Increasing your Vertical Jump
Whatever the reason(s) for wanting to increase your vertical jump, there are many ways by which you can do. In this article we discuss several of these and we are sure that they will help you to get your vertical jump height where you desire it to be. Here are our top fivetips:
1) Muscle knots: Also referred to as ‘trigger points’, muscle knots are located across your whole body and actually reduce and restrict the length of your muscles, which in turn makes them both shorter and weaker. To alleviate muscle knots we recommend using a foam roller on each of the leg muscles. Be sure to work the muscle slowly at the most tender points (this will be fairly painful mind!) as this will have the most impact and help to rid you of these performance-reducing knots.
2) Split squats: As obvious as it may sound, your legs are pretty much the sole reason for jumping, therefore strengthening your leg muscles and increasing their power output and explosiveness is necessary for optimal performance. Bulgarian split squats are an excellent exercise for doing this and may even help to improve your balance also. How to do them? Stand a yard or so away from a bench (or any other sold surface around the same height as a bench) and place your non-working leg in it. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand up straight with your chest out. Lower yourself down until your back knee is almost touching the floor and then using the heel of the foot that’s on the floor, push yourself back up until you’re in a standing position again. Three sets of eight once or twice a week should start to have an effect in a matter of weeks.
3) Depth jumps: These are a great exercise and are performed as followed: step off a box, then when you land on the ground explode upwards. This will improve your reaction times and assist in activating your leg muscles at the correct times. To begin with we advise using a box that is around 7 to 8 inches off the ground. Remember, as soon as your feet hit the deck jump as high as you can, reaching upwards with your arms. Add in four sets of four reps once or twice per week and have 1 second between each jump and thirty seconds between each set.
4) Knee-to-feet jumps: This type of jumping exercise is less well known, yet is an exceptionally good tool for those wanting to improve their vertical jump. How is it done? Lower yourself down to your knees and sit back on your heels. Jump up explosively remembering to swing your arms (it will help with momentum), drive your hips forward and bring your legs and feet directly under you. Land in the squat position with your arms held out in front of you. Rinse and repeat. This exercise is proven to work as the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research proved this via a study done several years ago. It is best performed three times a week utilising a three to four sets of three to five reps per workout.
5) Visualisation: Another technique rarely used, but one that will definitely have a positive impact. You have to be able to visualise yourself jumping higher to be able to do so. Don’t underestimate the power of the mind – it is a very powerful thing that when utilised correctly can have phenomenal results.
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Thanks for reading – have a great day!