Many see jumping as a thing for young bodies and athletes, not a therapeutic or long-road oriented practice. But that’s exactly what jumping is. A spring in your step means every step will land softer, and that you’ll have a lot more steps in the bank. A pained shuffle doesn’t lead anywhere good, unless it’s to our doors.
Science is getting ever clearer about what builds bone strength. Nutrition helps of course, but is not the final answer (of course). Exercise is the thing, but as always, not just anything will do. Some research suggests that over-specialization in sports like swimming and cycling can develop more brittle bones than those of the general population. Then other forms of exercise can be too harsh, like pounding out runs over the years while the body’s shock-absorbing strength dwindles. These kinds of findings have long made sense to thinking coaches, who are everyday seeing and tweaking from the front lines of fitness. We’ve coached many long-time runners, cyclists, and swimmers on the verge of giving up their outlets to actually feel and perform better in their endurance work (and actual life to boot). Patterns like jumping are a big part of this. We have a rule of thumb: if you can’t jump, don’t run.
A growing body of research points to jumping as being a unique balance of both gravitational deceleration and muscular acceleration — affecting not just muscle and tissue, but structural strength. That is, jumping grows stronger bones. No other movement pattern seems to provide this perfect balance.
Our anchor is a KB Jump. It’s actually the movement that many people use to swing a KB, but is in fact what KB lifters call “squatting the swing” (i.e., deep knee flexion and bell swinging more up and down, beneath the body). While we don’t teach it for swinging, we love it for the jump pattern that it better practices. And the KB overload allows for plenty of incremental progression. Plus, unlike a box jump, it practices both sides of the jump (up= athletic value, down=therapeutic value) and makes for ready down-scaling for bodies who aren’t yet ready to jump. Wrap it all up with the beautiful DOMS the first session of a cycle give you, there’s much to love
Lastly, a pair of lean, muscular jumpers’ legs are the perfect picture of both aesthetic form and athletic capacity. As always, we want to see all the dots connect: from therapeutic to aesthetic to athletic. Bottom line: everyone should jump, and at G every one does!