08 July, 2011
With all the equipment available for exercising, it's hard to distinguish between the items that are useful and ones that are just scams. Jumpsoles, the weighted platforms that attach to your shoes with straps, might seem gimmicky, but they can be effective. They're heavier than shoes that are made with similar platforms molded right into the soles, so they'll give you a more challenging workout. They're designed to be used with a plyometric workout to enhance your vertical jump.
Get Used to Them
When you first strap on a pair of jumpsoles, it will feel awkward having a weighted platform attached to the bottom of your normal training shoes. You'll need to get used to them before you start working, which will help to keep your training pace high and avoid injuries. Strap them onto your training shoes and walk around for a minute or two so you can make the balance adjustments necessary to move around normally. You should be able to adjust to them fairly quickly, and you may only need to take time before your first one or two workouts with them.
Warm Up With or Without
Always warm up before exercising. It gets the blood flowing to your muscles to boost your performance and reduce risk of injury. You can prepare for this workout with or without the platform attachments. You can spend three to five minutes on a stationary bike, a treadmill or jog a quarter-mile without the attachments. Warming up in your jumpsoles, however, will do more than get the blood flowing. Adding the resistance and balance challenges of the platforms will help your muscles adapt to functioning with them on. Strap on the weighted soles and jump rope for two to three minutes before working out. You should also cool down and stretch after a workout in jumpsoles but wearing the platform attachments during cool-down isn't necessary, according to the jumpsoles workout manual.
Jumpsoles are supposed to help improve your vertical jump as well as your speed by stretching and strengthening your Achilles tendons and calf muscles. Plyometric exercises are ideal exercises for accomplishing this, and that's why most of the exercises in the jumpsoles workout manual are typical plyometric moves. A usual workout consists of one to three sets of lateral cone hops, bounding, skipping, box and rim jumps, squat lunges and step-ups. One set consists of about 10 reps or jumps, but the bounding and skipping are recommended to be done for a distance of about 25 yards. Rest one to two minutes between exercises. You can add weight to your squat lunges and step-ups by holding a loaded barbell across your shoulders while you perform your reps. You can also include medicine ball throws in your workout. Your calves will get in on the action for these exercises because you'll start in a squatting position and forcefully straighten your legs to stand up as you throw the medicine ball in the air. (reference 1)
The plyometric program of exercises you'll perform to improve jumping and speed only needs to be done twice a week, with at least two days of rest in between. If you're not training for a sport, you should perform eight weeks of the workout then take 10 days off before starting again. This is an effective workout plan for your offseason if you are training for a sport, but during your season you should cut back to minimal training just to maintain strength. This means you'll only do one set of the exercises twice a week with sufficient rest days in between. Also, you may want to cut box jumps out all together as they are exceptionally strenuous if you're in a season of competition.
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