Deep Knee Bends
The old calisthenic stand-by, the deep knee bend, is a good start to improving your vertical leap. This exercise helps your flexibility and stretches your thigh muscles. Do this exercise by standing up straight with your hands on your hips, then bending at the knee as low as possible while making sure to keep your back straight. Begin by doing this 10 to 15 times and work your way up to more repetitions over time.
Deep Knee Bend Jumps
Deep knee bends can be enhanced for the development of vertical jumping ability by adding a jump. You do this exercise in the same way as a regular deep knee bend except that instead of slowly rising back up from the bend, you explosively jump into the air and then immediately repeat the exercise. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Stronger thigh muscles will help increase your vertical jump ability, and one of the best exercises for strengthening your thigh muscles is the squat. The squat is similar to a deep knee bend except that you are adding extra weight. You can do squats either by holding dumbbells at your sides or holding a barbell across your back and behind your neck while performing deep knee bends.
Another good exercise for the thighs is called the scissor jump. Start in the "lunge" position: one leg out in front of you with the knee bent so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Your other leg should be bent behind you so that your calf is parallel to the floor. Jump straight into the air and land in the same position, but with the legs in the opposite position. Repeat as quickly as possible 10 to 20 times.
Toe raises are one of the best exercises for developing strong calf muscles. Having strong calf as well as thigh muscles will increase the potential for a strong vertical leap. The best thing about this exercise is that you can do it just about anywhere, even while standing in line at the bank or grocery store. Just lift yourself up on your tiptoes and then back down again. Begin with 30 reps and increase that number as your calf muscles grow stronger.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.