Welcome back, athletes! This months drill is great for all our youth athletes and can make an impact on overall athletic performance and sport. Time to get bouncy and find your inner bunny, gazelle, kangaroo, you name it because this month we introduce you to pogo hops.

Pogo hops are a game changer for athletes jumping, sprinting, and ability to move and change direction at game speed.

What are Pogo Hops?

A pogo hop is mainly a plyometric exercise. Meaning we are training jumping ability with the purpose of pushing off the ground with as much force as possible, in as little time as possible. These improve lower body strength, explosiveness, and coordination. Making for a drill that develops jumping, and sprinting power.

There are 3 key benefits, as well as 3 different ways of training pogo hops to achieve these benefits.

Benefits of Pogo Hops

Power Output: Developing power starts from the ground up. Pogo hops allow athletes to train their feet and lower legs to be explosive with minimal use of their knees and hips. This improves strength and how rapidly the calves and achilles can contract. In turn making jumping and sprinting more efficient starting from the foot and ankle all the up the chain of joints.

Overall Health of Joints and Achilles: While pogo hops are a Plyometric exercise typically intended to be high in intensity. Done the right way can be great foundational exercise for keeping your tendons and ligaments strong and conditioned. At times performed after recovering from injury as one of the first steps towards regaining strength and confidence. 

General Physical Preparedness (GPP): Pogo hops can be done in many ways to fit your needs of the day. You can perform them as part of your daily warm up before any kind of workout regardless if it’s weight training, track work, or practicing the sport itself.

Three Ways to Maximize Your Pogo Hop exercise

POWER: Start with pogo hops with a bilateral stance (feet and legs side to side). Start your hops relaxed and low to warm up and progress to hopping as high as you can on each repetition. Perform these for 3-5 rounds of up to 10 reps. KEY here is to rest 2-3 minutes, or when you feel recovered to give 100% effort each round.

Staying healthy and preventing injury: Extended plyometrics are great for anyone just trying to keep their legs healthy. For pogo hops these are done by bringing down the intensity of your jumps and trading power, for more consistent and rhythmic repetitions. Perform with any foot positioning, or direction for 2-3 rounds of 20+ repetitions, or even for a certain distance. Rest time can vary, but should be as little as the athlete can handle to keep conditioning the movement. This method is an ideal start for beginners and those bouncing back from injury.

General Physical Preparedness: Using pogo hops as a warm up exercise can help the athlete’s foot, ankle, and Achilles prepare for the forces they are going to exert in game, or competition. While either method has it’s benefits, pogo hops can be done in an extensive manner where the athlete is getting 20+ repetitions in different directions as a warm-up for a long distance runner. For a sprinting athlete, it may be more appropriate to perform high effort repetitions to match the intensity of their short distance.

Watch the Demonstration

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