Exercise of the Month: The fitness benefits of jumping

Considered by some to be the domain of professional athletes – basketball, tennis and football players, figure skaters, hockey players and dancers – jumping is a great way for anyone to improve agility, alignment, control and proper muscle activation.

Basketball great Kevin Durant and National Hockey League phenom Connor McDavid have certainly thought so and credit Merrithew equipment with helping them improve their athletic performances.

Our recent Merrithew Connect Collection, Pump it up: Pilates for basketball players highlights a series of movements that are ideal for fitness enthusiasts persuaded of the fitness benefits of jumping.

As with all workouts, a good warm-up is essential. Here, Merrithew® Master Instructor Trainer, PJ O’Clair demonstrates two approaches to improving spine flexibility with a Cat Stretch using the Halo Trainer Plus, in one instance, and the Cardio-Tramp® Rebounder in another.

The Cat Stretch is a great exercise to mobilize spine into both flexion and extension. Though it may appear quite simple, it requires an awareness of the neutral position between each. It’s important to keep the spine flexible in order to distribute forces efficiently and move the entire body in most effective way. This exercise also requires scapular mobility and control.

Moving on from the warm-up, this video showcases a great aerobic and strength-training workout; PJ guides clients through a series that includes 60-second intervals of bi-lateral jumps on the Cardio-Tramp, making sure that they are engaging the quadriceps both eccentrically and concentrically and using the resilient surface of the accessory board to create better articulation through the feet in order to absorb forces properly.

In the second video, Merrithew co-founder and Executive Director of Education, Moira Merrithew, begins by instructing a student’s use of the Reformer Jumpboard to simulate the ground in order to focus on the correct biomechanics of the lower kinetic chain.

A stable torso and correct alignment of the associated joints allows the hip joint to assume an anatomically neutral position as energy is transmitted through the soles of the feet, up through the body. The focus on ground-reaction forces also ensures ideal activation of not only the muscles that produce the jumping action, but those that control the position and movement of the torso as well.

“Use the Jumpboard as you would the floor, so you’re stable,” she says.

Moira also highlights the importance of foot mobility to overall fitness, including jumping: “We tend to neglect the balls of the feet and the metatarsal joints (specifically the metatarsophalangeal joints), but it’s important to keep them mobile.”

Technically, the foot moves as three separate functional units that include the hindfoot, the midfoot and the forefoot. It is important to monitor and adjust the mobility of all the areas of the foot in a variety of planes to ensure its role as a complex spring mechanism.

Using the Jumpboard, Moira notes the importance of proper alignment through hip, knee and ankle joints to engage the muscles effectively and avoid any injury, concepts reinforced through the STOTT PILATES® Principles. If there is a weak link in the chain, an injury is possible at any point along it, or even somewhere else in the body as compensatory patterns are established.

In a third video, Moira relies on use of the Reformer again to highlight how to stabilize the hips, knees and ankles. The workout in this particular video is intense enough that it can be used as a complete workout on its own, or as a warm up-before other athletic activities or fitness training.

Toward its final quarter, Moira guides the client through a series of movements that focus on strengthening the hip extensors. This group that includes gluteus maximus, and hamstrings is essential to maintaining optimal alignment in the pelvis and hips, as well as generating the power necessary for explosive movements like taking a jump shot.

We hope this collection of videos will inspire you to incorporate jumping into upcoming workouts. Jumping is a sophisticated and complex movement that has the potential to have a great impact on overall fitness.


Source: https://www.merrithew.com/blog/post/2022-07-27/exercise-of-the-month-the-fitness-benefits-of-jumping


Related Posts

September 27th, 2023

The Benefits of Pilates: Achieving Physical and Mental Wellness

Pilates, a time-honored exercise method with a rich history spanning over a century, has taken the fitness world by storm. Loved by millions around the globe, Pilates has transcended its origins as a favorite of dancers and athletes, capturing the...

September 20th, 2023

How to Choose the Right Pilates Reformer for Home Workouts and Professional Pilates Studios

Pilates Reformers are one of the most versatile and essential pieces of equipment for anyone seeking to enhance their muscle strength, flexibility, and overall well-being. Whether you're planning to use one at home or in a professional Pilates...

September 13th, 2023

Getting Started with a Cardio Workout Routine

The wide range of benefits provided by a regular cardio routine is pretty obvious. According to the Mayo Clinic, aerobic exercise benefits include: Strengthens heart and muscles Burns calories Helps to control appetite Boosts mood...

September 6th, 2023

What is a Pilates Reformer?

The Pilates Reformer, born out of Joseph Pilates' innovative spirit and dedication to physical fitness, has evolved into a fitness industry staple. Its origins can be traced back to Joseph Pilates' ingenuity and resourcefulness during his internment...

August 28th, 2023

Ask the Expert: Achieving Optimal Positioning with the Arc Barrel

We are thrilled to have Takayuki Akatsuka— Merrithew® Instructor Trainer, addressing a common query on determining the ideal position of the Arc Barrel for supporting thoracic flexion.   “By understanding the key considerations...

August 16th, 2023

The Five Laws of Creating a Great Fitness Experience

Customer experience is one of the hottest topics in the fitness industry. Throughout the sector, health clubs recognise that to win new members - converting them first into fans, and then into advocates – every aspect of the gym experience needs...

July 19th, 2023

Exercise of the Month: Thigh Stretch on the Reformer

Are you looking for a unique workout on the Reformer to strengthen and tone your thighs? Thigh Stretch on the Reformer is a great exercise to enhance flexibility and range of motion and also promote better posture and overall lower body strength....

May 4th, 2023

Ask the Expert: Should I Feel Sore After a Workout? And Tips on How to Relieve It

Feeling sore after a workout is one of the most common things exercisers face. Many people believe that it can indicate that you had a good workout, but for some, it could be a setback in their fitness progress. We asked Merrithew® Instructor...

March 21st, 2023

Exercise of the month: Knee Stretch prep with rotations

https://f1-recreation.com/f1/images/MerrithewPEPilates.mp4   Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer, Bianca Bolissian takes us through a STOTT PILATES® Reformer repertoire from Merrithew Host Training Center, PM Pilates. This...

March 6th, 2023

A portrait of bravery and inspiration, the story of IK Pilates Studio, Ukraine

While establishing IK Pilates in 2018 - Irina Karnaukh had one goal, to create the most comfortable conditions for people who came to her studio. She poured her heart and soul into the studio and its values exude the same. Located in the heart...