As athletes, especially those just starting out, we don’t always focus on the details of jumping and landing. The idea is to use the full potential of the human body. From box jumps to double unders and even running, proper mechanics of jumping and landing are required
"Ifyou master jumping and landing with good mechanics, you will put the critical movement pattern involved in running under the microscope and start to lay the new foundation of quality movement---of moving the way your body is designed to move." (Kelly Starrett - Ready to run)
Ok, lets talk about some common faults associated with poor mechanics.
1. Knees forward and shins not vertical. You lose connection with your posterior chain and hammer your knees.
2. Toes pigeoned inward or fanned outward, duck-like. You’re out of good position and ripping your knees with rotational shear.
3. Unbraced midline and disorganized lumbar spine. The muscles of your trunk are not engaged, and your pelvis is in a sloppy position. Power from your posterior chain is lost. Your knees get hammered and so does your lower back.
Do we notice a common theme here? Your knees are getting or will be getting trashed the longer your mechanics are off with this skill.
Let’s see what good form looks like when we jump to a box.
If you will notice that Dr. Kelly Starrett starts with his feet forward and weight centered on his feet, not just on his heels or toes. He also lands the same way, allowing his ankles and knees to work as the body intended.
Above is a comparison of good and not so good landing form. Again, this all translates to different movements we do in the gym everyday and especially running. Just one of the many ways we can work to be better athletes.