The ability to jump high is one of the most important attributes for a gymnast.
It’s been five years since I started working within AGG and I keep hearing the same question: “How is lifting weights going to increase my jumps?”
Most coaches will focus on having their gymnasts practice jumps over and over and over again.
What they fail to realize is that these gymnasts have already maximized their jumping ability and what they need is the ability to produce more force.
In other words, they need to get stronger.
I have tested a variety of jumps over the years with the help of a contact platform. What you see is this: the gymnasts with the strongest scores in the gym are the ones that jump the highest.
The average gymnast has been jumping for over ten years but has never done strength training with weights. Put that gymnast on a basic program of squats, deadlifts and hip thrusts and her jumps will increase rapidly.
Just for a moment, think of the body as a racing car. To get your car to go fast, you need good driving skills and a powerful engine. When you train your AGG jumps you are working on you driving skills. When you lift weights in the gym, you improve your engine.
One without the other is not enough.
Most coaches are too scared of weight training, have no experience with it or fear that the girls will get “too big.”
The only way a gymnast will get “big” is by consuming more calories than what she burns. Muscles don’t grow out of thin air.
Growing muscles requires a caloric surplus, mainly from protein. If you start weight training and you don’t eat more than necessary, you won’t be looking like a man anytime soon. Or Ever.
Where should you start? For beginners, I like the 80-20 rule: focus on what will give you 80% of the results and forget the rest.
Start by mastering the barbell squat. That exercise alone will give you 80% of the results you will ever get from strength training in terms of jump improvements.
You need to squat often, and you need to squat heavy: Build up to 1.5x your bodyweight for one repetition with great technique.
With gyms popping up everywhere you shouldn’t have much trouble to hit the gym, so no excuses are valid.
Don’t waste your time with pointless exercises and more repeated jumps that won’t help you.
Go to the gym, get strong and jump higher!