Fitness for Kids – Plyometric Vertical Jump Drill

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 34,965
    Certified personal trainer Margie Weiss demonstrates a plyometric vertical jump drill for kids.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    My name is Margie Weiss and this is Kids Cardio Conditioning. What we are going to add here is a little bit of plyometrics. Plyometrics are vertical jump drills designed for quick strength, for power, so that a speed skater or an athlete who needs to jump a basketball player, a soccer player who needs that one powerful kick can have the power and the speed to get through that skill.

    So, what were going to do is start again with very basic, so that the child learns safely what to do, then we will do the options. So, what were going to do first is just learn the steps. We are just going to step up and step off and turn around. These are the actions, you are going to be going up onto it, you are going to be coming down on to the step, and then you are going to be doing it one more time -- and turn around. All that does is, is establish what they are going to do. Notice that they are turning on the floor, were not going to turn over top of the bench. Little bit harder here, we are going to walk up, but we are going to jump off, so your is back off and the object it pretend like you are trying once you get on, to get as high as you can off of the bench. So, your vertical jump, thats the snap, thats the power involved. Again, very safe, very slow, but it gives the child the exercise.

    Now, we are going to get into the actual plyometrics of it, and what we are going to do -- again, this would be a timed drill. Plyometrics, because it's anaerobic which means you are not going to be using much oxygen, you're using the ATP, which is the energy stored in your muscle. You can't do it for very long, because there is not that much energy stored within the muscle. So, if you are doing it with a child, 30 seconds to a minute is about as long as they can do this activity for, then they need the rest for 30 seconds, then they can do it again, because the ATP will build back up in the body very quickly. We are only going to do it for about 10 seconds. The object, again, this is a hot potato, so as soon as you bounce on to it. Everything is going to be done on two feet; two feet on, two feet off. You are going to turn however many jumps it takes on the turn to get you squared up and safe before you jump back on to the step.

    So, they are going to do kind of their own pace, they would hop, hop, hop around and again, the accent is off of the box, as high as you can, off the box, turn safely, however many jumps you need to turn, so that you are squared up and then the power. You can also put something up above them that they have to reach for if you want. You just dont want them looking up at it, you want them looking down at the step. So, that they dont end up on the edge of the step and turn an ankle. Now, we have done it for maybe 20 seconds, so lets cut here, and youll notice they are breathing a little bit heavy and it's because the body can only do this exercise for so long, you are going to start feeling it into the thighs. The next day the child may feel it little bit in the thighs; thats a good things. Youre building up some lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass takes up less space, but it does work, it's powerful. So, all we are doing here is a plyometric vertical jump drill.