How to increase your vertical jump
Here is what many basketballers forget: while it is important to stick to your daily routine as a pro player, training so hard will never perfect your technique. Slam dunking isn’t an exception. If you have to make it too high, you must focus on the most critical component of a perfect slam dunk; the vertical jump. Knowing how to increase your vertical jump will help you get your hands above your opponent, block shots and most importantly, make that perfect slum dunk you’ve been dreaming about.
Making a high vertical jump doesn’t require any special genes or years of hard training. What you need is, focus on the simple exercises I’m going to show you here. But before we get into that, I want you to keep one thing in your mind – Vertical jump has three components: Strength, power, and velocity.
The point is, you will need to mix the exercises that will improve your strength and speed. Here is how to do it.
How to increase your vertical jump
1. Work on your calf muscles
Weak legs won’t work. To make a higher vertical jump, you must work on your calf muscles. You might want to incorporate a good number of calf raises in your daily workout routine. If you didn’t know it, Shaquille O’Neal did up to 1,000 calf raises every day before bedtime and increased his high jump by 12 inches each day. But you don’t have to be him to achieve yours. Start with a low number and improve add more when it becomes easy. The easiest way is to break it into five sets where you will do 200 per set. For better results, you can add some weight.
2. Jump a lot
If you are planning to increase your vertical jump with limited risks, your body must be used to jumping. Find some place safe, for example, a space behind your house or just an open field. Try to jump as high as you can. Mark the height you’ve reached to know whether you are improving or not.
Just like the calf raises, you need to jump in sets, only, this time, you won’t be doing a thousand, but something close to 10 or 20 per set. Measure the vertical height you can make every time you go out for a workout and try to break it the next time.You can also try and jump over obstacles such as boxes or benches to improve your explosive power. Try five jumps in 5 minutes. Improve to 10 when it becomes easy.
3. Do High-Rep Squats with light weights
Your position when doing a vertical jump should be similar to when you are doing high-rep squats with light weights. The only difference is, you won’t be lifting any weight apart from your body when jumping. So, it will be much easier. Unlike, jumping and calf raising, you don’t need to do these daily simply because it will make you heavier.
You need it for explosive power and strength but never forget how important velocity is. Two times a week is just enough. You can start with regular squats and incorporate jump squatting when you feel comfortable.
4. Stretch your hip flexor muscles
If you are looking to achieve a higher vertical jump, you need to get rid of that tight hip flexor muscle. Tight hip flexors will prevent your hip from fully extending and inhibit the Glute Maximus, a muscle involved in vertical jumping. Here is how to stretch it.
- Ensure you are in a lunge position.
- Position your knees directly under your hip. Both your knees and hips should be 90 degrees
- Place your hands on your glutes and push your pelvis forward.
- Hold that position for approximately two seconds.
- Repeat the process. Do this for both legs.
This procedure should stretch the point where the femur of your leg meets your pelvis. There are also other hip flexor stretches you can access online. Just find what you can do without straining yourself.
- Jump over objects that are stationary to enhance your leap.
- Jump a rope to build your explosive power as well as your muscle endurance.
- Warm up and stretch before any workout to prevent injuries and improve your flexibility.
The final word
Being able to do vertical jumps makes it easy for you to do a perfect slam dunk and other complex moves without a sweat. Unfortunately, you can’t become Michael Jordan in one day. You must stick to your daily workout routine. Use the tips above on how to increase your vertical jump and see your vertical jump increase after a few weeks.