Tips to Increase Vertical Jump

Tips to Increase Vertical Jump
Vertical jump is an athletic skill that comes in hand in a variety of venues. The strength is employed in various forms of snowboarding and skiing and can be useful in trail running races, not to mention its application in organized sports. Basketball is the sport most closely associated with vertical jump, and many of the jump improvement training programs are tied into basketball. But jumping for one sport is no different from jumping for another--the skill and physical ability are easily transformed across various settings and platforms.

Jumping Exercises

There are a number of exercises that greatly benefit the muscle groups used to jump vertically. Jumping rope is one of the most common and beneficial methods, working out your calves and ankles extensively. Other exercises you can do with repetition to build muscle include toe raises to lift the heel off the ground while standing, deep knee bends while keeping your back straight, jumping up out of those deep knee bends to simulate the jumping motion, and toe raises while holding weights in your hands or close to your upper body.

Strength Training

Lifting weights is essential to developing your vertical jump muscles and getting farther off the ground. Ideal exercises train the muscle groups frequently used when jumping, including the calves, thighs, buttocks, back and core muscles. Lifts you can perform to work out these areas of your body include squats, toe press, leg press, rack clean, hammer press, dumbbells and barbell curls. You should be lifting three to four times a week, allowing for a day of rest between each workout.

Practice with Weights

Sometimes athletes use weight vests to practice jumping with additional weight added to their body. Weighting systems such as weight vests or ankle weights can hold you down closer to the ground and test the muscles going through the jumping motion. When you remove the weights, you will feel lighter, and your muscles will find that using the same force without additional weight will get you higher into the air.

Get a Running Start

It isn't always allowed, particularly if you are undergoing a standardized test for vertical leap. But if you are active and trying to reach your maximum height, there's no sense in starting from a standing position; get a running start, then bend your knees at the point you want to jump and shift your forward momentum upward.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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