If you want to jump higher and become a more explosive athlete, there are several things you need to know.
You need to know the basics of jumping, and you also need to know how to train correctly.
Not everyone has great natural jumping ability, but we can ALL improve our vertical jump by training correctly.
It doesn’t matter if you have a 5 inch vertical jump, with the right knowledge and training, you can increase your vertical jump beyond the 40 inch mark.
With that being said, this is what you need to know (and do) in order to jump higher:
1. Know The Vertical Jump Formula
From the point of view of physics, the vertical jump is simply a measure of power.
Instead of presenting you with a bunch of equations that will make your physics teacher proud, I’m going to break down the Vertical Jump Formula in a simple and easy way that anyone can understand.
To put it simply:
The vertical jump is a measure of how much force you can generate, and how fast you can generate it, while you jump…
Therefore, if you want to jump higher, you need to train your body to apply as much force as possible, as fast as possible, while you jump.
How To Increase Force Generated
The best way to increase the force you generate while jumping is by strength training (lifting weights).
While strength training, you should focus on lifting heavy weights, and lifting them explosively (fast).
Lifting relatively heavy weights ensures that you are building your muscle strength, which in turn will increase the maximum force you can generate while jumping.
For each exercise, strive to increase the amount of weight you can lift each week.
Over time, an increase in the weight you can lift for a particular exercise will signify your increase in strength in the muscle groups targeted by that exercise.
How To Reduce The Time Taken To Generate Force
To put it simply, this involves increasing your speed (explosiveness).
One way to increase your speed is to lift weights explosively (fast).
Another great way to increase your speed and explosiveness is by doing plyometric exercises.
Exercises such as depth jumps, plyometric pushups, and bounding are examples of plyometric exercises that increase your speed and explosiveness.
2. Know The Most Important Jumping Muscles
Most athletes fail to improve their vertical leap because they don’t know the most important muscles used in jumping.
They therefore spend most of their time training the unimportant muscles while ignoring the important ones.
The most important jumping muscles are located in your posterior chain – lower back, glutes (butt), and hamstrings.
The other muscles that make up the “most important” list are your quadricep muscles (thighs) and abs.
Most athletes think that their quadricep muscles are the most important jumping muscle and spend little to no time training their glutes and hamstrings, which are way more important. They therefore see little to no gains in their vertical jump.
Other muscles like your arms and shoulders play a role in your vertical leap, but they are not as important as the others.
You should therefore spend most of your time working on your “most important muscles” and less time on the others.
3. Focus On Your Weakness & Train Accordingly
Most athletes fail in their quest to jump higher because they don’t work on their weak areas.
By identifying your weaknesses and training accordingly, you can dramatically improve your vertical jump.
If you’re quick and explosive but can’t lift much weight in the gym, focus most of your time on strength training. By focusing on your weakness (weight lifting), you will be able to dramatically improve your vertical and jump higher.
If you can lift heavy weights in the gym, but you move relatively slowly, focus most of your training time on improving your speed. You can do this by performing plyometric exercises.
If you’re overweight, focus on reducing your bodyfat (weight) NOT spending hours “getting big” in the gym.
If you’re skinny, focus on adding muscle mass by lifting heavy in the gym and eating more calories.
The list goes on and on…you get the idea.
By focusing on your weaknesses and training accordingly, you will be jumping higher in no time.
4. Rest and Recovery
Most athletes believe that the more they train, the better the results they will see.
This is DEAD WRONG, and it is a big reason why most athletes are never able to jump higher.
You get your results while you rest, not while you train…
Spending hours working out 5 times a week, and then playing your sport on the remaining 2 days will NEVER make you jump higher.
In fact, it may even REDUCE your vertical jump.
This is because it leads to over-training.
The only time you start seeing results is while you rest and recover.
Because it is during this time when your muscles recuperate and grow.
How To Rest & Recover Properly
1. Never work out to exhaustion i.e. never lift to failure
- Most athletes are taught to lift till they can’t lift anymore. This is the worst advice ever invented, and is a sure recipe for overtraining.
- Always lift heavy and explosively, but never to failure.
2. Make sure you get enough sleep.
- Always get 7+ hours of sleep every night as this will ensure you are well rested and recovered.
3. Get the right nutrition
- Avoid greasy foods, which raise your cholesterol levels and clog your arteries.
- Eat more good carbs like fruits and vegetables and avoid sugar based foods like soft drinks. Sugars have no nutritional value and do nothing good for your body.
- Get enough protein on a daily basis especially right after you work out. This will ensure that your muscles are supplied with the protein needed to repair and rebuild themselves.
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated at all times. 70% of your body is composed of water, and it is very important in ensuring that all your body’s processes run smoothly. By drinking at least 9 glasses of water a day, you ensure that your body is able to function properly and recover quickly.
4. Stretch all muscle groups on a daily basis
- Stretching is very important because it improves your circulation and prevents injury.
- Stretching also makes you more flexible, and can even increase your vertical jump. This is because the more a muscle can stretch, the more force it can generate.
5. Big Exercises vs Small Exercises
Another big mistake most athletes make while jump training is that they focus most of their time on ‘small exercises‘ instead of ‘big exercises‘.
Small exercises are muscle isolation exercises that target 1 particular muscle group e.g. bicep curls, calf raises, etc
Big exercises are exercises that work out multiple muscles at the same time e.g. bench press, pull ups, squats, and deadlifts.
Spend most of your time on big exercises, because they give you the biggest ‘bang for the buck’.
Your muscles work together as a single unit, NOT in isolation…Jumping is a result of your muscles working in unison, NOT in isolation…
Because big exercises work out multiple muscles at the same time, they train your muscles to work together as a single, explosive unit.
By spending most of your time doing big exercises, you are making the most efficient use of your time and you’re setting yourself up to get the best results possible.
6. Follow a Great Vertical Jump Program
This is probably the biggest reason why most athletes never increase their vertical leap.
Most vertical jump programs today are full of crappy, outdated, rehashed, and totally irrelevant information.
These jumping programs simply consist of a bunch of exercises and a chart slapped together by a fake ‘vertical jump expert’ merely out to get your hard earned money.
So, how do you tell a good vertical jump program from bad one?
Signs Of a Bad Vertical Jump Program
- Cookie-cutter workouts that lack customization.
- Hyped up sales message with questionable testimonials.
- Repetitive workouts that lead to exhaustion and overtraining.
- Avoid such programs at all cost! You won’t see any results and they will cause you to over train. They may even result in serious injury.
Signs of a Great Vertical Jump Program
- Highly customizable (workouts are customized for each athlete’s needs).
- Based on solid, scientific principles of jumping.
- Multi-faceted approach to training.
- Verifiable testimonials with a real, no-hype sales message.
- Emphasizes rest and recovery as important parts of the program.
It is extremely difficult to find a great vertical jump program today.
However, after testing all the jump programs on the market, the Jump Manual has proven to be the best, displaying all the qualities mentioned above.
If you are serious about jumping higher and becoming more explosive, this program is an EXCELLENT choice, and we highly recommend it here at VerticalJumpZone.com
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