Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quadrupedal Jumps (part 1)

QM jumps must be considered from three perspectives:
  1. as a means of locomotion, jumping from hind to fore limbs like a rabbit or jumping from all four limbs like a frog,
  2. as a jumping technique to go over obstacles as quadrupeds do,
  3. as a safety mechanism in a failed bipedal jump, a hard landing or a landing on a slope.
QM jumps usually happen in frontal posture, and only exceptionally sideways or with the back to the ground. Both arms and legs are used in the impulse and in the landing, although the legs are preferrably used for jumping and the arms for landing. There is a moment where the body is fully detached from the ground, otherwise it is just a change of posture as described earlier. The simplest jump, from the feet to the hands, is just a grouping exercise done in "piqué" [ndt: with an explosive beat added to the move, a concept very central to George Hébert's works, but hard to translate accurately].

The teaching of QM jumps must indeed start with the grouping and extension exercises in frontal posture, moving simultaneously both hands or both feet. We can slowly increase the distance between where the hands and feet land, then start lifting the feet off just before landing on the hands. Finally, we can increase the width and height of the jump. During the entire time the body is airborne, the head must remain in extension.

We must distinguish two modes, corresponding to bipedal jumping modes:

  • the flexed jump, with the legs kept under the hips,
  • the extended jump, with the legs extending more or less straight from the trunk.
Only the extended jumps allow a great amplitude in height or length, but they are not feasible for beginners. A large amount of training is required in order to master them.

Exercises follow [ndt: more or less ordered by increasing difficulty, more to come in next post]:

  1. Forward jump: squat down with the hands on the ground in front of the feet, with the weight of the body on the legs. From this starting posture, throw the body forward by pushing on the legs strongly enough to lift the feet off the ground while bringing the arms forward. Extend more or less the body and land on both hands, arms flexed. Then, bring the feet close to the hands as in the starting posture. The body is ready for a new jump if needed.
  2. Backward jump: the execution of a backward jump is the opposite of that of a forward jump; the impulse comes from the arms and the landing is done on the feet. Squat down with the hands in front of the feet on the ground, the weight of the body being on the flexed arms. Then, without a pause, push back vigorously with the arms so as to extend the body backward, feet off the ground. Land on the feet after the hands have left the ground in order to execute a proper jump. As soon as the feet touch the ground, bring the hands closer to the feet to squat again in the starting posture.
  3. Sideways jump: the sideways jump consists in throwing the body sideways or at an angle, right or left, by moving successively the hands and the feet. It can be done in two ways:
    • jumping from the feet to the hands as in a forward jump, except that the hands and then the feet are placed sideways from the body.
    • jumping from the hands to the feet as in a backward jump, going sideways again.
    During the impulse, it is important to throw the body sideways and not straight. In the landing, one must resist the fall to avoid collapsing on one leg or one arm, as the landing limb on the side of the motion has a stronger shock to absorb.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pilou
    I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it. I think you are doing a really good job and I hope you will keep posting

    Cheers, Thomas