That’s right, try it. Stand up and jump as high as you can. Yes, right now.
How did that feel? Were you able to reach new heights? Do you want to go higher?
There are lots of reasons to work on your vertical jump technique. If you’re an athlete, improving your jump can improve your game. If you’re just a regular person who enjoys fitness challenges, jumping will make you focus on strength, coordination, and physical alignment in ways that an average workout won’t. I like to integrate vertical jumps into personal training sessions with clients at all fitness levels.
There are three phases of a jump, which together comprise the stretch-shortening cycle that creates spring-like force in your muscular tissue. These phases are called Eccentric (loading), Amortization (transfer of energy to change direction), and Concentric (elastic energy is released, creating the explosive force that propels your jump). Vertical jump training involves increasing the efficiency of each of these phases, then putting it all together to improve jump height and technique.
So how do you train to maximize for these three phases of a jump?
1. Strength Training increases your ability to generate force around your joints for controlled movement. Try front squats, dead lifts, and calf raises, to name just a few.
2. Power Training increases your body’s ability to recruit fast twitch muscle fibers, which transfers into improved explosive movements like jumping. Olympic weightlifting exercises work best for this, and similar movements with a Kettle Bell are also quite effective.
3. Plyometric Training enhances the stretch-shortening cycle. Incorporate a progressive plan of jumps in place, standing jumps, multiple hops and jumps, bounds, box drills, and depth jumps, to address this area.
I’ve helped pro athletes, amateur players, and regular folks improve their jumps and their overall fitness with these techniques. Looking for advanced training on your jumps? Contact us now for more information.