Building Quick and Explosive Power With the Power Jump Combo
Athletes in any sport must possess great power. Basketball players must be powerful, quickly exploding up to out rebound an opponent, just as a football player must be quick and powerful exploding through the line of scrimmage. The need for power is just as important in baseball and can be developed by implementing different plyo exercises into a regular training routine.
Baseball players must use their power differently from athletes in other sports. Baseball players are not constantly using powerful movements during competition, but instead use quick and controlled power to achieve the desired results and increase leg drive. The Kbands Power Jump Combo is an excellent plyo exercise for baseball players to develop power in their leg drive. This baseball plyometrics combo also teaches baseball players how to concentrate and control power while stealing a base, accelerating the bat through the strike zone, or trying to put a little extra velocity on pitches.
By forcing the muscles to react quickly and powerfully during the plyo exercises athletes will prepare their bodies for game like situations in which these skills are necessary in order to have a successful or favorable outcome. By incorporating two different baseball plyometric drills into the workout sequence athletes will be able to challenge themselves with two similar, but different movements which both improve leg drive. In one of the movements athletes will attempt to be quick and explosive utilizing both of their legs. The second portion of the baseball plyometrics drill requires athletes to remain powerful and explosive while utilizing only one leg.
Incorporating Unilateral And Bilateral Training To Build Hip Strength And Power
Bilateral training is any act where 2 similar limbs work together to complete a given training task (Ex. Barbell Bench Press). Unilateral training involves using only one limb during a training activity (Ex. Single Arm Curl). Both training techniques can be advantageous when training to develop power in the arms or legs.
The Kbands Resisted Power Jump Combo takes advantage of these training techniques by implementing both bilateral and unilateral training into the baseball plyometric drill. Research suggests that unilateral training can help athletes increase strength when performing bilateral training and can help improve the strength in the limb not being utilized. Performing unilateral training is advantageous for focusing on a certain limb which may be weaker or underdeveloped due to an injury or which is highlighted during athletic competition. If this is the case it is important athletes keep the repetitions, sets, and weight the same for each limb. This will help athletes prevent overtraining one side of the body, creating muscle imbalances in the body, and inhibiting the weaker limbs ability to develop and grow.
Proper Starting Position To Maximize Height During Baseball Plyometric Jump Combo
Athletes will want to maximize the amount of work they are able to accomplish in a set amount of time since training time is limited. By starting and executing the plyo exercises with good form athletes will be able to maximize their training time by achieving proper body positioning, for maximum power and muscle recruitment, while performing the baseball plyometric jumping combo.
The reason jumping and other plyo exercises are so effective is due to the bodies stretch shortening cycle, specifically the body’s stretch reflex. The stretch reflex is the body’s natural and involuntary response to the muscles being stretched. When the body feels its muscles being stretched it uses the stretch reflex to help the main muscle performing the lift to increase muscle activation, producing more force with that muscle. This natural compensation by the body is why proper form must be kept on each repetition of the baseball plyometrics drill. This will ensure the proper muscles are being stretched on the descent portion of the baseball drill to enable the body to react appropriately during the jumping portion of the plyo exercise.
Body positioning and mechanics at the beginning of the baseball plyometrics drill are very similar to those which should be practiced while performing the baseball plyometric jump combo. When both feet are being utilized athletes will start with feet squared up and shoulder width apart. Knees should remain behind the toes (this allows for tension to build in the back of the legs) and a powerful arm swing should be utilized to maximize jumping height during the plyo exercise.
Properly Performing and Executing the Baseball Plyometric Jump Combo
Athletes will be performing two separate but similar baseball plyometrics drill. The first is the Kbands resisted tuck jumps, which is an excellent plyo exercise to increase jump height and turnover on jumps. The second plyo exercise is the Kbands power split jump. Since both of these baseball plyometrics will be performed with resistance, athletes will need to securely attach a set of Kbands just above the knees before beginning the plyo exercise.
To complete the resisted tuck jumps athletes will assume a good starting position and powerfully and explosively jump as high as they can. Be sure a powerful arm swing is utilized on each jump of the plyo exercise. While airborne athletes will “tuck” their knees into their chest before extending the legs to prepare to land the baseball plyometric drill. After completing the jump and landing on the ground athletes will explode back up into the air as quickly and powerfully as possible. Athletes should limit the amount of time their feet make contact with the ground during the baseball plyometrics drill. Limited time on the ground will help activate more fast twitch muscle fibers in the legs and hips, accelerating the speed at which the muscles controlling the plyo exercise are able to fire.
To complete the resisted split jumps athletes will attach the Kbands just above their knee, and assume a position with one foot in front of the other. Once feet are a good distance apart athletes will sink straight down at their hips until the front thigh is parallel to the ground. A good starting position for this plyo exercise requires the front knee to remain behind the toes of the front foot. With feet split, athletes will explosively jump into the air and switch legs so the leg which started behind the athlete is now in the front. This is a challenging baseball plyometrics drill and proper form needs to be maintained at all times.
Athletes will perform 3-4 sets of the resisted baseball plyometric drill, each set consisting of 8-12 repetitions. Following these resisted sets, athletes will remove the resistance and perform 2 sets of 8-12 repetitions of the plyo exercise unresisted. Be sure breaks are given between sets so athletes can remain explosive in their jumps.
After mastering the Kbands Resisted Power Jump Combo athletes should move into baseball plyometrics which emphasize power and speed training. Go to the baseball training section at KbandsTraining.com to see demonstrations and examples of more plyo exercises which will help develop great lateral speed, leg drive, and vertical height.