Vertical leap training is usually associated with team sports, but it also has its uses in outdoor activities. As anyone who has watched Bear Grylls trek around inhospitable places in "Man vs. Wild" knows, vertical leaping is useful for quickly navigating broken terrain. As leaping uses muscles from your ankles to your back in concert, a significant improvement in vertical leaping demands a range of exercises.
Jumping rope is an all-around vertical leap exercise that also offers cardio training in the same package. The best part is that the exercise only requires a level surface, some space and the jump rope itself, and jump ropes can be improvised from any suitable length of rope. This exercise can be done nearly anywhere you find flat ground. An effective set is 12 to 15 minutes.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly lift yourself up on the balls of your feet and toes. Slowly lower yourself back down. Do 30 to 50 repetitions, and if this becomes too easy, hold dumbbells in your hands while you do it.
Take a stance with your feet slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Squat until your thighs are horizontal and parallel with the floor, or as close to that as you can manage with your existing flexibility. Jump out of this position, extending like a spring from your ankles to your knees to your hips. Try to return to the same coiled-up position when you land. Do 15 to 20 of these.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a medicine ball in both hands. Hold it above your thighs with your arms fully extended. Crouch at the knees and then stand back up, using the momentum of your push as the force to throw the ball up, over and behind your head. Use as little of your arms as possible, as they should only direct the ball away from you and not provide the force of the throw. This trains all the muscles you use in leaping to work together.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.