Many sports require you to be able to execute powerful vertical leaps so you can perform your best. Dunking that basketball, leaping to smack that tennis ball back over the net, or jumping to hit a volleyball—having a high vertical jump can bring your performance to the next level. So let’s explore some issues and strategies regarding increasing your vertical leap.
Why Do People Fail to Increase Their Vertical?
Usually, it’s the curse of the New Year’s Resolution—people start out strong, then slowly lose their determination and commitment as time goes by. It can also be confusing, with all the sources of information about exercise out there that conflict with each other. Many products, supplements, and “magic” exercise moves promise athletic success, but not all of them deliver results. And thirdly, without eating a proper diet alongside their workout routine, some people end up sabotaging their progress.
Key Points for Increasing Vertical
There are a lot of things not to do when trying to increase your vertical leap, but we’ve found that the best strategy for getting actual results is by using plyometric training. Ideal workouts will focus on pushing muscles to their maximum capacity during short bursts of exercise. This will help you develop the raw, explosive power you need for a successful vertical jump. Plyometric training has been used by athletes around the world for about 30 years, and we at Strength Systems have dedicated ourselves to researching and supplementing this effective workout method. It’s backed by numerous studies, as well as by personal experiences.
Before You Start
We’re not going to tell you that plyometric training is a magic bullet that will have you jumping six feet in the air within a week. As with any exercise program, it takes time to start seeing results. Typically, it will take six to eight weeks of training before you notice any significant improvements, though you might notice your body changing in small ways from day to day. Since everyone’s body is different, specific results vary, but almost everyone who uses the plyometric system sees gains in speed, quickness, and the height of their vertical jump.
Training is most effective when done every other day, so your body has some time to recover in between. About half an hour is a good length for a workout. Make sure you do all the exercises with proper form—don’t rush and do them badly. Also, especially when you’re first starting, don’t make the mistake of over-exerting yourself, which can lead to injury. Know your limits, and push them, but if you’re feeling like your heart is about to explode, be smart and take a break. Don’t jump right into high intensity plyometrics—work your way up from the low and medium levels.
What You’ll Need
The three basics you’ll want to get ahold of are Strength Shoes, a stretch band, and a ladder. You can pick up a pair of the shoes at www.StrengthSystems.com, while the other two are probably available at retailers in your area. If you’d like, you can supplement your workout with cones, rings, and jump boxes as well.
A Trainer’s Guide to Increasing Your Vertical
The first step is to get your muscles stretched out and warmed up. Use the shoes and stretch band for stretching with resistance, then do motion warmups like walking lunges and high kicks in the Strength Shoes to wake up your calves. Now you’re ready for the real workout! Without taking off the shoes, do these moves as fast as you can until you feel fatigued: squat jumps, high knees, lunges, broad jumps, vertical jumps, power skips, zig-zags, and ladder exercises. Rest when you need to, and your workout will be over in about half an hour! Then all you have to do is repeat that three days a week, and in a month or two you’ll find yourself catching some serious air.
For more tips, check out our FREE infographic, A Trainers Guide to Increasing Your Vertical Jump which includes key points and plyometic training exercises designed by trainers and scientifically proven.