Are Depth Jumps Useful?

“Are Depth Jumps Useful”
Track and Field, 12:9 1967
Юрий Verhoshanski

Translated in Yessis Review of Soviet Sport
hightlighted by Dan Gilliland

What are Depth Jumps?
Why would someone do them?
When would someone do them?
Are Depth Jumps effective?

Many years ago Dr. Verhoshanski noticed during the Triple Jump the athlete would get a longer jump because the tension created by landing and jumping again.

The Russians call this effect “the shock method”. The west calls this effect “Plyometrics”. The idea is that gravity causes your central nervous system to ignite more muscle fibers than usual to deal with the shock.

Dr Verhoshanski invented the training style of Plyometrics to increase strength by shocking the central nervous system to produce more power from your muscles. This method can create more speed and power that you can transfer to your sport.

Depth Jumps done off a box increases performance in multiple sports.The most important part of a Depth Jump is your rebound from your landing. If you add weight to your body you will increase maximum strength but you will slow down your dynamic strength.

The KEY ADVANTAGE to Depth Jumps is that it improves reaction time. If you raise your optimum box height before your body is ready you will slow down your reaction time.

The optimal height of the box for the athletes studied is 2 feet 6 inches to develop maximum speed. To develop dynamic strength a box height of 3 feet 9 inches is optimal.

The best way to prepare for Depth Jumps is to jump in place holding 70 lbs. The article doesn’t really explain how to hold the weight. If you hold pair of 35 lb dumbbells you should be able to do it. Just be careful with any new exercise. Always start light and work up to your own comfort level.

A prepared athlete only needs to Depth Jump 2 times per week. The less prepared athlete only needs to Depth Jump once per week. 10 reps per set with 2 sets per workout are usually sufficient. An Expert may want to superset with 2 heights, doing 10 reps with each height for 2 sets. The total number of Depth Jumps per workout, even for an expert, shouldn’t exceed 40 reps in total.
YouTube Video: Dr. Michael Yessis speaks on the concepts of Plyometrics

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