The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fast Fitness - Seventh Group Functional Training: Advancing Ankle and Knee Safety With Single Leg Jumps

Here is Fast Friday Fitness - seventh in the series of Functional Fitness Training (Bookspan Basics) to teach your group, teams, classes, students, kids, battalions, or self. In this Bookspan Basic Training, you advance lower leg stability from single leg vertical jumps to lateral movement:

Assemble your group in neat rows. Stand in front in view of all. Tell them this is a basic, functional physical skill to learn how to reduce lower body injuries during sideways jumps. Remind them they need to use the same principles from the Third, Fifth, and Sixth FFT of vertical jumps.
  1. Have everyone crouch using good bending (knees do not sway inward or slide forward, taught in the first skill), then rise to toes with stable neutral ankle (not bowing outward at the side, taught in the second skill). Remind them that when they land from a jump they use the same neutral ankle.
  2. Stand with good stance on one leg only. Have them leap side to side from one leg to the other
  3. Then try it jumping side to side on the same leg. Switch and repeat.

Use this for improving ability and reducing injury potential from changing direction, cutting, lateral movement, landing to the side from jumps, slips and missteps, and more. It builds on the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Functional Training exercises where you learned to jump vertically (up and down), laterally (side to side) with good lower body mechanics, then advanced to vertical single leg jumps.

During actual real life walking around, practice this by hopping (from one foot to the same one foot only) from point to point. Use street cracks and lines as goal points.

Trainers, Drill Instructors, readers, send in your stories of how you use these in your program.

Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

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    About the Author

    M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

    Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.