Page 3 of 5
- Foot/Calf Strengthening. To help put “spring” into a jump, we will train the toe, ankle, and calf muscles. Hold your hands in your guard position and do not move them around to maintain balance; instead, use toe pressure and minute body movements. Keeping your legs straight, raise your body weight up to the balls of your feet and straighten the feet to raise the body as high as it will reach. Hold for a few seconds while balancing on the balls of the feet and then slowly lower the feet back to having the heels on the floor.
- Foot Jumping. Keeping the legs straight, jump straight up only using the feet, springing off the balls of the feet, using the same motion as above. Land on the balls of the feet, hold there for a second or two, and slowly lower back to the heels.
- Jumping with slight knee bend. We were keeping the knees relatively straight in the previous exercises to isolate the calf muscles. Now we will add the knee muscles to the jump. Slightly bend the knees, about a 20-degree bend. Still concentrating on the calf muscles, jump off the floor using the same motion as in the component 1 exercises. Land on the balls of the feet and let the knees bend to help absorb the landing. As in the foot jumping, stay on the toes a second and then slowly lower the heels to the floor.
- Jumping with shallow knee bend. Perform the same jump, but start and end with more of a bend in the knees, about 30 degrees