The Mass Of A High School Football Player Is Approximately Five Keys to Increase Vertical Jump – The Pillars of a Successful Jump Program

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Five Keys to Increase Vertical Jump – The Pillars of a Successful Jump Program

So you want to increase your vertical jump? It is not that complicated, but it will be of great help in all kinds of sports. Obviously, if you want to dunk in basketball or go to the net in volleyball, you have to stand tall. Not your sport? Increasing your vertical jump will help you in other sports. It will make you faster off the blocks on the slope, give you explosive speed off the line of scrimmage in soccer, and develop fast, powerful legs for skiing. But how do you jump higher? Here are five key components to a jump training program.

1. Plyometric Jump Workouts

Plyometric exercises consist of a phase of stretching and lengthening, followed by a quick contraction. In simple language, this means that you hit the muscle and then immediately rebound. For jump training, research shows that the most effective exercise for increasing vertical jump is the depth jump either drop jump. In a depth jump or drop jump, you start on a box, jump off the box, and explode with maximum effort (after a good warm-up, of course). Sports physiologists have tested many different box heights, but 10 to 12 inches is enough to get the most benefit with much less risk of injury than jumping from a 20+ inch box. Some key considerations:

  • quality not quantity. You are going to rest between each jump and you are not going to do many jumps per session. Most importantly, you want to measure each jump. Once you start to lose height, stop immediately. You don’t want to practice submaximal effort. You want to train yourself to go higher.
  • not so often. Since you’re doing your best, you can’t do this every day. Depending on age and base fitness level, 2-3 times per week should be about right.

2. Strength Training and Olympic Lifting

Power is the ability to develop strength quickly. Plyometrics works with explosive power. Strength is the ability to develop maximum force. For this, you will want to go to the classics: squats and deadlifts. In all cases, paying close attention to the spine and avoiding any curvature is essential for your health. There is a correlation between the vertical jump and leg power on the one hand, and leg strength on the other, so you have to work on your strength to be at your best.

Both straight-leg and bent-leg deadlifts are excellent exercises for strengthening the “dorsal chain,” that is, the muscles in the back from the back itself to the gluteals (buttocks) and hamstrings. Start light and build up over several workouts.

The traditional squat is a somewhat dangerous exercise and some of the best strength coaches, like Mike Boyle, advise against it even for their professional football players. A safer alternative is the front squat, in which you rest the bar on your clavicle. This encourages good form and prevents you from rounding your spine or leaning too far forward and also challenges your core muscles. Noted trainers like Boyle and Gray Cook actually prefer single-legged squats. These are very safe, an excellent workout, and will reveal imbalances in your strength. I find it best not to go too low. Some people with balance problems may try to cheat and stay too high. So a good guideline is to do it near a bench press bench and sink down until your butt touches but doesn’t rest on the bench. If you’re 6’10”, that may be too low. Essentially, you want to go where your thigh is parallel to the floor, but not too much further, as that puts a lot of pressure on your knees.

Once you’re comfortable with these exercises, you’re ready to move on to Olympic lifting. Studies have shown that of all strength exercises, the cleaning power it is the best predictor of vertical jump ability. Ideally, you’ll get proper instruction from a qualified trainer, as this is a complex exercise, but there are some good instructional videos on YouTube as well. Essentially, a power clean is a deadlift that brings the bar up to your shoulders.

This requires increasing your leg speed during the initial phase so that momentum carries the bar past your hips and you can sink into it and bring the bar over your shoulders. Please do not do an energy cleanse of that description. I have longer descriptions on my website, but even better is to get a real trainer to help you learn this exercise. The only point I want to make here is that, like the jump itself, the power clean is an explosive, compound exercise. Because of this, it works in the same way as jumping and overloads the muscles in the same way, making it a fantastic component of any jumping training program. Did I mention that you must receive the proper instruction? Please!

3. Strengthening the core

Quick, what is the favorite exercise of Kadour Ziani, vertical jump world record holder? squats? Plyometrics? No. It’s the spiders. To make a spider, you lie on the floor on your stomach, extend the eagle into an X. Then you stand up so still in an X that you’re on your fingers and toes. From there you can simply hold it or even “scratch”, “walk” back and forth, or go around in circles. It’s a killer core exercise.

So what does core strengthening have to do with vertical jumping? Simple: core strength will give you rigidity in your core. So when your legs generate that massive force that you’re building through plyometrics and strength training, you want to transfer that force into a vertical jump, not dissipate it into a wet noodle body.

If you’re not ready for spiders, you can start with front and side planks and back extensions. Front planks are basically like a pushup position, but you hold it at the top for 1-4 minutes depending on how strong you are. Side planks are like this, but rotated 90 degrees, so your chest is facing the wall, not the floor. In back extensions, you place your hip pad with your feet under a roller on a Roman chair. If you don’t have one at your gym (I don’t), you can use an exercise ball for your hips and place your feet under a dumbbell rack. And while you’re on the exercise ball, twist and do some sit-ups on top of the ball, giving you a greater range of motion and a better workout than doing sit-ups on the floor.

4. Stretching and Flexibility

You should allocate a scheduled time each week for dedicated stretching and flexibility work. Ideally, you don’t want to stretch a lot right before a jump workout. Why? Because it will temporarily weaken the muscle a bit. It’s best to do a good warm up and just some basic stretching. But outside of strength and power training, you want to work on your flexibility by doing a few long sessions, as well as multiple sessions throughout the day. The best gains come from holding a position for a long time (1-2 minutes) and then also holding that period with frequent refreshers throughout the day if your work or school schedule allows. Reviews can be as short as 10 seconds with your foot on the back of a chair.

Why bother with all this? Two reasons. One, you don’t want all that strength and power you’ve built to go down because your body can’t move the way it should. Second, you also don’t want your form to go down due to an inability to move correctly or due to an imbalance between one side and the other.

5. Proper nutrition.

Obviously, you want to eat your vegetables. Lots of broccoli. That’s true whether you’re training or not. However, if you are training hard, you will want to make sure you have adequate nutrition. The research is divided on the issue, but I take a multivitamin to fill in the gaps. More importantly, you want to get enough high-quality protein without too much fat. The best source of this is whey protein. The best deal I’ve found at the moment (Oct 2009) is a 10 pound bag of NOW Nutrition ordered through Bodybuilding.com, but look around. As a general guideline, you’d like your total protein (including that you get from broccoli) to equal about 1 gram per pound of lean body mass (that is, your body mass minus your fat mass). Ideally, you’ll take it throughout the day in doses of about 20 grams, as you can’t use large amounts of protein and excess protein in one dose will simply turn to fat.

One more tip: Some research suggests that 20g of whey protein taken without other calories just before bed may promote the release of human growth hormone during deep sleep. That can be a huge boost to your recovery.

conclusion

Remember, these are just a few key components to a successful vertical jump training program, but they are far from exhaustive. You still need to use common sense and that means warming up before you work out or else you’re looking for an injury, and getting plenty of rest otherwise your body can’t recover and you won’t make adequate gains. Remember, rest includes getting enough sleep, as well as rest days after strength training.

Train hard, train smart, jump high!

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