Learning to jump higher can refine your performance in sporting activities. You also gain reliable power, agility, and balance. This greatly benefits your movements, both athletic and functional. So, does this mean there’s a secret to improve your vertical jump? Ideally, jumping is a rigorous explosive movement that you can improve with proper training. Many NBA players have vertical jumps in the 28” to 34” range. But if you think formal training sessions will lift you to new heights, you’re wrong. If you want to improve your vertical jump, you must do both power and strength training. These exercises include a mix-up of plyometrics, calisthenics, and weight training. To jump like a professional athlete, you need to train like one, starting with the exercises outlined below.
This exercise’s defining characteristic is that the jump is preceded by the powerful muscle action caused by dropping down from a raised surface. This is different from a standard box jump where you start from the floor. To effectively learn the art of the depth jump, this Vert Shock free PDF will come in handy. The depth jump is an authentic plyometric movement. This is because the muscles are stretched suddenly, which produces a powerful shortening of your muscle fibers. Additionally, this exercise utilizes the stretch-shortening cycle to improve CNS activation. This helps your body respond with higher reactive force levels to strengthen your lower body’s elastic components.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Your legs offer you the power to jump higher. This is another excellent reason not to neglect your stems. The Bulgarian split squat will help build resistance, strength and improve balance. To effectively do it, stand a few paces away from a bench, and place your non-working leg on it. Ensure the top of your foot is on the bench. Next, you want to hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand erect with your chest up. Lower yourself down until your back knee lightly touches the floor. Using the heel of your lead foot, ascend into a standing position. You can try doing four sets of 8 reps on each leg during your training routine.
Incorporate Strength Training
“If you’re working on your vertical jump, aim to ensure your muscle fibers are working harmoniously and more forcefully,” says Jennalyn Rush, an NCSF (National Council on Strength and Fitness) certified fitness trainer. When you first begin training to jump higher, the gains you notice are because your CNS (Central Nervous System) is working efficiently and more explosively. To complement this process, try and integrate strength training into your routine. Heavy lifting helps stimulate the muscle fibers you need for explosive movements.
Shift Focus on Your Landing Mechanism
You also need to pay keen attention to the landing in your jump. Even though many people with back or knee injuries could be afraid to jump, the mastery in learning to land from a jump is critical to your training process. “Try and learn how to absorb the impact by landing appropriately,” says Rush. You will also need to core strength to help control your landing impact. This comes in handy, even in your future training. Generally, ensure you land softly, absorb the shock, and distribute the weight equally throughout your feet. This helps you avoid injury as you train to jump higher.
Jumping rope helps strengthen the muscles you need to execute a vertical leap. This also improves your jumping abilities. During training, ensure you jump on a firm surface, such as concrete or hardwood floor. A firm base provides plenty of room over your head for the rope. Jump for twenty minutes per day. If you’re unable to complete the twenty minutes all at once, break it up into four to five-minute jumping segments. Add resting breaks in between or incorporate other exercises.
These exercises are one of the recommended ways to improve your vertical jump. Plyometric exercises use powerful force to train and build your muscles. They embody jumping and rely on your body weight to achieve desired results. Fitness experts recommend that you limit your plyometric workouts to thrice a week with at least one day of rest between workouts. On the day you’re off from your plyometric workouts, try and do an alternate activity. This may include exercises such as cardio, calisthenics, or weight lifting.
The above exercises and tips can help increase your vertical jump while increasing your strength, agility, and stability. Try and do at least 40 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day. Remember: don’t overdo. Allow your body ample time to recover between workouts. Finally, keep track of your progress, and feel free to adjust your training program if necessary.