December 24, 2020
No matter whether we are talking about basketball, volleyball, or basically any sport out there that requires vertical leaps, the ways in which you can work on improving that parameter stay pretty much the same. So, if you are wondering how you can improve your vertical jumps, and how to do so quickly, you will be able to find out all you need in order to do so in this article.
Improving your force production
The main factor that affects how high is your vertical leap is the force that you are able to produce with all the muscles related to jumping. That being said, it’s extremely important for you to work those muscles in order to be able to jump higher.
So, how can you do that? Well, as experts on this topic over at Jumpmanualblog explain, the first exercise that you should do in order to improve your vertical jumps is squatting. When it comes to increasing your leg strength, squats are vital due to the fact that doing them activates all the key muscles that are used for jumping vertically.
Other great exercises for this purpose are deadlift and dumbbell lunges, both corresponding to crucial muscle groups. All of that being said, make sure that you take time to do these exercises regularly in order to boost your force production!
Working on your speed and explosiveness
The speed and explosiveness elements are heavily dependent on the similar muscle groups that are activated by the previously discussed exercises, but exercises that boost these elements have quite a different purpose than boosting strength. In fact, their purpose is to make the velocity that’s brought into the jump much greater, hence making the jump higher as well.
The best way to approach exercising in order to increase explosiveness is to do squats as well – but with a twist. The jump squat is a power movement exercise vital to improving your vertical jump, and you can perform it with some weight in order to make it more efficient as well
Utilize your hips!
One of the biggest mistakes regarding this topic is the fact that many athletes tend to underestimate just how much do the hips affect their performance regarding vertical leaps. Basically, making sure that you tap into the power of your hips as much as possible by utilizing proper techniques is going to drastically improve your hops immediately.
Now, how can you do this, and what are the most common mistakes regarding hips utilization? Well, in most cases, people tend to bend forward quite significantly at the waist while they are running into their jumps. This is one of the most common mistakes, as it creates a major energy inefficiency. Basically, instead of enabling their momentum to carry them up, bending forward results in momentum carrying them forward, hence resulting in holding their vertical leap down.
If you go on and take a look at some highlight clips from any dunker out there, you will be able to see that their hips and core are strong and engaged, without any noticeable bend forward at their waist. So, the moral of the story – make sure that you stay strong through your hips and core in order to ensure that the force generated by your lower body is transferred directly and only vertically when you jump.
Make sure to make the most of acceleration
Acceleration, especially in the final moments before the jump is crucial, and compromising it by slowing down just before the leap is going to hurt the vertical leap. The most common mistakes that lead to deceleration are stutter-stepping in order to get the footing right, coming to a jump from an unfortunate angle that requires turning, and reducing speed in order to, well, just gather themselves.
Make sure that you hit these habits if you have them since any deceleration right before the jump is just going to kill your momentum, hence reducing the amount of force put into the jump. Instead, you should focus on picking up speed as you approach your jump, and try to hit your maximum velocity right before you step into your launch.
How can you utilize the penultimate step?
Last but definitely not least, utilizing the penultimate step is extremely important for improving your vertical leap. This is pretty much a signature element regarding the form of any great vertical jumper, and perfecting the right technique is going to ensure some dramatic gains in your jumping ability
So, what is the penultimate step exactly? It is the second-to-last step that you make before you jump. As you are approaching your jump, you should try to take a longer stride in your penultimate step, which is ultimately followed by a shorter stride in your final step. The reason for this is that a longer penultimate step is going to lower your center of gravity, ensuring that the shorter final step is going to springboard you into the air.
To wrap things up
In the end, the most important takeaway here is that your vertical leap depends on far more parameters and techniques than just, well, jumping. Making sure that you understand all of these factors and that you stay committed to perfecting them is the key to progress, so, make sure that you do so!