Welcome back to Part 3 of the squatting series after taking a break to talk about Crossfit. Today, we’re going to talk briefly about jump squats and their great effects in terms of injury prevention, strengthening, and potentiating effects on (you guessed it) jumping.
How to Jump Squat:
Let’s refer back to the first article.
You should be sitting your butt straight back as if a chair were too far behind you. Your shins should be as vertical as possible (as a result of sitting straight backwards) and your weight should be in the midfoot to the heel.
Your chest should be up as if you had a shirt with words across the chest, and if you were standing in front of a mirror, you should be able to read them. Make sure your knees are in line with your feet, and make sure your knees don’t go over your big toes.
These are not as fun as they look. Trust me.
When you push up, your force should be driven through your heels and you should be squeezing your butt. The knees should again be in line with your feet and not move towards or away from each other.
Jump (of course) while maintaining the drive through the heels until you get onto your toes and lift off the floor. Land gently (think ninja quiet) and return to the downward phase.
Resistance and variations:
Too easy with just your weight? You can use resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, Olympic bars (in a high/low bar back or front rack position), jump squat onto a step.
Too boring? Split squat jumps. Interval maximum jumps. Raise the height of that step. Jump onto a picnic table. Just make sure you don’t smash your shins into it. Get up. And not down, like me.
Benefits, injury prevention
Want to get those ups and get two inches closer to Lebron’s ups? Do some submaximal back/front squats before you start doing those jump squats. There is a potential post-activation potentiation effect (what the hell does that mean?) which means that your muscles are warmed up to get ever so closer to slam dunking on that kid that dominates you on the basketball court down the street. 1 And make sure you warm up (with a light jog or bike) with some dynamic stretching before you get down to get up. 2
Do this, and you’ll be the king of internet fails forever. But stick it…
There are also correlations to deep squatting which help with potentiation effects in jumping when compared to quarter squats. 3 This is probably because the range of motion is full versus a quarter squat, and the correlation of transfer effect via the full range of motion.
Another way to increase your back squat vertical height includes remote voluntary contractions (RVC’s) which included clenching a mouth guard between the teeth, pulling a bar into the trapezius, and performing a valsalva maneuver during a jump squat with an Olympic bar which resulted in a 2.9 – 32.3% greater performance than when not performing RVC’s. 4
Keep jumping, and get down to get up!
- Arabatzi F, Patikas D, Zaferidis A, Giavroudis K, Kannas T, Gourgoulis V, Kotzamanidis CM. The Post-Potentiation Potentiation Effects on Squat Jump Performance: Age and Sex Effect. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2013 Nov 13.
- Hartmann H, Wirth K, Klusemann M, Dalic J, Matsuchek K, Schmidtbleicher D. Influence of Squatting Depth on Jumping Performance. J Strength Cond Res 2012: 26 (12); 3243-61.
- Ebben WP, Kaufmann CE, Fauth ML, Petushek EJ. Kinetic Analysis of concurrent activation during back squats and jump squats. J Strength Cond Res 2010: 24(6) 1515-9
- Wingfield K. Neuromuscular Training to prevent knee injuries in adolescent female soccer players. Clin J Sport Med. 2013; 23(5): 407-8.