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7 Ways to Improve your Vertical Jump

7 Ways to Improve your Vertical Jump 

Want to jump like JJ Watt or Dwyane Wade? Try these methods to achieve it

Whether at the YMCA or on the pavement like Billy Hoyle, we’ve all dreamed of jumping for the basket, over a defenseman, and scoring like Michael Jordan and Horace Grant. It rarely happens and often has more to do with your vertical leap than with your ability to stand out and shoot.

To help you jump to the basket, we used our own resources and sought advice from New York Knicks coach Mubarak “Bar” Malik. According to him, “  improving the vertical jump involves working the muscles of the legs to the maximum. Your workouts should therefore focus on vertical movements such as squats , deadlifts and Olympic deadlifts  ”. While on the court, follow these tips to achieve the best possible jump every time you cross the court to perform a dunk.

1 – no longer have your legs tied

Muscle knots (also called “trigger points”) are found all over your body and limit the size of your muscle tissue, making it shorter and weaker. Use a foam roller to relieve these spasms. Move slowly and stop on sensitive areas until the knots are released. Work on the following areas for at least 30 seconds before changing legs:

Calves  : Put the roller under your calf and put your other foot on the ground (or cross it over your shin for more pressure). Roll from your ankle to your knee.

The iliotibial band:  lie on your side, the foam roller near your hip and put your other foot on the ground. Move the roller skate along the outside of your thigh. You can increase the pressure by putting one leg on the other.

Quadriceps:  Lie down on your stomach with the roller placed under the front of your thigh. Roll it up and down from your hip to the top of your knee.

2 – do bulgarian split squats

Your legs give you the power to jump higher. (Another reason not to neglect them!) The Bulgarian split squat will help you strengthen yourself while improving your balance. Stand a few inches from a bench and place the non-working leg on it. The top of your foot should be on the bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your torso bulging. Descend until the back of your knee almost touches the floor. Using the heel of your dominant foot (the one on the ground), push yourself upwards to come up on your feet. This corresponds to a repetition. Try to do 3 sets of 8 reps on each leg during your lower body workout day.

3 – practice deep jumps

To perform deep jumps, descend from a box and then jump explosively immediately after landing on the ground. This will help you work on your reaction time and help your lower body muscles activate when you need to jump. Start by standing on a box six to six inches off the ground. Get off. As soon as you hit the ground, jump as high as you can, lifting your arms above your head. Land gently in an athletic stance. Take a second to recover then get back on the box and start again. Follow this program:

Week 1:  3 × 3 reps
Week  2:  4 × 3 reps
Week 3:  5 × 3 reps

4 – Incorporate knee-to-foot jumps

You are probably less used to this plyometric movement: knee-to-foot jumps.

How to do it:  Get on your knees and sit on your heels. Swing your arms to create momentum as you explosively jump upward, pushing your hips forward and bringing your legs and feet directly under your body. Contract your body as you land in a squat position with your arms straight out in front of you. Get down on your knees again, coming down on one knee at a time.

According to research published in the  Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research , this movement creates more power in your lower body and, when performed in a circuit of lifts for six weeks, can boost your vertical leap. . In this study, 26 varsity athletes from Truma State University (who participated in soccer, wrestling, softball, basketball, and running) improved their performance by following this program:

Week 1:   day 1 (test day), day 2 (6 × 3 reps), day 3 (5 × 4 reps)
Week 2:  day 1 (4 × 5 reps), day 2 (3 × 5 reps), day 3 (4 × 4 reps)
Week 3: day 1 (4 × 4 reps), day 2 (4 × 3 reps), day 3 (3 × 3 reps)
Week 4:  day 1 (2 × 3 reps), day 2 ( 3 × 2 reps), day 3 (2 × 2 reps)
Week 5:  day 1 (4 × 3 reps), day 2 (4 × 2 reps), day 3 (3 × 2 reps)
Week 6:  day 1 (5 × 1 repetitions), day 2 (4 × 1 repetitions), day 3 (test day)

5 – Visualize yourself in Mike’s place

Meditation can calm your body , which is essential for performing ballistic movements properly, says Malik. Imagine touching the ring of the basket and sliding the ball into it.

6 – Lower the basket

To perform dunks early on in your workout, lower the basket to the height you are jumping to, suggests Malik. Don’t lower it too much. You still need to be able to jump as high as possible in order to work the muscles you need to dunk.

7 – start with small balls

Start with a tennis ball then move on to a softball, volleyball, kids’ basketball and end with a full-sized ball, says Malik. If it’s too big for one of your hands, you’ll need to control the ball with both hands until the final extension to dunk with one hand.

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