Strength Performance Network

The goal of plyometrics is not always to develop power

Dear Strength Coach,


How do you sequence plyometric exercises over the course of a macrocycle (16-20 weeks of training)?

It’s well accepted that a client/athlete adapts to an exercise in 4-6 weeks (or less). So, if we are training a client  for 16-20 weeks, we need a well designed sequence of exercises leading towards the stated goal (for example, improving a vertical jump).

I know this may sound heretic, but in the first steps of this sequence the purpose of your plyometrics is not to improve the jump. It is to prepare your passive structures (bones, tendons, connective tissues) for the REAL jump training in the later steps.

Below is an excellent exercise for the first steps of a macrocycle aiming to improve a vertical jump:

  • Perform a single leg hop for distance, “stick” the landing.
  • Then squat down until the free knee touches the ground.
  • Come back up and perform another single leg hop.
  • Perform up to 10 jumps per set.
  • Attempt to progress the total distance covered per set.
  • Perform 3 or more sets, twice a week.
  • For added challenge, drag a sled behind you (loaded, of course).

Give this exercise a try for 4-6 weeks and let me know what you think.

To your success,
Karsten Jensen

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Comment by Karsten Jensen on May 23, 2011 at 3:48pm

Hi Craig,

No, it is a single leg hop with a single leg landing. To adress your concern, let me say the exercise is not used with a complete beginner. A static single leg balance is trained first (minimum 90 sec with out moving). Single leg squats are also trained first. A minimum of 20 is required (knee to floor) before the jump is integrated. The jumps can progress very gently, with only short distances in the beginning. If the concern is the landing impact, the athlete can jump up a set of stairs.


Thank's for your comment!



Comment by Craig Cheek on May 22, 2011 at 8:50am

seems a little intense for the "first steps." if the goal is the preparation of passive structures im not sure single leg loading and absorption is the most optimal way to start.


are you saying land on two legs?

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