Demonstrated is a flow of progressions from double leg to single leg box jumps. But why jump training? Why single leg?
Jump training, also known as plyometrics, should be an integral part of every strength training and injury prevention program. Plyometric training focuses on increasing power, which is equal to force times velocity. Increasing power can benefit everyone, whether it is an athlete’s performance on the field, or fall prevention for elderly adults.
Just like any other training program, plyometrics should be individualized and specific to the client’s/patient’s needs. If you want to maximize single leg performance and single leg strength, you need to work towards single leg plyometrics! According to an article by Bogdanis et al. 2017, single leg plyometric training was more effective at increasing both single and double-leg jumping performance, isometric leg press maximal force and rate of force development (RFD) when compared to bilateral training.
What does this mean? For maximum performance gains the goal should be single leg plyometrics! NSCA recommends 80-100 ground contacts for a beginner’s plyometric volume per session. HOWEVER, prehab is about training smarter. Listen to your body, start with 20-40 reps if you’re a true beginner, and see how you feel.
These box jump progressions should be utilized BEFORE experimenting with plyometrics. Before box jumps, you should establish a foundation of jumping and landing on a flat surface without a change in elevation. Ankle and hip stability should be precursors to plyometric training, check out these articles on ankle and hip stability for some training ideas!
Bogdanis et al. 2017, “Comparison between Unilateral and Bilateral Plyometric Training on Single and Double Leg Jumping Performance and Strength.” J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Apr 18. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001962