You Should Be ABLE to Jump Off a Roof
(But You Shouldn't Actually DO IT)
by Alec Enkiri | 1/20/22
The Roof Jump Stunt
Ok, I'm being a bit hyperbolic here. Not everyone can or should be able to do this, BUT everyone should strive to build the physical capacities that would allow them to do it unharmed if they were still young and healthy.
I did this little stunt early last year when I was discussing the KneesOverToesGuy and his bulletproof knee training in order to prove a point about the transferability of my own training and the level of function/durability/resilience/etc. it has accumulated for me. That said, I am NOT a parkour athlete nor do I make a habit of jumping off of large drop offs, yet I can do it on a whim at 33 years old with absolutely no issues anyway.
So how is that? At an age when most people's bodies are starting to become creaky and unassured, here I am eating a 10 foot drop like it's my job even though it's something I have rarely ever done.
I can pull this off because the things that I do on a regular basis maintain and enhance a vast array of physical qualities, and it is the summation of those physical qualities - bits and pieces here and there that seem innocuous or go unnoticed by themselves yet create massive yields when added together - that allows me to be capable of doing a whole bunch of stuff that I don't do on a regular basis. Now in my mind, that is literally the ENTIRE POINT of physical training: yielding a degree of carryover that allows you to be physically capable of tackling pretty much any challenge that can possibly be thrown your way, whether it involves lifting something heavy, running from something, running to something, jumping over something, jumping onto something, jumping off of something, or some crazy combination of all of these things! This is the goal of my Hybrid Athlete approach and it is, much to my chagrin, an ideology that has been largely lost in the modern fitness industry.
And this concept is one that I have alluded to before in the past but never really done a deep dive into. It's not about DOING the thing. It's about possessing the physical capacities required to do it if you ABSOLUTELY HAD TO. And that's not even under the expectation that you'll ever actually have to do it. That's under the expectation that possessing those requisite capacities as a matter of course - by default - creates a long term healthy and highly functional individual. There's a difference between studying to pass the test and just being TEST READY at all times. Where health, and fitness, and longevity, and feeling good, and all that other kind of stuff is concerned, you want to be test ready. But you never have to actually take the test!
I am reminded of some of this same concept with some of the stuff that Squat University makes a habit of preaching. His takes are often meme'd to death by powerlifters and meme pages on Instagram, and while some his stuff certainly goes overboard, I often largely agree with the sentiments or the spirit of what he is conveying when, for example, he discusses things like single leg squats, which he leans heavily on as a diagnostic tool for determining strength/stability imbalances between the left and right hips.
And he harps on this exercise very frequently in his musings, but I don't think Aaron is even really saying that you need to be doing single leg squats all the time, which is how most people seem to take his posts. Rather, I think he is saying that DIAGNOSTICALLY if you cannot do one, well, that's indicative of some degree of a lack of hip function that, as a guy who makes a habit of lifting heavy weights frequently, may come back to bite you in the ass down the road. Your hip is not "test ready" and where health, longevity, and feeling good for the long haul are concerned that may eventually become a bottleneck.
Personally, I've done a single leg squat ONCE in my whole life just to see if I could do it. I can do it with complete ease on my right leg, but on my left leg I have trouble sinking deep enough into the hip socket to hit that position well enough to find balance and stand back up with it. My left hip is the one that had the torn labrum a few years ago and needed to be surgically repaired. That's not a coincidence. Diagnostically the single leg squat tells me that the left hip isn't quite as strong and stable and mobile as the right hip.
I already knew that by feel because I have an intuitive sense of my body, but the test confirms it. And that lower level of function has presented itself in the past in the form of injury - the hip wasn't test ready and so it failed the test. But the thing is, I don't even need to do single leg squats specifically to rectify the issue. I could if I wanted to, but there are other movements that I find a lot more fun to train that will have largely the same impact (for example, Cossack squat or even the ATG split squat) and so I will train those movements instead. But down the road I can use the single leg squat DIAGNOSTICLLY to determine whether or not what I am doing is working to rectify the imbalance.
So what Aaron is conveying in these posts is really the same thing I am saying here, just on a different spectrum. There is an inherent level of general capacity that needs to be present in order to do something that you don't normally do, do it on a whim, and do it successfully while coming out unscathed. Possessing the baseline level of capacity is the important part, not the test itself. The test is simply diagnostic, you pass or you fail. Having the capacity to do single leg squats on a whim is indicative of good hip function. Lacking it is indicative that you may want to work on a few things so that you don't tear your labrum like I did (an insidious process - it creeps on you over time. There is no dramatic injury, you just realize one day that your hip has become worthless).
Having the capacity to jump of a large drop off on a whim is indicative of amazing core strength, leg strength, back strength, reactive capacity, lower leg, foot, and ankle function, and a million other valuable qualities that we should all strive to possess and constantly build if our goal is to be highly functional and remain healthy, pain free, and independent for the long haul. You don't have to jump off a roof to build these qualities (and you shouldn't do that anyway!). You just have to #TrainLikeAnAthlete. I hope this makes sense. Please don't go jumping off your roof now.
Now, if you want a program that actually accomplishes these goals with everything laid out and clearly explained for you then be sure to check out my Ultimate Performance Manual. That's my pride and joy right there, my magnum opus. It's literally the conglomeration of my 15 years of training experience. So if you enjoy this type of free content then be sure to check that out and grab a copy to help support my YouTube channel/website, and help support the production of more free content like this. I look forward to hearing about all the MONSTER GAINZ everybody will be making from this program. Keep training hard and I will catch you guys next time!