The Kneeling Jump Progression is one of my top explosive exercises for wrestlers. I’ve already written a very thorough post on how it can benefit you on the mat. Be sure to give it a read- A New Take On Hip Power For Wrestling.
So, rather than get into the benefits, let’s just get into how to perform and progress it.
The first progression is learning how to perform the jump. I’ll be honest, it may be awkward at first. Think about it- how much experience do you have jumping from your knees?
I’m guessing little to none.
It’s just not a common movement, especially compared to jumping from your feet.
So, don’t get discouraged at first, you’ll get it.
Here’s a video of the first progression.
The one thing I highly suggest you do is start with the tops of your feet on the ground. If you start with your toes dug in, you’ll have a tendency to rock backward and stand up.
By putting your “laces down,” you’ll prevent any such compensation.
If you are struggling with the first progression, try using a wider base.
You may find this slightly easier.
Anyway, once you’re comfortable with progression 1, you’re ready to move on.
The 2nd progression is to add a PVC pipe behind your neck. If you don’t have a PVC pipe just use a broom stick or something similar. The idea is to take your arms out of the equation. This will force your hips to do more work since you won’t be able to create momentum with your arms.
Here’s a video to give you an idea how to perform this progression:
Once you are confident with your arms out of the equation, you’re ready to move on.
The final progression has 2 parts. Neither one is more difficult, so these are in no particular order.
The first is to add weight. You can do this with a bar on your back or by holding dumbbells.
I started using a bar, but then drifted to dumbbells. I did so simply because it helps keep things moving in the weight room. I don’t think one has any real benefit over the other.
The second way to progress this exercise is to jump to height. I’ll be honest, this was one of the more scary things I had done. I don’t know what it is, but stacking a few mats to jump on adds a whole other element.
However, once you land a few jumps, you’ll realize it’s not too bad.
Whichever progression you choose, make sure you’re constantly trying to increase the difficulty by adding weight and/or height.
If you start to plateau, switch it up. Here are some combinations to consider:
1. Jump to height w/ PVC.
2. Jump to height w/ 10-pound dumbbells.
3. Jump to height with weight on your back.
Feel free to mix and match progressions to create different challenges.