Vertical jump workout
Do you still think your height or physique is preventing you from achieving a higher vertical leap? If yes, there are high chances you’ve never heard about Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb. At 5’7’’, Anthony made a 46-inch vertical leap height placing himself among the top slam dunkers of all times. Is it just nature or did he have any vertical jump workout that he used?
The point is, you don’t need to be tall 7’6’’ like Yao Ming, incredibly built like Mr. Olympia or highly decorated like Michael Jordan to place a solid slam dunk record. What you need to do is simple; focus on a fruitful vertical jump workout.
Before you engage your time and energy in any vertical jump workout program, it is important that you understand the four requirements of an effective vertical jump workout: strength, stamina, cardio fitness and most importantly, flexibility.
Four elements of vertical jump workout and the exercises required
Vertical leap is all about lifting your entire body weight into the air. The stronger your muscles are, the higher you’ll go. To increase your height, you need to work on your core, calf, and thigh muscles.
- Jump Squats (Weighted and non-weighted) – Lower yourself by bending your knees into a squatting position then jump and land gently. You can do two sets of 10 reps, four to five times a week. If it feels easy, add some light weights. Doing jump squats will help build your muscle’s explosive power.
- Calf-raises (Weighted and non-weighted) – Stand with your feet approximately, 10cm apart. Using your calf muscles, raise your body off the ground and then back. Calf raise is an easy vertical jump workout, so maximize on it. Do three sets of 100 reps. If you don’t feel anything, add some weights on both hands.
- Core workouts – Some of the best core workouts include, scissor and bicycle kicks, anterior reach and more. In this article, we will focus on bicycle kicks.
How to do bicycle kicks:
- Lie on your back. Put your hands behind your head.
- One of your elbows should be pointed towards your opposite knee.
- Pull both your elbow and knee together until they are in contact with each other. Using your other leg, push forward straightening your leg.
- Do the same on opposite side.
- You can do two sets of 10 to 20 reps o five times a week.
2. Cardio fitness
It is never a guarantee that you’ll get an opportunity to dunk during the first minutes of the game. You might get it when you are already exhausted, and that is the last thing you need. However, if your cardio is good, you won’t have trouble doing it even in the last minutes when everyone is exhausted.
The best and simplest cardio workouts
- Jogging and sprints – Lighter evening jogs may help build your cardiovascular fitness, but you need to keep your heart pounding. So, add some short sprints after each lap.
3. Muscle Stamina
With a good stamina, you can repeat a perfect slam dunk technique several times in the game without making any mistake. You need this to prove; you didn’t fluke.
How to improve your stamina
- Rope jump
Doing rope jumps will help build your stamina and explosive power. It is also one of the workouts that will you lose body fat faster and replace it with the muscles needed for a high vertical leap technique. If you’ve never done it before, start with a 20-minute rope jump, five times a week.
The flexibility of your muscles reduces the risks of injuries by allowing full extension of your muscles and joints. One of the best workouts for flexibility is stretching.
When stretching, focus on the calf, core, hamstring, hip flexor and thigh muscles.
- Hamstring stretch – Stand straight with no space between your feet. Lean forward bringing your chest close to your knees until you feel some stretch in your hamstrings. Get back to a standing position, then repeat the procedure. Do this ten times then hold the position for some few seconds.
- Core muscle stretch – Lie flat on your stomach. Raise your upper body off the ground using your hands until you feel a stretch in your abdominal muscles. Repeat this ten times.
- Calf muscle stretch – You should be on flat foot with your left leg extended forward. Extend your right leg back with your heels flat on the ground. With your back straight, lean towards the wall until you feel some stretch in your right leg’s calf muscle. Do the same for your left leg.
- Hip flexor stretch – Lower your body into a half-kneeling position. Holding a dowel or a stick in front of you and push it towards the ground. As you are doing this, ensure your body is upright, rotate your pelvis as you squeeze your glutes. Lean towards your hips and hold the position for some few seconds. Return to the half-kneeling position. Do this eight sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Ability to jump higher puts you one step ahead of your opponents. It makes it easier for you to block shots, get your hands above other players and most importantly, dunk. The point is, it is one of the vital requirements of any basketball player. Sadly, it is also one of the trickiest moves on the basketball court and with any other regular vertical jump workout, you may already know. Use the four vertical jump workout tips above and see your jump height increase in no time.