Your vertical jump is a measure of how high you can jump from a standing start. Whether you are competing in a sport or event which jumping is a main requirement or you’re just looking for a little more bragging rights on the basketball court there are several exercises that can help you increase your vertical jump.
Muscle Groups – Strengthening your legs and training your fast twitch muscles can help you add inches to your vertical jump no matter what your starting point is. The key muscle groups are your hamstrings, calves, hips and abdominals.
Mechanics – Part of a good jump includes the proper mechanics such as knee bend, forceful arm swing and timing. Your knees should be bent at a comfortable level but not too low and your arms should stay in a straight line from back to front. You will want to make sure you are jumping up in a straight line as well and not floating off to the side. Try practicing against a wall with a piece of chalk and if you find that you bump into the wall you could be costing yourself precious inches on your vertical reach.
Training – The best training methods to improve your vertical jump are explosive activities like Plyometrics, medicine ball training, and Weight lifting. Power lifts like cleans and squats are great and calf raises are important to strengthen calves, which are known to help increase your hops.
While training to increase your vertical jump, remember to allow your muscles time to rest. Intense vertical jump exercises can be very strenuous and if not introduced in a gradual manner and maintained you can set yourself up for burnout or injury. Introduce jump workouts 3-5 times per week and be consistent, the results do take time but will pay off if you put in the work.