Triple extension refers to extension at the hip, knee and ankle. In an exercise context it refers to taking an athlete from a “primed” position in which the joints are in slight flexion and ready to move, in to full extension at all three aforementioned joints.
This movement is common in a range of movements and most importantly used in pretty much all sports with an emphasis on speed and power. An example of this type of movement is jumping in which all three joints explosively extend to create fast powerful movement. Another sport in which tipple extension is vital is olympic weightlifting. As the bar moves in to the power position the athlete is qued to “jump up” which creates a forceful triple extension and subsequently a vertical force on the bar. This type of movement is extremely powerful and can be seen by watching lifters such as Lu Xiaojun who can clean and jerk in excess of 200kg while weighing just 77kg.
Despite their obvious contribution to athletic performance, often training these movements are neglected. A range of literature suggests that training triple extension movements can directly improve athletes vertical jump performance (Eunwook, et al., 2015).
So if you are an athlete looking to improve speed and/or power are you using triple extension exercises? If not, then make sure to keep an eye out for my future post on the best triple extension exercises