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Focus on landing

Soft landings = safe landings

Metafit uses plyometric exercises (eg. jumps) to build strength and power. When performing plyometric exercises, landing technique is often overlooked, but it is AS if not more important than the concentric (upward) motion of jumping.

The untrained way to land is in a very rigid, stiff legged manner. As a result, all of the impact is absorbed between the hip, knee and ankle joints. It is much more advantageous to land softly and transfer the force to the glutes (butt), hamstrings, quads and calf.

One of the recent points of discussion in strength and conditioning communities focussed on people who are quad dominant v glute dominant. Quad dominant athletes tend to use their quads to shift their weight forward with squatting and jumping movements. This not only transfers a lot of pressure to the front of the knee, but puts a large load on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

By learning how to land softly without noise and controlling deceleration, you will significantly lower the impact forces, decrease the risk of injury and extend the life of your joints.

The key points in landing technique are:

  1. Land as softly as possible, making no noise when the feet come into contact with the surface. How many times have you heard me say “Absorb the impact through your butt and thighs, not your joints”!
  2. Land flat footed or slightly heel first, keeping weight evenly distributed over the entire foot.
  3. Shift your glutes or butt back and keep your knees behind your toes. “Butt out”

Jumping and landing training are highly demanding on the nervous system, so it is essential that the body is warm enough to perform the exercises efficiently. Please practice these key points when performing jumps in a metafit session – your joints will thank-you.