The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fast Fitness - Third Group Functional Training Exercise: Ankles and Knees in Jumps and Landings

Here is Fast Friday Fitness - third in the series of Functional Fitness Training (Bookspan Basics) to teach your teams, squads, classes, students, kids, groups, battalions, etc.

Assemble your group in neat rows. Stand in front in view of all. Tell them this is a basic, functional physical skill to reduce musculoskeletal injuries, that puts together the first and second skills, previously learned:

  1. Tell everyone to 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).
  2. Next, have everyone bend and rise increasingly rapidly and smoothly, in a jumping motion, first without rising from the ground, then barely jumping. With each bend and rise, they maintain good knee bending and neutral ankle. Repeat 10-100 times, depending on time and needs.
  3. Next, tell everyone to jump, landing softly using thigh and hip muscles for shock absorption, and good knee bending and neutral ankle. Start jumping moderately, then work for increasing height with each repetition. Repeat 10-100 times, depending on time and needs.

Use conscious control to prevent inversion sprains and turns by not allowing the ankle to invert (turn sideways) when rising to toe during push-off in running and jumping, and coming down during landings. Watch for healthy ankle and knee stability and placement throughout the team season.

Each new Functional Training exercise shows how to teach your groups (or self) how to prevent common musculoskeletal problems during the team season or operational theater. Learn this one to be ready for an upcoming FFT, needed for cutting, changing direction, lateral movement, more.

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.

Functional Group Bookspan Basics:

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About the Author


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