How to improve your vertical jump
At 5’7’’ Anthony Webb placed a record of 46 inches vertical leap and did some of the greatest slam dunks ever recorded. At 5’5’’ Brandon Todd did 45-inch vertical leap that was quite high above what other legendary slam dunkers like Nate Robinson, LeBron James, and the rest were able to achieve. I guess he knew a thing or two about how to improve your vertical jump.
So, why do we still think height and physique matters a lot?
The ugly truth is, achieving a high vertical leap doesn’t exist in genes. It requires hard work. Take, for example; Michael Jordan did some of the hardest workouts ever recorded; LeBron James did thousands of calf raises each day and who knows what Anthon Webb and Todd did?
If you are having trouble increasing your vertical leap, you are either focussing on wrong exercises, not interested or just lazy. Luckily, all your answers on how to improve your vertical jump are here.
How to improve your vertical jump in a few weeks: what you need to increase your leap
1. Powerful and balanced legs
2. Strong and stable core muscles
3. More Powerful and stable upper body
4. Firm foot and stronger ankles
As you can see, the height of your leap depends on three things: power, strength and the rate at which your muscles react. The muscles in your ankles, upper body, calves and legs must work together to provide the power needed for a high vertical leap.
Here are some few exercises you need to incorporate into your weekly program.
1. Deadlift Bar for strength
Deadlift Bar is one of the most efficient and safest workouts that will help you improve on your vertical leap.
What to do
• Load your trap bar with weights you are comfortable with.
• Stand in its center with your feet shoulder-width apart.
• Lower yourself to reach it and take both handles.
• Raise the weight off the ground extending your hips and knees to a standing position.
• Lower it back to the ground slowly. Ensure your back is flat to avoid back pains.
• Once you are used to it, add deadlift bar jumps.
2. Deadlift jumps
What to do
* Load your trap bar as usual but with lighter weights.
* Repeat the same movement, but when you reach the floor jump immediately with the weights into a standing position then lower it back to the ground.
* If you are beginner, start with two sets of 10 reps
3. Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatch
Dumbbell snatch is one of the rare, but most effective in building the power component. What to do
* Lower yourself into a squatting position. Your feet should be a little bit wider than your shoulder width.
* The dumbbell should be in the middle of your legs and parallel to your body.
* With one arm pick the dumbbell a few inches above the ground into a hang position.
* Pull the weight upwards with force. Drive it upwards using your leg’s power and thrust your hips forward to get the momentum needed to lift the weight.
* When the dumbbell reaches your chest, your legs should be fully extended and your hips forward.
* At this point, lower your body into a squatting position so that the weight is right above you.
* Drive up again locking your arms above your head into a standing position. Lower the weight to your waist.
* From that position, repeat the same movement for several reps. For starters, two sets of 10 reps are much better.
4. Hip flexor and hamstring stretch
Flexible hip flexor muscles maximize the movement of Glute Maximus, one of the muscles that determine how high you will jump. It also allows full extension of your hip. Stretched hamstrings provide the balance needed to get you off the ground and land back safely without injuries.
How to stretch your hip flexors
* Lunge with your knee directly under your hip and on the floor. Your hip and knee should be 90 degrees.
* Place both your hands on your glutes. Push your pelvis forward keeping your torso still. Hold that position for some seconds, then repeat. Do 10 to 20 seconds on each leg.How to stretch your hamstrings
* Stand straight with the leg you want to stretch in front of you.
* Bend your back knee, lean forward and place your hands on the thigh of the leg that is bent to balance.
* Lean further till you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Hold that position a few seconds then repeat. Ten repetitions for each leg is enough.
Other important exercises to be included at least three times a week
• Calf raises – 5 sets of 100 reps
• Rope jump – 3 sets of 100 reps
• Box jump – 10 jumps
• Depth jump – 10 jumps
• Rim Jumps – 10-20 jumps
• Sit-ups – 3 sets of 10-20 reps
The final word
Legendary basketball players such as Anthony Web weren’t born high jumpers. Also, they did not wake up one day and realized they could achieve a 46 inches vertical leap without a sweat. They worked into achieving it, and so you can. Remember, some of the exercises mentioned above can be intense. So, don’t force it. Choose weights you can carry, a program you can follow and do rim jumps every day to find out what you have achieved. Use the tips above on how to improve your vertical jump and realize your vertical leap increase some inches higher a few weeks.