Are you looking for ways to improve your vertical, but not seeing the results that you were hoping for? Do you wonder if there’s a way to tack on several inches to your jump? If so, then you need to learn about ways to improve your vertical jump.
Perhaps you’re wanting to improve your average vertical jump to finally be able to dunk the basketball. Maybe you’re a wide receiver or tight end that needs to get up for a toss-up throw from your quarterback.
Whatever the case might be, be sure to see below for an in-depth guide on how to improve your average jump.
1. Increase and Define Your Squat
This is an intervention. Some of you reading this have been cheating on the leg days involved in your workout plan. Others of you have been skipping out on it altogether.
That disservice ends today! Your legs are the foundation of your entire body. If you truly want to increase your vertical jump, you need to do a lot of squats and you need to do them the right way.
First, you’ll want to lower your reps of each set and increase the weight. Doing 6 to 8 reps each set will help you strengthen your legs, back, and abs, all of which are used when attempting to jump high.
Be sure to also mix in days where you’re upping the reps and lowering the weight. This will help you improve your muscles’ endurance (and definition!). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that means doing leg day twice a week.
Just to reiterate: lower reps and higher weight will help you jump higher. Increasing your reps and lowering your weight will help you jump the same length more frequently.
2. Focus on Your Jumping Form
Your form and mechanics play a much bigger role in jumping than you might imagine. As a matter of fact, you might increase your vertical by simply making a few alterations to your form.
First, start by having your feet squarely under your shoulders. The key is to use the power from your waist, not your legs or your arms. Crouch down like you’re performing a squat while swinging your arms behind you.
As you swing your arms in front of you, start to push through your legs and hips at the same time. As you reach the peak of your jump, you’ll want both your hips, arms, and knees completely extended.
As you land, allow yourself to fall back into a squat position to prevent adding extreme pressure to your needs and avoid an injury.
Before you try this out, be sure to walk through the motions in the mirror. That way, you can critique your form and ensure everything looks to be in order. From there, it’s all about repetition.
3. Box Jumps
Keep in mind that a jump (in any capacity) is first and foremost, an explosive movement. It requires the usage of almost every muscle in your body in some way, shape, or form.
For that reason, it’s incredibly important to incorporate explosive plyometric exercises into your weekly repertoire. Enter the box jump.
Box jumps are one of the most beneficial exercises for you to perform. Not only will they improve your vertical, but they can increase your core strength, improve your posture, burn more calories, and help you fight off stress.
They’re also a great way to track your progress. You can start with a certain box height and slowly but surely work your way to taller boxes. Be sure to push yourself and not get too reserved.
Keep in mind that the race to improve your vertical jump is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take consistent work to perfect. Box jumps are a pivotal piece to that puzzle.
4. Increase Your Resistance
Even without any added weight, there’s a lot more resistance against you as you jump than you might think. Things like gravity and your body’s physical limitations can weigh you down.
Resistance training is a key piece to improving your jump. It forces your body to use all of the necessary muscles, some of which a regular workout routine doesn’t target.
Be sure to invest in the right vertical jump training equipment to get things started. You can invest in things like a jump resistance band system to work on your jump at home, before practice, after practice, and so on.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to deal with resistance as you jump in your sports. Things like your football shoulder pads, an opponent holding onto you, or your own momentum can negatively affect your vertical if you aren’t training for resistance.
5. Work on Your Coordination
Ask any professional basketball player and they’ll tell you that improving your vertical won’t do you any good unless you work on your coordination.
It’s not often that you’ll get time to properly set your feet in a sport. Things happen fast and you need to be able to contort your body to get the most from your vertical in a key situation.
Make sure to use exercises such as single-leg squat holds to improve your posture and mobility as you jump. Doing this work in the gym can be the difference between a win or a loss for your team during the season.
Improve Your Vertical Jump With These Tips
Now that you’ve seen several ways to improve your vertical jump on and off the field/court/track, it’s time to start this process for yourself.
Be sure to focus on each key component of the jump. Your posture, your mobility, your strength, and your coordination. Doing so will help improve your vertical consistently.
Also, make sure to browse our website for more articles on improving your vertical, as well as many other topics that you’ll enjoy.