Ever wondered how Michael Jordan was able to jump 20 inches higher than any other average NBA player? Was he using some secret workouts to increase vertical?
Well, you might want to pin that on his height or say he was just one of the incredible players such as Vince Carter and the rest. The truth is, he worked hard to achieve a 48-inch record and the same goes to other legendary players that followed after.
At first, Michael Jordan wasn’t interested in achieving a Guinness world record. He wanted to get his hands high above other tall players or high jumpers, block shots and most importantly, do a perfect slam dunk. In short, he needed to be a better basketball player.
The question is, can you make it? Can you jump as high as Michael Jordan or Vince Carter? Well, it depends on how far you are willing to go.
In this article, I’ll show you some exercises that will help you improve on your vertical jump faster for a better slam dunk. But first, you need to understand some few things about perfecting your vertical jump.
Facts about vertical jumps:
- You don’t have to be tall like Michael Jordan
- How you land is as important as how you jump
- Both your legs must be stronger
- You must train all the muscle groups associated
- Do as many explosive exercises as you can
- Top 4 best Workouts to increase vertical jump
1. Depth Jumps
A high vertical jump requires your body to build a momentum and kinetic energy and use it to jump. One similar move is depth jump. Depth jump is simply dropping off the box to the ground, then without wasting any second, jumping as high as you can. Doing a depth jump helps you improve on your reaction time as well as your lower body muscles. What you need to do is, find a box that is approximately 7-inchess tall. Climb on it, step off and jump as high as possible immediately you step on the ground. Repeat the process several times with a one-second rest in between.
If you haven’t done it before, you can start with two to three sets of three reps. You can then proceed to four sets of three reps on the second week then improve on as you go.
2. Bulgarian Split Squats
Many basketballers fail to realize the importance of leg power to vertical jump. Never forget, vertical jump is all about how far you can carry your body weight off the ground. If you have weak legs, you won’t have the explosive power needed to take you off the ground to make a high vertical jump. The best exercise for leg power is the Bulgarian Split squats. Here is what you need to do.
- Stand some centimeters away from your bench
- One of your legs should be on it with another on the ground.
- With your foot’s top on the bench and take some light dumbbells in both hands
- Your torso should be straight and your chest up.
- Lower your body until the back of your knee is close to the ground.
- Push yourself up using the heel of your foot on the bench to a position you were initially.
Repeat these steps several times. For starters, three sets of eight reps are just okay.
3. Calf raise
Vertical is all about strength and speed. Your legs must be stronger to lift your body weight and faster to get off the ground. In addition to Bulgarian split squats that works on your thighs, doing calf raises gives you the explosive power needed to get off the ground faster while standing or running. It is an important component when building your reaction.
The good thing with calf raises is that it doesn’t require much energy. It is one of the simplest, but effective exercises needed to increase your vertical jump. You can start with five sets of a hundred reps then increase the number with time. You don’t need weight or any other equipment. Just focus on raising your body.
4. Rope Jump
When playing basketball, there are high chances you will get tired in the middle, especially if you rarely work on your cardio. But you need to stay focussed throughout the game to block shots and dunk. Rope jump is one of the perfect exercises if you are looking forward to making a high vertical jump anytime. Unlike many other exercises, it will work on your entire body burning a significant amount of fats around your muscles. This will increase not only your explosive power but also your endurance.
Take it as one of your routine cardio exercises. For starters, you can start with 10-15 minutes, then move to 30 minutes. Do this approximately, three times a week.
The final word
Choose a program you can stick to, don’t strain yourself while training and lastly, remember to stretch especially your hamstrings and hip flexors. With the four workouts to increase vertical jump mentioned above, you’ll get yourself as high as possible in no time.