How to Jump as High as Ronaldo?

December 18th, 2019, Ronaldo scored against Sampdoria and secured 3 points for Juventus with his goal in the 45th minute from a header. The goal also became Ronaldo’s 55th goal from a header during his 10-year career in the world of football. Not only did he add to his record score, the goal also caught the attention of many experts because Ronaldo recorded a leap as high as 71 centimeters.

In these goals, Ronaldo managed to gore the ball from Alex Sandro’s cross where the height of the bait reaches 2.56 meters or 12 centimeters higher than the goal height. The 71 centimeter jump that Ronaldo has inscribed is also higher than some NBA players. Because the average jump height of NBA players is only 60-70 centimeters.

According to the statement of Mick Clegg who is a former strength coach and condition of Manchester United players, to achieve that high jump the player must use power which is a combination of strength and speed. Jorge Perez-Gomez & Joes Alcabelt in his 2013 study said that to improve vertical jump performance (VJP) speed of take-off is needed which can be achieved through the contribution of muscle strength and / or rate of force development (RFD) which is the contractile ability of muscles to produce style quickly.

When viewed in biomechanics, there are several muscles that play a role in facilitating players when jumping. In an article written by Sara Lindberg for livestrong.com it is said that the quadriceps muscle (consisting of rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius), gluteus, hamstring (consisting of semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris), gastrocnemius, and vastus intermedius), gluteus, hamstring (consisting of semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris), gastrocnemius, and vastus intermedius) soleus are the main muscles that work to facilitate vertical jump movements.

But not only the muscles above, the trunk muscles also play an important role because movements that require power, athletic ability, and good coordination such as vertical jumps always depend on the muscles of the trunk. Not only that, the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and other upper limbs also play a role but not in large portions like the muscles of the lower limb.

When we are going to make a jump, the knee will bend slightly and the condition of the torso slightly leaning forward to gather momentum. Quadriceps is the first muscle group to work to straighten the knee joint. Then proceed with the work of the gluteus and hamstring muscles to straighten the lower limb with the trunk, and when the soles of the feet start to tiptoe before taking off, is the fruit of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.

The ability to show vertical jump Ronaldo during the match against Sampdoria certainly did not come suddenly. Proper and repetitive training is the key to how Ronaldo is able to show excellent physical performance at the age of 34 years. What kind of training model is suitable for improving vertical jumping ability?

Plyometric training is a type of exercise that is very useful for improving vertical jumping ability. In several studies as quoted in the research article Jorge Perez-Gomez & Joes Alcabelt said that plyometric training has been shown to increase the ability to jump vertically by 5% -35% for untrained subjects, and 3% -16% in athletes. Squat jumps, countermovement jumps, and drop jumps, are some of the most commonly used plyometric exercises.

Aside from plyometric, weight training is also a type of exercise that has the benefit of increasing vertical jumping ability. However, to get maximum results, it is recommended to use relatively light weights (30-50% of maximum ability) on the muscles that facilitate vertical jumps proved to be effective in increasing the ability of vertical jumps to 18% for trained subjects.

Back again to Mick Clegg’s statement that the ability to jump vertically when influenced by power. To maximize power training, we must focus on quality not quantity. Why? Because power is a complex mechanism that requires gradual progress. In Anthony N Turner’s research in 2009 explained that to achieve maximum results from power training, athletes are only recommended to do one movement in 3 repetitions per set, with a training load of 5 sets, and a rest interval of 3 minutes for each set. In addition, to ensure that athletes perform quality movements, between reps it is recommended to be given a pause of at least 10 seconds depending on the level of difficulty of movement.

So after reading this article, are you able to train to jump as high as the living legend, Cristiano Ronaldo?

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