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Thread: depth jumps

  1. #1
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    depth jumps

    If you were going to do them then when would you employ depth jumps into your training routine; preparation phase, competition phase, or during transitional phases?

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    Prep or transitional. Not comp.

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    I'm curious too. Reps? Sets? After the lifts?

    Been a while since i played with these. Been thinking about them lately...

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    I remember something about the benefits not being realized until a couple weeks after you finish. So maybe plan to finish 2 weeks before your peaking phase.

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    I've done depth jumps, but always in combination with other jumps such as box jumps or jumps over a bar. Never done a single depth jump (i.e., jump from a high box or ladder only) because of the risk of injury. Injury risk increases substantially as the depth increases.

    As with most all plyometrics they are best used at the beginning of a prep cycle. Done at the end of a training session, as much for fun as for development. No particular reps or sets, just a few for 10 or so minutes.

    In Leo Totten's book General Physical Training for the Weightlifter, he gives an example of using a depth jump combined with a simple jump. The jump series begins standing on a box, holding an empty bar that is in the power position. One maintains that position and makes a small jump to the ground. From the ground, one explodes straight up, shrugging and keeping the arms straight.

    The depth jump uses a 24 or 27 inch box.

    I've never done Totten's exercise so can't say anything about it. Just wanted people to know that the exercise existed.

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    I dont remember the exact source, but I remember reading they should be done fresh, and always have a week with no jump exercises after 3 weeks of depth jumps. To give the tendons the necessary rest.

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    Mostly from memory:

    Prerequisites: 2x bodyweight squat, prior training with jumping/bounding
    Loading: ~0.75 meter height, starting volume 3 sets of 6 building up to 4 sets of 10 over several cycles (2-3 years)
    Frequency: 3 days per week, possibly starting with 2 days per week, but not sure.
    Duration: 4 weeks

    Squat volume must be decreased during this period.

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    To clear up terminology here:

    Drop jumps are stepping off a high box, landing, and sticking it with the intent to amortize the eccentric part of landing. Depth jumps are executed the same with the intent to jump up immediately upon ground contact.

    Managing Training of Weightlifters recommended depth jumps (and other shock plyometrics) to be performed in the second half of a preparatory period, closer to the pre-competition period. This is with the assumption that the first half of the preparatory period also includes jumping exercises in preparation for shock plyometrics later on. Frequency should be 1-2x per week for lower qualified athletes and up to 3 for highly qualified athletes. In the competitive period they should be included once every 10-14 days and about 10 days out from a competition.

    No more than 10 reps per series and only 18-20 reps for lower level athletes, and up to 30 for highly qualified athletes. Adequate rest must be taken between sets.

    Verkhoshanksy recommended similarly for training in Supertraining. Shock plyometrics should be given their own specialized training sessions so the athlete can perform them as fresh as possible or prior to other high CNS stimuli (before squats and Olympic lifts for example). Also the angles in the plyometric exercises should mimic the movements we are trying to improve. For example, depth and drop jumps landing/rebound with mostly straight legs will carry over to the jerk. If stepping off from a squat position and immediately rebounding (even off the ball of the foot), then that will aid in the recovery from a clean/snatch/squat.

    Something that also must be said when performing plyometrics in the true sense is contact time. Everyone always screws this one up and I know it drives Dr. Yessis up the wall when people call regular jump training plyometrics. For a depth jump, if you do not rebound the instant your feet hit the floor (it has to appear that you don't even stand still for a moment) AND if you are not jumping as high or higher than the box you stepped off from, then you are not doing plyometrics. Plyometrics are defined by the immediate shift from eccentric to concentric work. This applies to ankle hops, repetitive vertical hops, forward and lateral bounds, and so on. Any ground contact time ≥.2s is not plyometric. Jump squats cannot be plyometric.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b_degennaro View Post
    . . . For a depth jump, if you do not rebound the instant your feet hit the floor (it has to appear that you don't even stand still for a moment) AND if you are not jumping as high or higher than the box you stepped off from, then you are not doing plyometrics. Plyometrics are defined by the immediate shift from eccentric to concentric work. This applies to ankle hops, repetitive vertical hops, forward and lateral bounds, and so on. Any ground contact time ≥.2s is not plyometric. Jump squats cannot be plyometric.
    Question: as long as one is spending less than .25 second or so with ground contact, does it matter how deep the knee & hip bend is through amortization and prior to elevating back off the ground? How much of the "rebound" has to be from the tendons (like basically bouncing off the floor) as opposed to engagement of muscles of lower body to absorb and re-deploy force? Does it basically have to be a bounce?

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    It has to be a bounce. If you bend too much during the amortization, your ground contact time will be longer. This makes it almost exclusively tendon, ligament, and fascial training. Most if not all athletic movements/sport speeds rely on stretch reflex and using tendon springs versus muscular effort. Weightlifting falls between powerlifting and other sports when it comes to this type of effort. I would wager biasing your training towards the sport spectrum of conceptualizing technique and training would lead to the best results, better long term adaptations and longevity.

    As I said, if you are trying to improve explosiveness at specific angles (full squat for example) then you have to step off the box from a squat, land at those angles, and immediately rebound upon touching the ground.

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