When it comes to truly excelling in any sport, learning how to improve vertical jump power could help you more than you might think. The more that you hone and enhance your vertical leap, the more benefits you will experience in a number of different athletic pursuits, from gymnastics and volleyball, to soccer, basketball and beyond. What’s more, the more training that you put into working your muscles and discovering how to improve vertical jump power, the more your overall flexibility and athleticism will improve at the same time. So how do you get started?
Start By Measuring What You Can Already Do
The very first step in determining how to improve vertical jump is discovering what you’re already capable of. After all, it’s difficult to tell whether your skills are increasing, unless you have a starting point from which to measure them. Begin by standing close to a tall pole or wall, and lift your hand as far above your head as possible. Ask a friend to measure exactly where the tops of your fingers touch with a piece of chalk or pen, then jump with the same hand raised. It might take a couple of tries for your friend to get an accurate mark on your jump, but the distance between the two marks he or she makes will indicate your current vertical leap distance.
Remember, while you’re learning how to improve vertical jump power, you should frequently re-measure your leap, as being able to confidently track your progress will help to act as motivation for your training, and ensure that you keep pushing further.
Next, Grab a Jump Rope
It may seem a little passé, but actually jumping more frequently can have a hugely positive impact when you’re learning how to improve vertical jump distance. Regularly jumping rope assists in strengthening the muscles that you use during a vertical leap, so try to get about fifteen to twenty minutes in every day. Try to avoid “skipping” the rope – when you move in a sort of running motion – instead, keep your ankles together, and jump with both feet at the same time. The more you improve, the faster you should be able to move, but don’t be afraid to take your progression as slowly as you need to. Losing your balance and falling over because you push too far too fast won’t do you any favors.
If you really struggle with jumping rope, try simply running up and down the stairs for twenty minutes every day. This will give your body a similar workout, while strengthening a lot of the same crucial muscles.
Start Your Squats
Any expert trainer or personal fitness coach will tell you that committing yourself to some great squats will always help to boost your lower body strength and when you’re discovering how to improve vertical jump power – lower body strength is essential. If you’re doing them correctly, squats should feel like they’re working the complete lower-half of your body, as well as stretching out the muscles around your abdomen and back. Here are some simple exercises you can try:
- The basic squat: Start with your feet about a hip-width apart, with your heels flat to the ground, then lower yourself as far as possibly by bending your knees – keeping your neck and back as straight as possible. Return back to your starting position when done, and try to do about 3 sets of ten squats in total.
- Add weights: If you’ve read “how to improve vertical jump” articles before, the chances are you’ve come across some advice about weight training. Adding weights to your basic squat can help to add a little more intensity to your overall workout without making it too strenuous or overwhelming. Make sure that you start with small weights before you start building up to bigger challenges.
- Jump Squats: Situate yourself so your feet are a hip-width apart, then drop into the lowest squat that you can possibly manage. This time, however – instead of rising up slowly, jump from your squatting position and try to turn your body around 180 degrees. Come down from the jump into another squat and start again.
Don’t Forget to Practice
Achieving a higher jump can be quite a time-consuming task, and the chances are that you’ll find a number of different articles giving you advice on the best exercises, practices, and even nutrition to make sure that you get it done right. However, remember that one of the best things that you can do for any sport-based enhancement is practice. Every couple of days, make sure that you try a few vertical leaps out and track your progress. The more you visualize your goals, track your progress, and feed your confidence about what you’re capable of achieving, the better your results are likely to be. Sometimes, learning how to improve vertical jump starts with simply believing in your own abilities and strength.