Get Higher Baby – Jump For Roller Derby

Did you know part of your minimum skills involves jumping? Over cones?!

And that jumping in derby is really important – jumping over fallen bodies or across  the apex for example?

Thoughts of tripping, face-planting, landing on your arse, breaking bones and the high possibility of dying, are all things that can hold a n00b back when they are learning to jump. For many, jumping doesn’t feel natural, never mind jumping on bloody roller skates!

The good news is that you can do stuff off skates that will help you build up the confidence, strength and flexibility to jump on skates.

First, lets talk about the physics of jumping:

Speed + Height = Distance 

In other words, the faster you go and the higher you jump (upwards), the further you will go. The emphasis is on the word upwards.

Compare the distance you cover when trying to jump forwards, to running fast and jumping upwards. You will see that you travel much further when you jump up.

When you jump UP you jump OVER.

When you jump FORWARD you jump THROUGH – not great if there’s a person or solid object in front of you!

How To Jump On Skates:

Skate fast towards your target,  then “load up” your legs – squat down and bring your arms backwards – then jump by driving your body and arms up, bringing your knees towards your chest. Then land softly, bending your knees to absorb the impact, making sure you keep your weight slightly forward – you do not want to lean backwards!

Tip – Get someone to film you practicing this technique, even jumping over an imaginary object. If you do it right, you will be surprised at just how high you get. It will make you feel a lot more comfortable jumping over objects if you can see you have a lot of clearance and won’t trip.

“Ok thats great Treb but I’m still shit scared and trip over air! I need more help.”


Looking sexy!

Looking sexy!

Off Skates Jump Training


In order to get a good, high jump and to absorb the impact when you land, you need to be able to bend at the hip, knee and ankle. Tight hips and calf muscles really prevent you from being able to bend your knee and ankle so its good to concentrate stretching out these two areas.

It’s not recommended to stretch when your muscles are cold or right before doing a heavy strength exercise, so do these after a thorough warm up or at the end of training.

Hip Flexor Stretch

hip flexor stretch

Get into a half kneeling position. You want your knees to be at right angles and your body upright and hips square. Contract your abs and slightly tilt your pelvis under, squeezing your butt to get deeper into the stretch. It’s a small movement but you should feel it deep in your hip. You can go for more by raising your hands above your head and leaning slightly away from the hip being stretched. Perform 3 reps of 20secs on each side.

Calf Stretch – Straight Leg

calf stretch

Stand facing a wall about 12inches away and rest your hands on the wall. Extend one leg out behind you, keeping the heel on the floor and leg straight. Lean towards the wall whilst trying to keep your heel on the floor. Step your leg further back if you can’t feel the stretch. Perform 3 reps of 20secs on each side.

Calf Stretch – Bent Leg

calf stretch 2

Stand facing a wall about 12inches away and rest your hands on the wall at chest height. Place one leg slightly behind the other and bend both knees keeping your heels on the floor. You should feel the stretch in a slightly different place. Perform 3 reps of 20secs on each side.


Practicing jumping off skates is not only good for helping you pass your minimum skills but it’s great for building strength and endurance.


Always land with soft knees, absorb the impact, imagine landing quietly like a cat.

If you are a beginner, concentrate on correct form over height. If you can’t jump yet, STEP over first, gradually adding more and more intensity and height.

Go slowly. Instead of rushing through the exercises, make sure you’re doing them properly as you will get much more out of them.

And if it hurts, STOP! 

Get Higher Baby – Jump For Derby Workout

Total Body Extensions

This is like jumping without actually jumping! Get into a squat position with arms behind you. In one motion drive your hips forward and arms upward coming up onto your toes without leaving the floor. Return to the start position and perform 10-12 repetitions.

Jump Squats

Squat down, bring your arms back then explode upwards using your arms to help then land softly back down into the squat position. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions.

Tuck Jumps

Use the same technique but this time, use your core strength bring your knees up towards your chest before landing softly in the squat position. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions.

Box Jumps

You can use a park bench, workout bench, aerobic step or box for this, just make sure it’s sturdy! If you’re a beginner, start with a low box at about 12inches but don’t go higher than about 24inches. Take your time and don’t rush this move. Stand about 2feet away from your box, squat down and explode up using the same technique as before. Land with soft knees, like a ninja, making as little noise as possible! Step down from the box and repeat 8-12 times.

More on box jumps.

Single Leg Hops

This works on your balance and strengthens the smaller muscles and tendons in your legs and ankles. Put all your weight on one leg and bend your knee and begin hopping in place if you are a beginner, side to side or back to front if you are more advanced. Remember to always land softly with a bent knee and on the ball of your foot. Do 3 sets of 30sec on each leg.

Hurdle Leaps

Either use an imaginary object to leap over or use a “hurdle” – a barbell with large weights, a narrow bench, an actual hurdle – that is a comfortable height for you to jump over. Take a run up and when you’re about 2feet away, load up your legs and leap from your left foot to land on your right. When you leap, bring your knees up towards your chest and remember to jump UP rather than trying to jump forwards. (When you eventually do an apex jump, it is better to leap from left to right as you are more likely to land in-bounds on your right foot) Do 5-10 leaps from your left leg then repeat on your right leg and repeat for a total of 3 rounds.

Hurdle Jumps

Stand about 2feet away from the hurdle, squat down, bring your arms back then drive upwards with your hips and arms. Bring your knees up and you should land the other side of the hurdle with soft knees and a quiet landing with both feet. Do 3 rounds of 10 jumps.

Jumping is hard work, its a plyometric exercise that helps build strength, power, agility and endurance in a short amount of time. So its a good workout to do regardless of whether you need to practice jumping, even if you only do it once a week.



Treble Maker 909 xx

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