Coach Sommer Posted June 7, 2008 Share Posted June 7, 2008 Dynamic leg strength is the primary focus of all gymnastics leg conditioning. Senders are a series of bounding elements used to increase an athlete's explosive power. In addition to be very productive, they are also a great deal of fun.It is appropriate and necessary for all new trainees to engage in some manner of dynamic leg strength training; I start beginning athletes on introductory dynamic leg strength variations on their first day in my program. Care, however, should be taken to lay a solid foundation of basic leg strength prior to allowing the athlete to perform the more high intensity variations or engaging in a high volume dynamic leg strength work. Moderation and patience here are key.Options for increasing basic leg strength include single leg squat work (both unweighted or weighted) or some variety of barbell work. My personal preference for my own athletes is weighted single leg squat work; however I am considering experimenting with some sandbag leg strength options in the future. Potential benefits of sandbag work include; ease of use in a group setting, no racks required and low to no risk of injury when dumping a weight for either themselves or a nearby teammate.Some Basic Progressions for Developing Dynamic Leg Strength:1) Jumping upward - Far too many people fail to realize that the simple act of vigorously jumping upward is quite beneficial for the initial development of dynamic leg strength. Options include standing jumps, squat jumps or rolling jumps.2) Rebounding in place - Essentially this is simply bouncing up and down in place with the legs rigid. The primary difference between a jump and a rebound is the amount of time spent in contact with the ground. A series of jumps contains a landing phase where the legs bend to cushion the impact and then the muscles re-contract to elevate the body once more. A rebound does not have a distinct landing phase; rather the body is already tensed and punches explosively off the ground immediately upon contact.3) Jumping up onto objects - This progression is rather self explanatory. Simply make sure that the object you are jumping up onto is stable and in a safe area. Gradually increase the height of the object being jumped onto. The jumps may either be walked into or performed from a stand.4) Jumping up and jumping off to a landing - With this variation you will now add an additional jump up off of the object followed by a firm landing. Remember that when jumping, you will generally be able to achieve greater heights than when rebounding only. When jumping off, rather than rebounding, be sure to bend the knees upon impact. 5) Rebounding over objects - This variation may also include rebounding up onto and off objects as well as rebounding over. Remember to emphasize with yourself that a rebound is not a jump. Begin with heights that are easily achieved and increase both the height of the rebounds required as well as the length of your circuit gradually over time.These will be the most physically demanding of the progressions, especially on the connective tissues, and you should increase the intensity and volume these movements gradually; especially if it has been some time since you have been vigorously physically active.The Senders variation demonstrated in the video above is a combination of rebounds for different heights as well as for varying distances. The front flip at the end of this particular series is entirely optional !I recommend engaging in dynamic leg strength no more than two times per week for beginning athletes; in this category I include anyone who is not already engaging in dynamic leg strength work on a regular basis. Be patient, be creative and enjoy your workouts.Yours in Fitness,Coach Sommer 1 5 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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