Home Blog Should Your Heels Touch?

Should Your Heels Touch?

Written on May 17, 2007 at 2:14 pm, by Eric Cressey

In your opinion should the heels touch the ground lightly during a bounce drop jump. I’ve heard ‘yes’ and I’ve heard ‘no’ from several coaches and I’m trying to form my own opinion on the subject once and for all.

I think it’s a must. Very few athletes have the eccentric strength to land completely on the balls of the feet. You’re also putting a lot of undue stress on the Achilles and patellar tendons and limiting your ability to cushion with the hip extensors. You’re also really increasing the amortization phase, therefore killing the very elastic response you’re trying to train.

A lot of people will argue that it’s counterintuitive in light of the sprinting motion, but I don’t see that argument as holding water. Vertical displacement is centimeters in sprinting, but meters in bounce drop jumps, so you’re comparing apples and oranges in terms of ground reaction forces. I use different short-response tactics for using just the balls of the feet.

Also, what would you conclude if a subject’s countermovement jump (30″) was identical to his bounce drop jump (30″) off of each of the 12″, 18″, and 24″ boxes. Finally, how would you proceed with the subject’s training if they decreased to a 29″ bounce drop jump off the 30″ box? Thanks for the wisdom; your manual is a great resource.

Could just be accumulated fatigue, but I’d train him with a mix of reactive and strength work – with slightly more of an emphasis on reactive work. Stay at 24″ for his bounce drop jumps in training and retest every fourth week.

Eric Cressey

Is your off-season integrated with the right active recovery strategies?

Have similar questions for Eric? Direct them Here.

  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series