Those who have sought workouts to jump higher have come across the usual suspects: Plyometrics, various jumping drills, and calf exercises. One exercise that seems to get left out of the discussion is sprints. We all know that sprints are great for increasing speed but they are also great for increasing your vertical jump. Not only will they increase your vertical, it will make a better overall player because they will improve your conditioning and speed. Sprinting should be part of your jumping routine.
Sprints are a high intensity running exercise. High intensity exercises are known to increase testosterone production and build muscle. Building stronger muscles are necessary to increase your vertical jump to a significant degree. The higher testosterone and stronger legs will lead to a bigger vertical.
To get the most out of this exercise, you need to sprint hard. You cannot substitute sprints with long distance runs. If you examine the mechanics of the sprint, after your forward leg hits the ground, you are pushing off the surface very hard to propel yourself forward. This hard pushing motion is building your hamstring, glute, quad, and calf muscles. If you need more evidence of stronger and faster muscles, compare the musculature of sprinters and long distance runners!
One benefit of sprinting is the increase in leg strength. The other benefits include more speed and better conditioning. In order to jump higher, you need to jump faster. If you ever tried to jump on to a 24” box in slow motion, you know how difficult it is. Try the same feat explosively and you’ll find it is much easier. Improved conditioning will lower your body fat which results in less baggage you need to carry when jumping. Building leg strength is only one component of a jumping program. If you build muscle along with extra body fat, you negate the effects of building muscle in the first place. This is why adding conditioning to your workouts to jump higher is important.
The sprinting portion of your workouts to jump higher can be performed after a weight training session or on a separate day. You should vary your distances to maximize its effectiveness. Distances of 40-100 yards should suffice. The longer the distance, the less sets are required. If you are sprinting 40 yards, you may need to repeat 10 sets of sprints. If you are sprinting 100 yards, you may only need 5 sets.
Sprinting had a myriad of benefits that include better conditioning, stronger legs, and more speed. All these attributes are crucial if you need a bigger jump. Not only will you have more hops, you will become a better overall player. It is advisable to add sprints into your bag of workouts to jump higher.
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In order to learn to jump higher, you need to improve various physical attributes. A good jump higher program will emphasize training strength, speed, jumping technique, and conditioning. Part of you jump training will entail performing various jump higher exercises. Here are three exercises to jump higher that will increase your vertical. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity as these can be very effective.
You read that right, skipping! These are similar to the skipping as you did as a kid but these require a little more effort than Little Red Riding Hood skipping to her Grandma’s house.
During this exercise, you will skip with force and explosion. This is not a speed exercise but rather a power exercise. Find a flat surface in which you can skip the length of a basketball court. You want to skip as high as possible. As you push off with one foot, you want to bring the other leg as high as you can. Get that knee up towards your chest. Go down to the end of the court and come back. That is one set.
This exercise can be awkward at first but very effective at developing power from your calves. This drill starts in the squat position and remains so during the exercise. You need to remain in a squatting position and bounce off your toes. As you bounce in the air, you want to remain in this squatted position.
This exercise entails repeated jump in the position mentioned above. You need to push off your toes hard and push yourself back in the air immediately after you hit the ground. As mentioned before, this can be a little awkward at first but it is a great exercise once you find your rhythm.
This is the most underrated of the jump higher exercises. There isn’t much to add to what you already know about this exercise. I can say without a doubt that this is a very effective exercise to increase your vertical jump. You don’t need much space or fancy equipment.
There many jump techniques you can use to vary the intensity of this workout such as jumping with two feet, one foot, alternating foot, running jump rope, weighted ropes, double turns, and many more.
They all have their place in a jumping routine. My suggestion would be to work all of these jump higher exercises into your routine. You don’t have to do them all in the same day but various techniques should be rotated in your routine during the week.
Many athletes ask themselves, “Why can’t I increase my vertical jump?” The vertical jump has been an important measurable for many sports such as basketball, volleyball, and football. Most coaches, from high school to the pros, use this measurement as part as an overall assessment of a players athletic ability. If you want to make it to the next level, improving your vertical jump can increase your chances of doing so. If you find yourself asking why I can’t increase my vertical jump, here are some reasons that could be holding you back and can be correct with a good jumping program.
You’re Too Heavy
One thing you need to assess is your body type and conditioning. It’s possible you could be carrying too much fat for your body type or position. The more you weigh, the more strength and speed it takes to jump higher. All positions in each sport require certain body types therefore it’s difficult to recommend a specific weight or body fat percentage. If you are a lineman, don’t get down to 250 lbs just to increase your vertical jump or you’ll end up on the sidelines!
The best way to lower you body fat is to clean up you diet and engage in high intensity exercise like sprinting and weight training. Your diet should comprise of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and health fats. Keep saturated fats, simple sugars (i.e. most junk food), and alcohol to a minimum.
You Are Too Weak
Increasing your strength is a great way to improve your leaping ability if you are asking how to increase my vertical. Many athletes outside of sports such as football often neglect strength training because they believe the extra muscle will slow them down. Strength training will actually have the opposite effect as long as you maintain your flexibility and reasonable body fat levels.
You need to strengthen your whole body to get that big vertical and become a better athlete. Examples of strength training exercises include squats for legs, bench press for chest, military press for shoulder, stiff legged deadlifts for hamstrings and lower back, chin-ups and rows for upper back and lats, and calf raise for calves.
You Are Too Slow
Mass times acceleration equals power. If you are lacking the acceleration, you won’t have the power to elevate above the rim. You need to explode off the ground in order to jump higher. If I find myself needing to increase my vertical, speed work is usually the answer. Many coaches want to know their athletes’ vertical’s because it tells them how much explosive power they have.
You can actually improve you jumping speed in the gym and on the track. In the gym, you can improve you jump speed by training with speed squats. These are squats that are about 50-60% of you maximum squat and they are performed fast. If you are a 400 lb squatter, you need to be training your 250 lb squats as if you had 400 lbs on the bar! You can also train your speed by performing sprints over distances of 40-100 yards.
You Can’t Jump
I know that you have the ability to jump. What I mean is that either you don’t have good jumping technique or just need to practice jumping. It’s difficult to explain jumping technique in writing but I can tell you that jumping should be a full body exercise. You need to learn to use your upper body as well as you legs.
You can do all the sprinting and strength training in the world, but you still need to practice jumping. You can practice using drills know as plyometrics. These are repetitive drills that develop your reactive strength and explosion. There are many plyometric drills to choose. Such exercises include box jumps, depth jumps, forward bounds, slalom jumps, power skipping, jump rope, vertical jumps, and much more. You should find a way to incorporate these into your jumping program.
If you are asking why I can’t increase my vertical, you should assess if one of the reasons above is holding you back. A good jumping program will address the areas of strength, flexibility, speed, conditioning, and technique. Performing exercises to jump higher will increase your vertical in no time!
Your jump higher workouts should be a part of an overall jumping program. To maximize your vertical jump, you need to improve your speed, flexibility, body composition, and strength. You don’t necessarily need to hit all facets in the same day but each part should be addressed in the same training period i.e. training week.
One important part of increasing your vertical includes increasing your lower body strength. Contrary to belief, weight training won’t make you muscle bound. In fact, it can only improve your jumping ability as long as you maintain your speed and flexibility. Here is a sample of many jump higher workouts you can choose.
This workout will focus on your lower body. The goal here is to gain strength to enable you to explode to the rim or volleyball net. Before any workout you should be warmed up and stretched out. The stretching will keep you flexible and minimize injury risk.
The first movement is the squat. I would recommend a weight that you can lift for 5-8 reps. This is about 80-85% of most trainees max squat. All squats should be taken to parallel. If you are quarter squatter, decrease the weight until you can perform 5-8 reps to parallel with good form. After a few warm up sets, you will hit your working sets. There are many set and rep parameters you can follow. One of my personal favorites for strength is 5×5, meaning five sets for five reps. Another good set rep scheme is 3×8. If your working weight is 315 for 5×5, a progression could go something like 135×10, 225×3, 275×3, working sets. Each rep should be explosive as possible. If you are starting light, as you should, these reps should be moving fast.
A follow up to this jump higher workout for strength would be a hamstring movement. Effective hamstring movements include stiff legged deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and good mornings. These exercises should be performed with 6-10 reps. These movements hit the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. You should choose these compound movements over exercises such as the hamstring curl. Curls can be done later in the workout.
After your hamstring exercise, choose a quad exercise. Good examples would include lunges, step-ups, and leg presses. Following quads, choose a calf movement. These can be performed on variety of machines either standing or sitting. Hit your calves with high reps in the 15-20 range.
Now you are done the strength portion of this workout. Now you can do some sprints depending on how your workout is structured. The advantage of doing sprints on leg day is that your legs have a chance to recover the rest of the week because you did them all on the same day. The disadvantage is that you just hit legs and sprints may be the last thing you want to do at this time.
This was a sample of many jump higher workouts you can perform. Obviously this is a leg strength workout. To complete all your training for your jump training program, you need to hit some plyos, conditioning, and upper body strength work later in the week.
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Athletes of all sports can benefit from jumping higher. The ability to jump higher is often a result of being more explosive from the ground. This has a host of benefits in sports such as basketball, football, volleyball and track and field. If you are looking to increase your vertical jump, here are some jump higher tips to include in your jumping program.
Having a lower body fat can help you add inches to your vertical. Excess body fat is just extra baggage you have to carry when trying to jump in the air. Notice that we said improve body composition which different from simply losing weight. Different positions in all sports require different body types. If you are a 300 lb lineman, you don’t want to slim down to 260 lb just to improve your jump. As a 300 lineman, you can lose some body fat and add muscle which results in little change in bodyweight. The best way to improve body composition is improve your diet and engage in high intensity exercise such as weight training and sprints.
This is one of the jump higher tips that is often overlooked. Greater flexibility can have a profound effect your ability to jump higher. Having flexibility means that your muscles have a greater ability to expand and contract which results in greater strength output. The best way to increase your flexibility is to engage in regular stretching. Make it a part of your workout during each session. Not only will stretching will improve your vertical, it will prevent many sports injuries.
This is an overlooked aspect in most jump higher programs. Many athletes don’t see the correlation between strength and their vertical jump. Most athletes mistakenly believe that adding muscle will make them muscle bound and will be a detriment to their vertical jump. Added muscle, without excess body fat and decrease in flexibility, will increase your ability to explode from the ground. I know this to be true as I know 250+ lb power lifters that can hit box jumps of 40” or more. Jumping isn’t even part of their sport! This increased jumping ability comes from heavy weight training exercises such as squats. You don’t need to train like a power lifter but you should be adding regular strength training exercise as part of your jumping program.
If you are an athlete that participates in sports such as football, basketball, or volleyball; you should be working diligently to increase your vertical jump. This is important because it is a good measure of how explosive one is. In football, great explosion is vital to beating the snap count or breaking through tackles. A good vertical in basketball can be the difference between getting 6 or 10 rebounds a game. Even if you weren’t blessed with great hops, you can always work to improve. Increasing strength and speed are two facets of a jump higher program.
In order to jump higher, you have to get stronger. Strength training is a great way to build one’s explosiveness from the ground. You may know someone that has great hops but isn’t particularly strong and may start asking why I need to get stronger. People have different genetics when it comes to athletic ability. You may be lacking when it comes to jumping but know someone who can jump out of the building with very little training. However, if either of you want to improve beyond your natural jumping ability, you need to get stronger than you are now.
The best strength exercises to jump higher involve working your glute, quad, calf, and hamstring muscles. These body parts are largely responsible for your jumping ability. Exercises such as squats, box squats, lunges, and leg presses will strengthen your legs.
In addition to getting stronger, you need more speed to jump higher. Try this experiment. Find a box or a ledge about 24” high that you can jump onto. Jump on it as explosive as you can with two feet. Did you make it? Now, try the same feat but do it in slow motion. Difficult, isn’t it? This is an illustration as to why you need speed to jump higher. Combine that with added strength and you’ll be adding inches to your vertical in no time.
There are different ways to get faster when it comes to jumping. Sprints are great for adding explosiveness. They train your fast twitch muscle fibers and develop your speed. Distances of 40-100 yards will increase your explosiveness. Speed squats are also a great way to add speed to your jumps. These are also referred to dynamic effort squats. These can be performed on a box or without. Take a weight that is 50-60% of your max squat. You will perform 10 sets of 2 reps. Each rep is performed as fast as possible. Rest 60 seconds in between sets and repeat.
You can increase your vertical jumping if you work at it. The best way to increase your explosion is to get stronger and get faster. Improving these two attributes should be part of an overall jumping program.
Most basketball players, regardless of level, wish they had a higher vertical jump. A bigger vertical means effortless, crowd pleasing dunks, better defensive abilities, and improved rebounding. Everyone can learn to jump higher for basketball by committing to a jumping program. One specific part of a jumping program includes plyometrics. These are a series of exercises to jump higher that improves your explosiveness. In addition to your speed, strength, and conditioning training, add these plyometric drills to improve your hops.
These can be performed anywhere but the best place is right under the rim. This drill is performed by standing under the basketball them jumping up explosively to touch it. These should be perform with successive jumps meaning that once you return to the ground, explode up again to touch the rim. Perform sets of 10 jumps.
Just as the name suggests, you are going to jump forward as far as you can similar to a broad jump. You will start from a standing position and jump forward. You should repeat these jumps 20-30 feet therefore you will need plenty of space for this drill.
This drill is similar to the vertical jump minus the rim. The difference is that you start from a squatting position and explode in the air as high as you can. Similar to the barbell squat, jump squats work you quads, hamstrings, and glutes. These jumps are primarily performed without weights.
You will need a string, towel, or an imaginary line for this drill. Lay a piece of string across the floor. Stand beside the string with your feet together. Jump over the string to the other side. Repeats this sequence of jumping from one side to the next as quickly as possible.
You will need a plyometric box or any type of sturdy platform. This drill is performed by exploding on top of the box from a standing position. These can be done in a variety of ways. You can jump for height by jumping on to a higher box. You can also start further back from the box and jump for height and distance. Another variation is to jump on to the box with dumbbells in your hands.
These jumps begin on top of the box. Start with a box 12-24 inches. Jump off of the box and land on both feet. Upon landing, jump up in the air as high as possible. This drill will train your reactive strength.
If you need to jump higher for basketball, plyometrics should be part of your overall jumping program. These drills can be intense and high impact. Improve your conditioning if necessary before embarking on an intense plyo routine. Wear comfortable, shock absorbing sneakers to prevent joint damage.