The kinetic energy of body weight as a muscle enhancement factor is the key element of the Shock Method. It is the sudden, obligatory muscle tension that is caused by the impact of the body (collision) with an external object.
Collision is an isolated event in which two or more moving bodies (conflicting bodies) exert forces toward each other for relatively short or even minimal time. The collision can occur from moving and non-moving bodies.
What distinguishes the different types of collisions is whether they also maintain kinetic energy (E = mv²). Collisions can be either elastic, that is to maintain both momentum and kinetic energy or be inelastic, which means they retain momentum but not kinetic energy.
Elastic collision is defined as a condition in which there is no loss of kinetic energy in the collision.
In figure # 1. the vertical jump is performed without previous movement.
In figure 2 there is a shortening of the muscles (caused by the weight of the athlete) prior the jump and immediately follows the vertical jump.
In the 3rd case, the athlete falls to the ground from 50 cm height and immediately attempts a vertical jump. Verkhoshansky proved, in his experiments since 1968, that in the third case, in what he calls “Method Shock”, the muscular reaction is the maximum and hence the jump higher than the previous ones.
The conclusions from several experiments can be focused on the fact that the vertical jump (the power that can be produced) depends on the initial functional state of the muscles. The greater the muscle activation after the external load (moment of reaction to ground impact), the higher the power produced at the time of the vertical jump (Figures 4 & 5).
figure 4. figure 5.
From the above observations, a whole new coaching methodology, also known as “plyometometrics”, was based. This method improves the force and explosive power faster than any other. Its coaching applications are extremely important and constitute a “foundation” for the majority of sports in order to improve speed, explosive strength and, of course, jumping ability.
When applying the Shock Method, the height and number of the boxes, the repetitions, the intermediate distances, and the way of execution are decisive factors.
Photo: Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou, athletics, Pole Vault, 3rd World Champion 2015, 8th Olympic Finalist Tokyo 2021.