Going back once again to the podcast with Clinically Pressed, I mentioned the jump rope as a great tool for developing low grade plyometric qualities in the foot and ankle.
Let's take this a step further and demonstrate how these same qualities apply to sprinting. Front side mechanics or tripe flexion is extremely important to running and sprinting ability. Most people focus on the posterior chain and triple extension with little focus on triple flexion. There is a reason why sprinters spend so much time practicing and rehearsing front side mechanics with marching and skipping drills.
A critical part of triple flexion is dorsiflexion at the ankle. Often you'll see athletes sprint with a lazy foot that isn't brought into dorsiflexion during the gait cycle. This must be addressed and trained accordingly. We want to train an 'active' foot, not a lazy foot. Training an active foot will require cues but the use of external cues such as the jump rope will force an athlete to become more reactive, thus possibly leading to quicker learning of new skills.
The jump rope can be included in skipping drills to develop ideal foot/ankle mechanics as they are necessary for optimal speed and power development. If these qualities aren't trained and mastered then athletic potential will be hard to realize.
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