Using Plyometric Training
Most high school and amateur athletes are looking for an edge either to make a team, get more playing time, or to impress college or professional scouts. At Strength Systems, we believe the best way to help athletes get noticed quickly is by showing athletes how to increase their vertical jump.
Three things govern how high your vertical jump will be: your quad strength, calf strength, and your flexibility. How high you jump is directly proportional to how much power your legs can produce.
In the most basic terms possible, to increase your vertical, you have to work your quads and calves, while maintaining your flexibility.
So, how can you do that? First of all, let’s go over the basics.
Basic Exercises to Jump Higher
If you haven’t been doing any plyometric strength work, you can start with a couple of very basic exercises to increase strength and help you jump higher. The first steps to a higher vertical aren’t steps at all; they’re squats and calf raises.
Flat-footed squats work your quads and glutes. Doing five sets of ten squats per day will strengthen these muscles. As this exercise gets easier, you can add resistance by wearing a Weighted Vest, holding free weights, or holding a weighted bar across the tops of your lats, and/or increasing the number of reps you do per set from 10 to 15.
To start strengthening your calves, stand with your feet directly under your hips. Now, rise up on your toes and then let yourself come back down until your heels are hovering just above the ground. Repeat this ten times for one set, and then do four more sets for a total of five sets. Much like your squats, as your calf raises become easier, you can increase resistance by wearing a Strength Weighted Vest, holding free weights, or holding a weighted bar across your lats.
Take It Up a Notch
If you’re already incorporating squats, calf raises, and some other plyometrics into your training regimen, then it’s time to take your workout to the next level. It’s time for a pair of Strength Shoes.
Strength Shoes are designed to fully engage your calves when you wear them. When you’re standing flat-footed, about 70% of your weight rests on your heels, which means your calves don’t have to do a lot of work. They don’t actually engage until you’re up on your toes to run, jump, or do calf raises. Imagine how much stronger your calves would get if you could engage them at all times. That’s exactly what Strength Shoes do.
The front of the shoe has a wide, shock absorbent footprint, but the heel never touches the ground. Wearing these shoes while you train forces your calves to work and become stronger. When you perform squats in Strength Shoes, you’ll not only be working your quads and glutes; you’ll be working your calves, too.
Doing regular plyometric strength training will increase your vertical jump. Doing it in specifically designed plyometric Strength Shoes will engage all of the muscles you use while jumping to give you the power to make a slam dunk every time. Adding Strength Shoes to your workout routine can increase your vertical by between 5 and 10 inches.
While you’re working on your strength, though, don’t forget about flexibility and agility. If you don’t have the flexibility to coil up and spring out, you won’t be able to jump very high at all. Furthermore, if you forego stretching, you could be looking at some serious injuries. You won’t be making any winning goals and touchdown passes if you’re benched with an injury.
Include some dynamic stretching to limber up before your workout routine and some static stretches after, to increase flexibility. This will also help your body warm up before you train and warm down after, preventing injuries. A Stretch Strap can help a great deal with a lot of recommended stretches.
Consistently incorporating work on your flexibility, using plyometric Strength Shoes, and resistance training can increase your vertical significantly. Talk to your coach about these techniques and products.