Addressing proper jumping and landing mechanics is essential and often overlooked in many exercise programs. This is something not just for athletes, even though they will utilize this skill more often, but for the general population trying to improve lower body function and single leg stability. It’s common nowadays to hear the words, “ACL Prevention.” This can often be summed up by various single leg jumping and landing drills which rely on balance, single leg stability, and single leg strength. Our focus is on utilizing the entire lower extremity to push us into the air, but even more importantly to decelerate the body back to the ground in a controlled fashion. There is a high proprioceptive component on the multidirectional line hops because we need to teach the body to jump and land within a specific area.
Here’s how to complete this exercise:
- Find a line or some kind of divide on the floor
- Stand in single leg stance while maintaining a small bend in the knee
- Hop to a different box, trying to land directly in the center
- While landing, focus on striking with the toes first and then sink back to the heel
- Utilize the bending of the ankle, knee, and hip to land as softly as possible
- Repeat in the opposite direction
- Compete for the desired repetitions
Note: Start learning this drill properly by jumping forward/backward. Once you feel you have that direction mastered, move on to the lateral hops, before lastly trying the diagonal ones. This is a drill where we are looking to perfect the landing in a quiet and balanced position. Knee alignment is always key, as the knee should be pointing in the same direction as the toes, while not bending too far over the toes.
Please feel free to comment and leave any feedback below, or on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear how this drill was for you. Did you struggle? Was one direction more difficult than the others? are there any other tips I can provide to help perfect the technique? Thanks everyone, I hope you enjoyed this month’s exercise.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART