Teaching Landing Mechanics

Landing mechanics has always been a hot topic in sports medicine. Letโ€™s be honest, watching elite athletes perform at a high level and analyzing their movement is sexier than most low-level rehab exercises for movement enthusiasts. So itโ€™s natural for clinicians and trainers to get excited when teaching someone landing mechanics. In this article, youโ€™ll learn the basics of what to focus on with teaching landing mechanics.

The Basics With Landing Mechanics

Landing mechanics, in short, is just how you land and how it looks. You have to have big brakes, meaning strong muscles, when it comes to great landing mechanics. Before you even start working on landing mechanics, you need to have prerequisite strength and deceleration skills. Click here to learn more about deceleration drills.

Once you have checked those boxes, then you can work on landing mechanics. Below are some of the basics I want to check off and accomplish with landing mechanics.

Above is an ideal representation of what landing mechanics should and shouldn’t look like. There are a couple of things I also want to make note of below.

  • Form – Shoulders in line with the hips, hips in line with the knees, shoulders stacked over knees, knees stacked over toes. You can appreciate this looking at someone head-on and from the side similar to the photos above.


  • Active Shock Absorption – Another word for absorbing force and landing softly using the muscles vs. hard/stiff landings putting more stress through the joint. There is a time and place to practice harder landings, however, I like to teach someone landing mechanics first with a soft landing. An easy way to cue this is to tell the person to be quiet with their landing.


  • Weight Distribution – You donโ€™t want the weight shifted too far back on the heels or too far forward on the toes. We also donโ€™t want to see someone favoring one side more than the other, poor balance, or lack of trunk control. This is something I review in the video below with Mike.


How To Assess And Teach Landing Mechanics With Craig And Mike


What To Do If The Landing Mechanics Look Bad?

So you watched the video above and youโ€™re trying to teach someone landing mechanics, however, itโ€™s just not working out. Donโ€™t stress it, below you will find a few videos to help build someone up to depth landings demonstrated in the video with Craig and Mike.

Regressions For Depth Landings

Here is a great video by Mike to master the base/ready position!


Deceleration Progressive Exercises


Hope you enjoyed the article! Comment below and let us know more topics you want us to cover in long-form video styles.


Jumping Fundamentals & Plyometrics [P]Rehab Programs

Looking for two comprehensive guides that respectively take you through a step-by-step linear progression of mastering the landing โ€˜baseโ€™ position and practicing jump, bound, and hop variations? Our Jump Fundamentals Program is designed for those working back towards jumping and plyometrics after an injury or surgery and for those who donโ€™t feel comfortable with jumping and landing just yet. Whereas our Plyometrics Program is designed to expose your body to all of the various potential landing and jumping movements that sports demand. This includes double and single-leg variations as well as multi-directional and continuous movements! These programs are rooted in scientific evidence, strengthening & conditioning principles, and our clinical expertise as physical therapists!


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