A higher vertical jump off two feet is so valuable.
Since it doesn’t require a huge approach/run-up, this can lead to explosive leaps even when working with small spaces.
The training advice and tips on technique here are sure to improve your two foot jump when combined with consistent practice.
Two foot jump technique
The two foot jump is very different from the one foot jump in more ways than the obvious.
It doesn’t require you to be running extremely fast at takeoff, even though acceleration is still important. (see tip#2)
Also, unlike the standing jump, although two feet are still used, one foot will always have a much longer ground contact time than the other.
For a visual breakdown of what a good two foot jump looks like, watch this video:
(it’s under five minutes!)
Tip #1: LONG PENULTIMATE STEP
This refers to the second to last step, just before the final “block step” where you takeoff.
If you’re a bit clueless about what these terms mean, be sure to watch the quick video above.
A long penultimate step will help you out in two ways:
- lowering your body further to create more opportunity for upward explosion
- carrying your horizontal speed into the jump (tip#2 spoilers) to be converted into vertical force
For most athletes trying to improve their two foot jump, a longer penultimate step will give you a big boost.
(The only time you need to be careful with this is if your shoes/the ground have bad grip.
This can cause you to slip depending on how bad it is, losing some upward explosion and control)
Tip #2: ACCELERATE INTO YOUR JUMP
As stated earlier, you don’t need to be running at full speed when you takeoff.
However, accelerating into your jump is still very important; a long penultimate step (see tip#1) can help you do this.
Even in your approach, try not to stutter/slow down before your final steps.
It’s best to steadily increase jump speed up until takeoff.
Although a smooth run-up can be difficult to get down at first, this is one of the easier things to achieve with practice.
Tip #3: TRIPLE EXTENSION
Triple extension is sure to boost the height on your two foot jump.
But first, what even is triple extension?
It simply refers to fully extending your leg at the ankle, knee and hip (squeezing your calves, quads and glutes respectively).
Note that for a two foot jump (with an approach) the penultimate step leaves one foot on the ground for a longer loading time.
Meanwhile, the final foot “pops” off the ground in the final step.
(If this is confusing, make sure to watch the video above)
Regardless, triple extension (fully straightening your legs as you push off the floor) is key for getting the most out of your two foot jump.
Two foot jump training
As just mentioned, when jumping off two feet from an approach, one foot is on the floor for much longer than the other.
Resultantly, a combination of strength training and speed training on each leg (to avoid muscle imbalances) is optimal.
For strength training, the squat and deadlift are great exercises to improve your two foot jump.
These are great since they are compound movements that mimic the motion of exploding upwards.
Due to this, they train various muscle groups used to jump off two feet.
Here, I am referring to the speed at which your muscles contract.
In this case, plyometrics training is your answer.
Make sure to focus on a variety of two foot jumps (forwards, backwards, sideways etc).
However, also using some one foot jumps won’t hurt.
Even the this isn’t what we’re targeting, it gives you a chance to assess and improve each leg individually.
Don’t forget that with consistent training over time, your jump will improve.
Your first jump will look nothing like your jump after regular training, so be patient and enjoy the process.
Be confident that even though there are tips to improving technique, your jump will also naturally improve over time with practice.