Explosive Leg Development

Training technique and tips from the Boston Institute of Jump

Chip Fanelli
Bridge Step One: Lie on the ground face up with your arms at 45 degree angles to your sides, your heels as close to your hips as possible, and place your feet flat on the ground. (A)

As an undersized volleyball athlete standing 5 feet 11 inches, I have been dwarfed on every court on which I have stepped, both at the beach and in the gym. This lack of height has made me my opponents’ immediate target, fielding most of their early attack, yet much to their surprise my athletic movement and sports performance education at HordoN HEALTH has allowed me to perform at elite levels. If training correctly, any volleyball athlete, no matter the height, will find themselves looking down on their competition. Under the tutelage of HordoN HEALTH and the Boston Sports Institutes’ founder, Marc Hordon, The Boston Institute of Jump (BIJ) has developed advanced jump training that not only increases vertical leap, but produces graceful and coordinated movements that profit all air-bound athletic actions.

Eccentrically-trained hip flexibility, quad functionality, glute and hamstring fast-twitch muscle development, and proper muscularly-coordinated jumping mechanics are the keys to vertical athleticism in volleyball. Although the following fundamental exercises are just the beginning of BIJ’s full arsenal, they will have you performing at new heights in mere weeks.

“It’s not how much weight you move or how many times you move, but it’s how you perform the movement. Implementation will always be the most important element to athletic development of any sport or muscular activity.”
– Marc Hordon, founder of HordoN HEALTH and Boston Sports Institutes

For more information on the BIJ visit bostonsportsinstitutes.com or bostoninstituteofjump.com or email [email protected]


Level: Basic

Target: Glute and hamstring fast-twitch muscle development

- Lie on the ground face up with your arms at 45 degree angles to your sides, your heels as close to your hips as possible, and place your feet flat on the ground. (A)

- Pushing downward through your heels and outward through the insides of your feet, extend your hips upwards, knees and feet hip-width apart, abdominals contracted. Hold for minimum of 30 seconds. (B)

- Slowly reverse your direction and lower your hips back to the ground.

*For a challenge, try performing the bridge with a single leg.*


Vertical Hop

Level: Basic

Target: Proper muscularly-coordinated jumping mechanics

- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your back flat. Squat by pulling your hips to your heels while pushing through the insides of your feet as if spreading the floor apart, with your arms extended fully behind. (C)

- Once your maximum flexibility is reached, drive your heels into the floor and explode upwards, jumping as high as you can. Bring your knees to your chest in the air. (D)

- Land in the original hip-width stance and immediately repeat a minimum of eight times.


Pike Jump

Level: Moderate

Target: Proper muscularly-coordinated jumping mechanics

Begin in the same squat position as the vertical hop. Thrust your hips forward as you jump into the air. (E)

Once off the ground, immediately extend your legs straight in front of you in a pike position, trying to get them as high as possible without bending your back. (F)

Land flat-footed. Reset and repeat.


Glute-Ham Raise

Level: Advanced

Target: Glute and hamstring fast-twitch muscle development

- Begin with your knees on the ground hip-width apart and the torso erect. Have a partner hold your ankles anchoring you to the ground. (G)

- Maintaining an erect torso, lower yourself all the way to the ground as controlled as possible. (H)

- Catch and push yourself away from the ground with your arms, without releasing your torso. Finish by pulling yourself the rest of the way to kneeling with your hamstrings.

Originally published in January 2013


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