Starting Position: Lay out your cones as illustrated creating a zig-zag line for 10 – 15 yards (9 – 14 m). The cones should be 2 – 4′ (approximately 1 m) apart.
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Start by standing to the outside of the first cone, with both feet together or hip-width apart and feet facing forward. Stiffen (“brace”) your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine and maintain this position throughout the exercise.
Squat down, then immediately explode upwards in a diagnonal direction over the cone i na directio ntowards the 2nd cone (with a minimal pause in the squat position). Your jump should push through your the heels of your feet and extend your hips, knees and ankles in one movement. Swinging your arms upwards as you jump will increase your power and jumping ability.
Maintain your foot alignment during the jump, landing with your feet aligned in the same position as when you jumped. Make first contact through your mid-foot (balls of your feet), rolling immediately back through you heels while initaiting a “hip-hinge” (bending at the hips, pushing your butt backwards) to absorb the impacting forces. Continue to drop into a 1/2 squat position bofre transitioning explosively into another diagonal jump.
Exercise Variation: Progress the drill intensity by jumping higher over the cones, spacing the cones further apart (4 – 6′) or increasing the overal length of the grid. However, one set through the drills should not exceed 10 seconds (if performing at a 9 or 10-out-of-10 effort) or 15-20 yards for lower intensities.
Always learn the proper machanics of landing before jumping. Alignment of the foot, knee and ankle, and the mechanics of landing are critical to minimizing injury associated with jumping activities.