What variations of jumps should you be doing as an athlete?
It depends on what the athlete may be deficient in.
When assessing an athlete’s plyometrics for baseball, here are some things that we look at.
How does the athlete decelerate?
When looking at an athlete’s ability to decelerate through the lower half, we want to see force absorbed vertically rather than horizontally.
When we absorb force vertically the pelvis needs to be able to change shape (internally rotate). If the pelvis can’t change shape, we will see the pelvis tip forward to find internal rotation to decelerate.
When we hit or throw (on the mound) we need to be able to displace force vertically.
When we are rotating into our hip, whether hitting or pitching, we stay pretty vertical. You never see someone completely hinge over with the hips pushed back and torso forward.
So when we are comparing our ability to put force in the ground during jumps shouldn’t they look similar to how we move on the mound in terms of displacing force? I think so.
Range of motion
When it comes to training this movement, we must first be sure they have the space in their body to access the range of motion.
Once they have the space, we can begin to load through exercises like squats, split squats and deadlifts. Then we can begin to move dynamically.
When training pelvic internal rotation dynamically, starting with deceleration will set the base.
Exercises that will help train deceleration vertically:
- KB Clean
- KB Forward Lunge
- Box Drop w/ KB Clean
- SL Box Drop with KB Clean.
While training the deceleration component, we can integrate that in with various jumps:
- Box Jumps
- Depth Drop to Box Jumps
- Broad Jumps, etc.
Loading some of these jumps can also assist in keeping the load more vertical, but it all depends on the athlete and how they progress through.
If you have any questions about any of the information regarding plyometrics for baseball, whether you’re a coach or athlete, feel free to reach out.
Looking for more content? Read this article, “Increasing Mobility in Baseball Through a Different Lens” also by Taylor Davis.