  • Single Leg Bounds
  • Lateral Jumps (single and double)
  • Overhead Med Ball Slams
  • Explosive Horizontal and Vertical Throws
  • Banded Squats/Squat Jumps
  • Power Throws
  • Rebound Throws (with & without a counter movement)\

Similarities Between Jumping & Sprinting

  • Triple Extension – Requires hip extension from the glutes, knee extension from the quadriceps and ankle extension from the calves. The importance of triple extension, which leads to hip locking contributes holistically to an athlete’s ability to apply force into ground.
  • Stored Elastic Energy – The hamstrings have a critical part in creating the elastic stored energy used in both sprinting and jumping.
  • Amortization Phase – This phase occurs in both sprinting and jumping. This phase of transition also referred to as the isometric phase occurs during every stride when sprinting and right after an athlete lowers down to perform a jump or as they are about to leave the ground. Just as all jumps are plyometric in nature, each ground contact can be viewed as a series of plyometric movements. For every ground contact during acceleration and maximum speed an athlete is experiencing a stretch-shortening cycle to maximum their power production. The goal is to decrease the time in this phase.
  • Center of Gravity Management – Whether an athlete is in the eccentric phase of a jump or in the air, their ability to manage their center of gravity is critical. This is no different during multidirectional runs. This feat is core intensive. The combination of jump and sprint mechanics enhances an athlete’s ability to instinctively negotiate their center of mass when placed in reactive drills and ultimately when it is time for them to perform.