Discovering how to increase vertical jump power can be incredibly beneficial for young athletes, sports enthusiasts, and hobbyists. If you’re big on athletic accomplishment, and you want to take your sports goals further still, the chances are that you’ve looked into different ways to lift more weight, run faster, and even jump higher than ever before. The stronger your vertical leap, the more likely you will be to excel in a number of sports, from gymnastics and volleyball, to that all-important basketball dunk. On top of that, increase vertical jump power, and you’ll find that your flexibility and athleticism improves too! Of course, like any physical enhancement, developing your vertical leap will take a significant amount of training and dedication. Fortunately, knowing the right exercises to stick to can help to make the process much simpler, and faster.
1. Bands with Box Squats
A lot of professional trainers praise box squats when teaching athletes how to increase vertical jump, as it instructs the sportsman on how to “sit back” while they squat, putting more pressure on the hamstrings. If you want to run faster and jump higher than all of your friends, your hamstrings are one of the muscles that you’ll have to work on the most. What’s more, with box squats, you can set your depth appropriately and prevent cheating – especially when fatigue starts to set in.
Using bands enhances the squat, as when the athlete approaches the top of their exercise, the bands stretch out and increase the tension. This ensures that you, as an athlete, can accelerate through the complete rep, thereby getting the most out of your workout.
2. Hip Flexor Stretch
Some professional trainers will advise against static stretching when you’re working up to explosive activities to increase vertical jump, but this particular stretch is often the exception to the rule. If you’re not sure whether it works for you, try performing a vertical jump and recording your height. After that, stretch your hip flexors with two sets of thirty seconds for each leg then jump again. You’ll probably find that you jump anywhere up to 2 inches higher just from those stretches alone. The reason for this is that even the best athletes tend to have incredibly tight hip flexors. When you jump this causes a lot of friction, reducing your ability to extend full at the hip. A static hip flexor stretch allows for less friction and therefore higher jumps.
3. Snatch Grip Deadlifts
This exercise to increase vertical jump power is basically the same as a regular deadlift, except that you use a “snatch” grip instead. Because you adopt a wider stance, lowering the weight to the floor forces the exercise to incorporate more of the posterior chain, (glutes, hamstrings, and lower back). Snatch grip deadlifts are incredibly useful in enhancing the posterior chain, and they’re a great exercise when training your vertical leap, putting more muscles into your forearms, hamstrings, glutes, and upper back.
4. Dumbbell Swings
Some trainers consider dumbbell swings to be pretty “old school” because you don’t see them used today as often as they once were. However, just because they’re less common doesn’t mean they’re not a great way to increase vertical jump power. To start off, grab a dumbbell with both hands and set your feet apart as though you’re about to perform a squat, holding the dumbbell ahead of you. Squat and let the dumbbell fall (carefully) between your legs. Try to look straight ahead and keep your back arched throughout this exercise, and once you reach full squat position extend at the hips and flex at the shoulders to rise up and raise the dumbbell over your head. Make sure that you keep a sturdy grip on the dumbbell at all times – the last thing you want is for it to go flying off somewhere.
5. Push Jerk
Another fantastic exercise for enhancing your vertical leap, the push jerk helps to focus the power of your body so that you can jump higher than ever. Start by placing your feet about a hip-width apart with the bar resting towards the fronts of your shoulders. Keep your hands open, so that you are more capable of initiating movement with your legs. Start by dipping down and then push quickly upwards onto your toes – extending the bar overhead. Next, bend your knees and bring your heels towards the floor, holding the bar overhead for a second before lowering, resting, and repeating the movement. This is a great example of an exercise that starts off by initiating power with the lower body then finishes off with the upper body.
Remember, the more you exercise and practice, the better your vertical jump will become. Keep focusing on workouts intended to increase vertical jump power, and you’ll soon find that you’re dunking basketballs just like the pros.