Working to increase your vertical jumping ability is great for any training routine and is especially helpful for athletes in sports like basketball, track and field and volleyball. To be effective at vertical jumping requires a combination of strength, speed and movement efficiency. To improve your vertical jump, it is important to concentrate on each of these skills separately and then combine them into a better jump.
Know Where You Are and Set a Goal
It is important to know your current skill level so you can gauge how well your training is working. To begin, it is best to track both your standing and running vertical jump. First, measure your height against a wall when you stand straight with your arms reaching straight up. You can have a friend measure for the best accuracy or just use chalk in your fingers. As long as you are consistent, it will give you a good, general idea of your vertical jumping skill level.
Next, jump as high as you can with your arms extended over your head and measure again using the same method as before. If you are in a safe location with enough room to make sure no one will get hurt, measure your vertical jump again but this time with a running start.
It is important to repeat these measurements often as you are training. It will help motivate you as well as let you know if you’re training routine is doing the job or if you should make some adjustments.
The best way to gain the leg strength needed for a really impressive vertical jump is with a regular routine of leg strengthening exercises with gradually increasing weights. The first and most effective exercise to help vertical jumping is the squat. There are numerous types and variations of squats that can give some variety to your routine. To start, though, a basic squat will be more than adequate.
It’s always important to focus on the other, sometimes overlooked leg muscles that are essential for vertical jumping. Don’t calf raises, leg raises and flutter kicks because stronger calves, glues and outer thighs will also help contribute to better jumping abilities.
Speed and Technique Drills
Strength will only get you so far in terms of a higher vertical jump. You need to gain speed with your jumps as well as better technique so you will use less unnecessary motion in your jumps. The best way to improve your jump is simply enough, by jumping rope. It is important you are using proper technique, though. Don’t skip rope with a running motion or by alternating between legs. Jump rope the same way you performed your vertical jumping tests – where both feet jump together and come down at the same time.
There are also a number of variations on jumping rope, with or without the rope, to help increase your vertical jumping. Scissor jumps, frog jumps and single leg jumps are all fairly self-explanatory with their technique and will help improve different aspects of the vertical jumping ability. Learn more how to jump higher in basketball