Vertical Jump Training – Getting Sky High

Face it: No one wants to be the guy on the basketball court with the single digit-inch vertical.

We all want to play above the rim.

So how do you get there? Whether you’re a hoops fanatic or a track athlete, the answer is simple — you get there by vertical jump training.

One of the best ways to improve your vertical jump is to follow a simple-yet-effective workout routine that emphasizes exercises such as the deadlift and squat.

These exercises help develop multiple muscle groups and will boost your overall strength. More importantly, they help develop muscles that are specific to the vertical jump movement.

A sample vertical jump training routine might look something like this: ten sets of ten barbell squats, ten sets of ten deadlifts and ten sets of ten jump squats performed three-to-four times per week. Other exercises that may prove helpful include rope jumping, calf raises and anything that helps train the main muscle groups involved.

While you might be tempted to work out constantly in an effort to achieve fast results, this is actually counter-productive to boosting your jump. Over-training not only increases the chances you’ll become weary of your routine, it also inhibits your body’s ability to recover from your workout.

This results in diminished returns over time. Your body builds muscle not during the workout, but during the recovery period. If you don’t give your body enough time to respond your training is less likely to be successful. Four or five workout sessions weekly should typically be the maximum.

Once you’ve boosted your strength, you can move on to the next key aspect of vertical jump training – perfecting your jumping movements.

Even those of us with the best “hops” benefit greatly from focusing on form when jumping. If you’re graceful and fluid in your movements you’ll add inches to your jump.

One of the most popular exercises for perfecting jumping form is the box jump. The box jump is simple: you stand on a box, jump to the floor, then jump back on the box. This motion is repeated quickly and cleanly. The exercise increases in difficulty as the box increases in height.

Another effective exercises is the ankle hop. During the ankle hop you stand on your toes, jump off the ground, land and then immediately jump again without letting your whole foot touch the floor. Both of theses exercises help the body develop the explosive power necessary for a strong vertical jump.

Now that you’ve worked on body strength and jumping, there’s one more movement necessary — the vertical jump itself.

While that may sound obvious, practicing your vertical jump is perhaps the most important part of the routine. And unlike strength training, you can practice your vertical jumps almost at will, as they do not tax your body’s recovery ability in the same way.

If you follow these recommendations – and work hard – everyone will be amazed at your increased ability to defy gravity.

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