Research Shows That Physical Activity Helps Kids Learn

One of the current strategies for working with children classified as ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder into give them more physical activity. The research shows that kids with ADD have smaller frontal lobes of the brain and thus they tend to struggle with focus and lean toward being more impulsive. Many of these children outgrow their behaviors as they continue to grow and their brain develops and matures. We also know that aerobic exercise releases chemicals that help in the development of those frontal lobes. A short bout of exercise can alter the chemical balance of the brain and can change a sour disposition to more genial or help us to be more focused. We've known this for years, hence the invention of the study break, the walk to the water cooler or the advent of corporate fitness centers into office buildings. Today the science backs up what we knew. But let me return to the point: Repeatedly applying this concept of exercise to enhance focus can lead to permanently enhancing the efficiency of, not only the frontal lobes, but our body as a whole. Our frontal lobes do not fully develop until about age 25. That means up until then we tend naturally to be more impulsive, sometimes irrational, sometimes foggy or unfocused and sometimes inattentive. (Insurance companies knew this before the research by tracking of data about who has auto accidents and when and why accidents occur. There was a sharp decrease after age 25, coincidentally the age at which experts believe the frontal lobes mature, and thus they became less of a risk).

Science is also showing us that academics are directly affected by sports and physical activity even more than we thought. Going back to the ancient Greek's philosophy of a sound mind in a sound body; we seem to have always assumed that the 2 go hand in hand. But now by research we know that it is true. Study by the California Department of Education in 2001 compared standardized testing scores of physically active kids and inactive kids. The physical children had far out-performed their inactive counterparts by a large margin. This study was duplicated in Australia and Hong Kong and both with identical results. The verdict was in: being in sports and physical activity not only increased the rate and efficiency of brain development but it improved learning and retention over all. A study conducted by Ralph Barrett (Nashville) indicated that repetition and development of specific motor skills such as balancing, catching and activities that require a child to use quick eye-hand coordination skills will integrate sections of the brain and enhance reading skills. We know then that applied skill learning and physical skills not only create a more efficient physical body but will lead to better comprehension in reading and thus improve grades and retention of information. Looking into our collective personal experiences we can confirm a North Carolina study that correlates grade point and graduation rates higher for the athletes in school over the non-athletes. Further research in psychology, education and neuroscience all point to the similar conclusions: Physical activity does enhance academic performance.

I have spoken on many occasions about the benefits of gymnastics for children and though many sports involve coordination, eye-hand skills, balance, strength and flexibility; no sport offers them to the extent that gymnastics does. Gymnastics forms a foundation for other sports and activities to build upon. I cannot tell you how many of my former gymnasts have gone on to excel in soccer, softball, track, diving, or other sports. And not only that, in the last 30 years I have coached 3 doctors, 2 physical therapists, 2lawyers, 6 teachers, 2 physician's assistants, 2 software engineers, 8 business owners, 2 architects, 3university professors, a police detective, many accountants, numerous nurses, many lab scientists and 1engineer whose invention was included on the space shuttle (a zero gravity fire extinguisher). Of course when I had them they were all just gymnasts. And, what's more, there are more success stories in the making. Research and personal experience concur that there is a defined connection between physical activity and academic performance. We see it from the improved status of ADD kids getting fit to the performance and graduation rates of school children and all the way to the high achievements of gymnasts. As a coach and parent, I encourage you to get your kids active on a consistent basis. You will improve their mind, their body and their chances for success.

Choosing Trampoline Mats – Bands Vs. Springs

Did you know that trampoline was invented way back in the 1930's? Back then, a gymnast named George Nissen noticed that when trapeze artists fell from their bars, they simply landed in a springy emergency net. This net had a very elastic quality, and the trapeze artists could usually play off their mistake by bouncing up and into a trick as soon as they fell. Nissen envisioned an even more elastic platform that could be used for perfecting jumps, twists, and flips, and that's how the trampoline was born. For many years, the trampoline mats were made of canvas attached to a metal or wooden frame by a series of springs.

As time passed, it was discovered that these trampoline springs could present a safety hazard, especially for those who were first starting out on the structure. Metal springs create space when they're stretched, but if a finger, toe, or unsuspecting bit of skin were to fall against them while they were open, the resulting pinch would likely leave a bruise and might even draw blood. There's also a concern that a gymnast working on their double jump might lose their balance in the air, and injure his or herself if they were to land on the springs instead of the mat.

This design flaw of the original trampoline mats led inventors and engineers to change their thinking about how to provide buoyancy and resistance to the mat, while still helping gymnasts to keep all their appendages intact. What they came up with is true advancement in trampoline technology: instead of springs, they used heavy duty elastic bands that would provide the same level of springiness, without all the fear of injury while novice trampoline gymnasts were learning their new tricks in the air.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both trampoline mat designs, and which one you choose depends solely on what you're willing to pay for, and how the trampoline will be used. Keep in mind that the more frequently the trampoline is used by older, heavier individuals, the more wear and tear there will be on the springs. This could mean replacing the springs as often as each month, although springs aren't that expensive. While bands might seem like a more efficient alternative, you have to remember that they can't be detached from the mat. When the bands become stretched out, you'll have to deal with replacing the whole mat, and not just the springs.

Gymnastics For Toddlers – An Effective Way to Enhance Your Child’s Health And Wellness

Countless may think that gymnastics can be a tricky sports activity mainly fit for people. Together with the complicated moves, extensive stretches, and healthy rhythm, individuals is going to believe that their kids might struggle to conduct on par with anticipation. True enough, this sport activity might be tricky but usually, kids will have far more freedom to undertake most of the workouts considering they are young.

As the sport activity is in need of an enormous amount of discipline, it will often be better to commence from a young age every time they still have a lot of free time for extracurricular actions. Kid's gymnastics could be even more effective than plenty of people would think.

Social benefits. Gymnastics for toddlers help ingrain the talents essential in managing emotional and physical emotional tension. As individuals, you need to know that after they mature, they're going to encounter many difficulties and what better way to prep them for it rather than to allow them to have the skills while having fun. These kinds of ability could include following instructions and guidance, careful listening, respecting others, and understanding the value of silence. Training might help all of them think much better and become arranged in their procedures.

As they can be in a hands-on class, they're going to get to meet up with some other kids of their age and get connected to them all. They can be able to support each other, and also know authority and also other beliefs which can be fine to get while becoming an adult.

Physical improvement. Exercises on kid's gymnastics may also help a young child be able to strengthen her or his body coordination. This class will help them understand the capabilities of their bodies. Improving balance and flexibility are some other physical benefits. This can be a great advantage for them should they choose other sports or activities they will be interested in the future.

Promotes fitness. In the recent years, more and more kids are suffering from too much weight. This may be because of all the entertaining gadgets that replaced all the activities that involve movement. Gymnastics for toddlers is a good way of reminding them that taking care of their health should be of prime importance. These exercises may help all of their muscles move and burn excess calories. Giving them a proper sense of fitness will help prevent them to have weight issues in the future. At this time in their lives, they would always want the sweets and not have any heart for food that tastes bad. Unfortunately, most of the healthy stuff fall into this category. So while they may indulge themselves once in a while, they have the set of exercise and discipline to back them up.

Builds self-confidence. Developing a value for determination can be useful for toddlers as this will give them a desire to accomplish tasks. Being able to achieve something at an early age gives them the self-confidence to accept challenges and not shy away from them.

You may notice that a lot of the benefits of kid's gymnastics are things that will prove themselves over time. Take it as an investment on your child that they will grow into highly effective teens that can compete well in the real world.

Female Gymnasts Who Made Olympic History

The sport of gymnastics not only requires physical strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, balance, and grace, it also requires a high level of passion for the sport. Throughout Olympic history there have been several women who have stood out above the rest, mastering artistic gymnastics in events like the uneven parallel bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and vault. Their competitive spirit and athletic achievements have gained them a place in the record books as the best gymnasts in the world.

Olga Valentinovna Korbut is a Soviet-born gymnast who won a total of four gold medals and two silver medals while representing the USSR team during the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. Known for her talented acrobatics and open displays of emotion during her routines, she became one of the first gymnasts to ever do a backward somersault on the balance beam in competition. Olga also performed a skill known as the Korbut Flip on the uneven bars where from a stand on the high bar, the gymnast performs a back flip and regrasps the bar. Korbut amazed audiences with this routine at the 1972 Summer Olympics, the first time it was performed on the uneven bars in international competition.

Her 1972 Olympic debut was so memorable that it caused many young girls to join their local gymnastic clubs and take up the sport. Her focus on acrobatics rather than on elegance also reversed the trend of the way athletes performed their routines. In 1988 Korbut was the first gymnast to be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Nadia Elena Comaneci is one of the best known gymnasts in the world. She received three gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, as a member of the Romanian team. In 1970 she became the youngest gymnast ever to win the Romanian Nationals. She won her first all-around title in 1971 when she participated in her first international competition that also won her team the gold. At the age of 11 she won the all-around gold at the Junior Friendship Tournament in 1973. By age 13 she won the all-around gold medal on every event except the floor exercise at the 1975 European Championships in Skien, Norway. Her success was recognized by the international community and was named the United Press International's "Female Athlete of the Year" for 1975.

It was at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal where 14-year-old Comaneci became a shining star. Her routine on the uneven bars was scored a perfect 10.0, the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had ever been awarded. By the end of the Olympics, Nadia had earned six more perfect ten scores capturing the all-around, beam, and bars titles and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. In addition to being inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, Nadia also received the Olympic Order, the highest award given by the International Olympic Committee. She received the award in 1984 and 2004 making her the only person (and the youngest) to receive this honor twice.

Inspired by watching Nadia Comaneci on television, Mary Lou Retton took up gymnastics in her hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia. She then moved to Houston, Texas to train under Romanian coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, Nadia's former coaches. Retton won the American Cup in 1983 and the American Classic in 1983 and 1984. She also won Japan's Chunichi Cup in 1983. Gymnastics at the time was completely dominated by Eastern European gymnasts. Mary Lou Retton was the first gymnast outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title during the 1984 Summer Olympics. She also won two silver and two bronze medals. Her performance during the Games earned her Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportswoman of the Year. Retton was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.

Leotards For Gymnastics Dance And Other

Specialty gymnastics leotards are not the obvious choice for amateur gymnasts. Often when one starts practising gymnastics, she chooses to do so in shorts or sweats and a simple t-shirt, and that's ok at the beginning. However eventually you will want to get yourself a leotard for gymnastics that will provide you with great support as you perform. There are a lot of places that sell leotards, both in your local stores geared towards athletes and online. However you may want to check with your gymnastics teacher before deciding on the right leotard.

Many leotards designed for gymnastics are practically weightless and very durable. They offer the sort of support and elasticity that no t-shirt can offer; thus letting you move around with greater comfort. You can choose between short or long sleeve. You can get different styles, with open backs, full backs, cross straps, or turtlenecks. And even though some leotards you have seen may appear strapless, all the leotard for gymnastics have straps to create a better fit.

When choosing a leotard for gymnastics you should chose the one that is most fitting for your body type, and the movements you tend to perform in your gymnastics routines. Gymnastics leotards can cost anywhere from $10 to past $100. The price of course depends on the style, design and brand of your choosing. They come in all different colors and designs for you to pick for group performances and competitions. Certain suppliers also allow you to create a unique leotard yourself, and while that may cost a bit extra, it's a sure way to ensure that your performance leotard will be unique to your show. Your coach may influence the colors you choose, as you may have to represent your gymnastics organization. More than likely your coach will want you to wear a particular style and color of a leotard to make it easy for any competition judges to identify you with a particular school or establishment.

At the end, it still comes down to what's best for your body. A poorly fitted leotard can negatively impact your performance. It's also common to experiment with different styles and brands at the beginning, but once an athlete finds one or two styles of leotards that provide a "perfect fit", they then tend to wear only that leotard. It's like second-skin, and wearing something else will give a feel that something is not right. Choose the materials that you like, to have the feel you find most comfortable, and stick with it!

Don't be too surprised however to find that the materials that gymnastics leotards are made out of tend to be synthetic. The market is dominated by synthetic materials, as they tend to be more durable than those of a natural blend.

Turnanzuge Lessel – Individual High Quality Products at Fair Prices

Turnanzuge Lessel impresses with custom-made sports wear to a sound price/performance ratio

The online shop "Turnanzuge Lessel" offers custom-made sports wear like leotards, gymnastics wear and ballet clothing in high quality at affordable rates. Furthermore, customers have the possibility to design their orders following their own wishes and ideas.

Depending on the discipline the choice of the right sports wear can be very important. Less important is the fact if you are a competitive or hobby athlete. Especially performing in disciplines like ballet or gymnastics it is very important to wear the right clothing. To assure to find the right sportswear it is very important to keep some criterions in mind. Especially leotards or gymnastics wear need to have a perfect individual fit and functionality. Concerning the friction, it is very important that it exists only between gymnastic apparatus and leotard or between floor and leotard, but not between leotard and skin. That is why it is so important that the clothing has the right fit to help the athlete to reach their maximum performance. Another very important criterion concerning the choice of the right sports wear is which cloth is used. Above all, the customer should like the optics of their new clothing.

Turnanzuge - Custom-made Sports Wear

A competent contact for custom-made sports wear like leotards, so called Turnanzuge and ballet clothing is to be found in Schwalbach near Saarlouis, Saarland. Claudia Lessel runs her online shop with which she looks after clients in the federal territory. A whole range of different models in various cuts, cloths, colours and designs can be looked at on the homepage of the atelier. This variety is only a help for the customer to get a small overview of what is possible to design and order, because the core competence of Claudia Lessel is definitely custom-made sports wear in every possible variation.

Turnanzuge - Sports Wear Affordable For Everyone

Every human body is different and shows individual characteristics which is the reason why only tailor-made sports wear can fulfil the high expectations concerning fit and wearing comfort. To fulfil the special wishes of every customer the shop owner cuts the leotards to size regarding the measurements of every single customer. Sports wear off the rail can never fit as good as custom-made clothing and always slip or ruck which can especially in ballet and gymnastics cause the risk of injuries. Custom-made clothing by Claudia Lessel minimizes the risk of injuries for it is like a second skin which doesn't only prevent the clothes from slipping, but also minimizes the air resistance. Another plus is that the atelier only works with high quality cloths and guarantees high quality custom-made clothing while keeping an eye on a fair price/performance ratio which makes the sports wear affordable for everyone.

Turnanzuge - Customer design their own sports wear as wish and require

Mainly custom-made leotards are ordered in the online shop, but the wide product range also contains ballet clothing. Customers are able to design their very own sports wear as they wish and require. Designing leotards there is the possibility to chose between designs with or without sleeves, different necklines, collar shapes and colours. Also one has the possibility to chose a pattern out of a very wide range or design it as wished. The leotards can also be marked with a crest or badge. This special custom-made leotards are available at a minumum order quantity of one piece which is the reason why also private persons belong to Claudia Lessels customer base.

The wide product range of Turnanzuge Lessel does not only contain tailor-made leotards or ballet clothing, but also hotpants, tight and wide leggings and jazzpants.

Interested people can visit the shop under and inform themselves about the service portfolio, terms and conditions of ordering and the customer-friendly shipping terms.

Renovating A Public Gym For Residents

Indoor gyms are community hotspots for families interested in partaking in some sort of physical activity, whether it be weightlifting, gymnastics, swimming or running. Most community parks often operate an indoor gym of some sort with one or more of these activities for parents and children to join in. Some community gyms often lack one or many of these facilities due to budget concerns, space restrictions or insufficient equipment. If you have the additional room in your city's budget to perform some aesthetic upgrades or even buy new equipment, here are some of the best items to spend that cash on.


Your basketball court is big enough with sufficient seats, but once visitors look at the floor, they are welcomed with a grave sight.

Most guests may observe the dire condition the wood floors are in, and while most indoor gyms probably have the same wooden floors since the day they opened, it might be a good concept to repaint the floors. Getting a decent contractor to come and repaint the floors will cost a few thousand dollars, but the upgrade is worth the cost. Contractors will take off the old paint from the floor, re-sand the wood and paint the floors with a new color or its original color. Your newly finished floors will go with any wood or aluminum bleachers you may have scattered throughout a gym.

Exercise Equipment

You may have plenty of space inside your gym to erect a little exercise room to house cardio machines and a couple of weightlifting machines. Exercise equipment, as with the floors, will set you back a few thousand dollars, but these machines can be purchased at steep discounts from nearby equipment resellers wanting to help community parks and gyms. With the purchased equipment, your city's local gym can start conducting exercise classes and free work-out sessions for residents interested.


Some indoor pool may still be utilizing older pool plaster for the floor and sides, and while this is okay, the plaster will chip after a few years. For swimmers, cracked plaster will produce minor cuts on their feet, and minor cuts inside a chlorine-filled pool says "ouch" for swimmers. Of course emptying the pool and having it repainted will set you back a few thousand dollars, but it's worth the investment of getting the floors and sides retouched. Repainted sides and floors will prevent swimmers from getting cuts on their toes and feet, rendering a more enjoyable swim. Other likely pool renovations may include the purchasing of lifesaver rings, life vests and grandstands for spectators to enjoy water polo games or swimming events held inside a gym.

Basketball Hoops And Trampolines – Are They Safe?

Have your kids been groaning with boredom ever since school let out for the summer? Are you tired of watching them melt away in front of the video games or television programs, but don't know how you can encourage then to get outside to get some exercise? Parents around the world are discovering that trampolines are a great way to get kids excited about working out, even though all they think they're doing is playing with a new toy! There are many trampoline accessories that can be added after the purchase to make the trampoline even more exciting, but it's important to make sure that they're all installed correctly for the utmost safety.

Safety starts with knowledge, especially when you're talking about trampoline parts, so it's important that you and your kids have a full understanding of the way the structure works. Most trampolines have metal frame with legs that extend about three or four feet down to the ground. Trampolines can be round, square or rectangular, and most use metal trampoline springs to connect the mat to the frame. Some newer models have replaced these metal springs with elastic bands to make the structure safer.

A typical trampoline is simply a flat platform on which children and adults can jump to their heart's content, but even well control jumping can sometimes go awry. That's why many newer models of trampolines come ready to have trampoline nets or enclosures installed. These features create a net wall around the entire edge of the trampoline, helping to keep bouncing bodies in the center of the trampoline mate where they belong. When choosing a trampoline enclosure, however, it's important to remember that not all brands of basketball hoops work with all brands of enclosures, so shop wisely.

Once you've found a basketball hoop and trampoline net that will be compatible, it's alright to let your kids play on the structure to their hearts content. They'll have fun for hours, bouncing high into the air and slam dunking the ball into the net which will be securely fastened to the frame. Be sure to remind them not to bounce above the height of the net or too closely to the basketball goal itself, because it's all too easy to get an arm or leg caught in the hoop on the way down. As with all trampoline activities, it's best to only have one person on the trampoline mat at a time.

How To Get In Sports Shape Using Your Community Field Chairs Or Gym

Are you playing sports in a local league? Feel like playing some football or baseball again? If it has been years since you have played, you will want to work out. A college or professional team will allow you access to wonderful facilities and experienced trainers. By joining a neighborhood league, you will have to learn how to train on your own. Strength and endurance training will help you get into excellent shape while preventing injuries.

No matter what game you are playing, endurance is going to be crucial. For fields like soccer, basketball, and football, strong endurance will be helpful. To build endurance, you will want to do cardio techniques. Something like running is possible to do almost anywhere. If you have a membership to a gym, you can do this on a treadmill. If you can't go to a gym, run around your neighborhood, or at your community park.

Just as critical to endurance is speed. Interval training and cardio drills are also a great way to build your speed. To build speed with interval training, you will want to run at different paces. Take advantage of running the bleachers and grandstands at your community gym or field. Use your community stadium stands, if you have entry. Stairs can help with both your endurance and your speed.

Strength will also be crucial regardless of what sport you are going to join. Build strength by developing a comprehensive weight-lifting program. You can do weights at your neighborhood gym, or at home if you have specific equipment. It can be a good idea to have a workout friend, or at least someone else around to help you if you needed it. Put together a routine that includes squats, bench and shoulder presses, deadlifts, and pull-ups. You will get stronger, and really be in shape for game day.

No matter what you are attempting, being in excellent shape will help you to play your best. A private coach or trainer can also help. With a bit of research, you can do all of this alone. You will want to be certain you are also staying hydrated and eating right. All of this training will ensure that you can have fun during the game.

The Magic of Depth Jumps

Depth jumps almost have a mythical status in vertical jump training. On one hand they can be extremely effective at generating quick and impressive results in your jumping ability, and on the other hand, their incorrect application can very quickly lead to injury. So what do you do? For a start, you can read this article and find out what the is the best and most appropriate way to incorporate this great exercise into your training program.


Depth jumps are an excellent exercise to help improve reactive/eccentric strength. One of the great things about them is that often they provide immediate and noticeable gains in jump height. The down side is that these short term results often lead to them being abused as a training tool (see below).

Depth jump is simply a jump that is performed after the athlete has dropped to the ground off a platform or box. The jump should be both immediate and rapid. As the goal of depth jumps is to improve an athlete's reactive strength, the less bending of the knees and the less time the feet are in contact with the ground, the more effective it is.

One of the more commonly heard myths about this exercise is that you should land on your toes and that your heels should not touch the ground. The rationale for this is that your heels touching the ground increases contact time.

This myth is half true. Yes your heels touching the ground may increase contact time, but the landing and jumping can still be performed sufficiently fast so that they provide plenty of reactive stimulation. The other upside to a bit of heel contact is that it helps reduce the pressure on your joints by increasing the surface area over which forces can be dissipated.

Another quick point about performing depth jumps is that they are very hard on your CNS. In order to get the most out f them you should make sure you have plenty of rest between sets (2-3 minutes at least. The more reps you perform per set, the more rest you need between sets). You should also get plenty of rest between training sessions. Even with advanced athletes I would still only recommend their use up to twice per week.


Before I continue I wanted to address one of the biggest issues that coaches have with depth jumps - safety. Over the years the abuse of them in an athletes training program has lead to many reporting injuries from their use. Due to this there are a lot of coaches who feel that only advanced athletes should use them (often quoted is the need for a minimum of a 1.5x BW squat).

This however is something that to I do not entirely agree with. Why? I believe it has more to do with the volume and the drop height causing the injuries, not the exercise itself. After all you only have to look around the various athletic chat rooms to see that there are plenty of athletes will lots of strength and training experience who have still had problems from depth jumps.

Another way to look at it is that no one argues that squats are a great way to build strength in the legs. If you have never squatted before the chances are that you would be pretty bad at it. The squat is also a reasonably advanced exercise. It requires balance, core strength, decent range of motion etc as well as strength.

Does this mean that you wouldn't have a beginner squat? No of course not. What it does mean however is that instead of loading up the bar with 2x your bodyweight you would pick a very light weight to start with and work up from there.

The same approach should be applied to depth jumps. They are a great way to develop reactive strength. Just because you are not great at them to begin with doesn't mean you cannot do them, it just means you have to start nice and easy. In this case nice and easy means starting with a low box and with low number of jumps until you have found a height and volume that allows you to perform the movement quickly, correctly, and most important of all, safely.

One final comment about depth jumps and training experience that I would like to make is that it is my experience that stronger, more experience athletes definitely get more out of this exercise. However it is also the case the stronger athletes generally get more out of all jumping exercises. Why? Stronger athletes have the potential to generate more force and performing plyometrics such as depth jumps and other jumping drills helps reduce the explosive strength deficit (ESD).

Less experienced and weaker athletes do not have the ability to generate much force to begin with so there ESD is generally going to be much smaller meaning they have less to gain from plyometric activities.

What is the ESD you ask? The ESD is the difference between how much force you can develop if you have an unlimited amount of time against how much force you can develop when our time is limited. A powerlifter might be able to squat 4 times his bodyweight but if he can't jump high it just means he cannot access his strength quick enough and he has a high ESD.

A sprinter might squat only 2.5 times his bodyweight but he can access that strength much more rapidly which allows him to run so fast and often jump quite high. What does this mean to you? It basically means that if you are inexperienced and not very strong and you are going to use this exercise in your program, you would be well advised to also be doing plenty of strength work as well.


The intensity of the exercise is largely determined by the height from which you drop, and as such the box height (in conjunction with training volume) must be carefully monitored to ensure both safety and effectiveness. If you use a box height that is too high the obvious problem is as already covered, the increased chance of injury.

The other issue related to excessive drop height is that it can create an eccentric (downward) force that is too great for the athlete's reactive strength to handle. So even though the athlete might not injure themselves on that jump, the downward force might still be too great for them to rebound straight back up off the ground quick enough for there to be a decent training effect.

So what is an appropriate height? The most commonly prescribed method is to identify the drop height that allows you to jump the highest when performing a depth jump. The process of determining what this height is might take a bit of trial and error.

A number of authors (Chu, Baggett) suggest the following method.

Step 1. Perform a standing vertical jump (SVJ) and mark the height you 2. Stand on an 18 inch box and perform a depth jump trying to beat your 3. If you did not reach the same height as your SVJ, keep lowering the box in 6 inch intervals until you can reach the same or a higher 4. If you did reach a same or higher point than your standing vertical you keep raising the height of the box in 6 inch intervals until your performance declines.

An example might be:Standing Vertical Jump Height Touched: 290cm

Test 1 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 292cmTest 2 - Height Touched Off 24 inch box: 295cmTest 3 - Height Touched Off 30 inch box: 289cm

Optimal drop height therefore would be a 24 inch box.

Alternatively the situation might look like this: Standing Vertical Jump Height Touched: 290cm

Test 1 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 287cmTest 2 - Height Touched Off 12 inch box: 288cm

Recommendation - If you have an insufficient strength, do not do this exercise.

This is generally accepted as very a good way to determine your optimal drop height but I don't believe it is the best way. Comparing depth jump height to standing vertical jump height really only indicates how reactively strong you are. If you can't match your standing vertical jump from a 12 inch box this doesn't mean you should not do depth jumps (as suggested by Chu), it just means you are low in reactive strength.

The better way for determining the optimal depth jump height is to start on a 6 inch box and work your way up in 6 inch increments until you find the drop height that results in the highest touch.

For example:

Test 1 - Height Touched Off 6 inch box: 290cmTest 2 - Height Touched Off 12 inch box: 296cmTest 3 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 293cmTest 4 - Height Touched Off 18 inch box: 292cm

Optimal drop height in this case is 12 inches.

What about drop height for single leg depth jumps? The answer that comes to mind is to use a box half the height of your regular two foot variety. However, it isn't quite so simple. Landing and jumping with two feet is much easier as you have two legs pretty evenly spaced apart to do not only balance you, but to generate the force required for the jump.

When you land on a single leg it is much harder for your joints and muscles to absorb the eccentric forces. For single leg depth jumps I would use exactly the same method I just outlined but I would start with a 6 inch box and move up from there in 3 inch instead. You will be surprised how dramatically your performance drops off when using the single leg version.

Speaking of drop height the next question is when should you start to increase it? Whilst progression is the key to achieving your vertical jump goals, you don't want to do it too quickly, particularly with high impact plyometrics. You should start increasing the box height only after you have made noticeable improvements in your jump height without sacrificing the speed of the jump.


The short answer to this is no. One of the great things about this exercise is that often they provide very good gains in a short space of time. However the rate of these gains also tapers off quite quickly. What this leads to is athletes thinking that more is better so they end up doing way too much volume for too long a period of time.

It is this overuse of depth jumps that I believe has contributed to so many injuries in the past. The length of time you should use them for will once again depend on the height of the box, the volume of jumps performed, and the training experience of the athlete. Once your gains taper off take a break from them for a few months and when you come back you will be ready once again to take advantage of this exercise.


Depth jumps can be a very beneficial exercise for improving your vertical jump. They frequently rate in many coaches top 10 jumping exercises lists. However abuse of them has often resulted in injuries leaving them with a bad reputation with many coaches.

Hopefully in this article I have given you some good ideas about how to safely incorporate this interesting exercise into your vertical jump training. The key points are to start conservatively, and to use low boxes and low volume until you start to get a feel for what you can handle.

One final thing, depth jumps are just one exercise out of many you can perform to help you jump higher. If you are worried about getting injured, or that you are not sufficiently prepared to use them - then don't. There are plenty of vertical jump exercises you can do besides this one.