While being a good basketball or volleyball player, you may still feel that something is missing. The ability to raise your vertical jump to dunk or deliver high blocks would just be the cherry on top of an ice cream. People tend to think that it’s all about genetics and they don’t even bother thinking about jumping higher.
I’m gonna have to break it down to you… It’s not all about the genetics. Genetics only play a role in the beginning. Some people have an advantage over another, but in the end, almost everybody starts off equal.
I’m glad you had the courage to investigate further into the topic (or at least, I hope you do considering you are reading this post), because you are going to find out some interesting things about raising your vertical jump. Your vertical jump or the ability to push yourself horizontally (read: sprint) all comes down to one thing – the explosive strength. Explosive strength itself comes from your muscle reflexes. Obviously there are some other factors like the strength balance and proportions of your body BUT, that jump reflex matters the most.
Now the question is, how to improve the performance of that jump reflex? There are many many different exercises, but they are all basically the same. Maybe you have seen those African tribes that bounce/jump around, in fact, they jump really high. I will tell you exactly why they have such a great vertical jump later in this post.
The question remains, how to train that jump reflex we talked about? Well, I don’t think that there is a best way to do it, but I can tell you how it works and throw in some great exercises that I use to raise my vertical jump.
The jump reflex is all about the speed of contracting the muscles that trigger when you are about to push yourself towards the sky.
People are being mislead by the opinion that doing exercises like squats for example, will help them raise their vertical jump. It will of course improve a little, but not very much. It will improve your ability to squat better, not jump higher – now that I said that out loud it sounds kinda obvious, right?
Squatting will improve your ability to squat better, not jump higher.
If you want to increase any of your physical abilities, doesn’t matter whether it’s vertical jumping or weight lifting, you need to use resistance. The type of resistance varies in different fields of sport. In weight lifting, it’s obviously weights themselves, but what kind of resistance is used in vertical jump training? Let’s say that you are standing on a spot, not moving or anything, and you jump up as high as you can – no resistance, just a regular jump. Now let’s say that you are falling from a small platform and you try to jump right on the impact – The inertia that came from the fall is your resistance in this case.
So, now we need to put those statements into exercises and those exercises into workouts AND those workouts into training schedules.
Let’s start off with some great exercises to raise your vertical jump and improve your jump reflex.
Jump Reflex Exercise #1
Find something that is atleast 50cm high and tolerates your bodyweight. Now you what you’re going to do is simple: First you need to stand on the object you found, then jump off, and now right when you hit the ground, try to jump as high as possible, as fast as possible. If you land, then slowly squat down and take a huge swing with your arms… it’s just not how it works. You need to “bounce” back up when you land without bending your knees very low.
Jump Reflex Exercise #1
For this exercise you need two objects that you can jump between. Both should be at least 30cm – 40cm. You start off like before, but this time you use only one leg. The principles are exactly the same. You need to bounce explosively.
Now those two exercises, if done right, can alone add a up to five inches to your vertical, over a couple of months. If however you feel you want to raise your vertical jump faster, I suggest you check out my review for Vert Shock, a vertical jump training program I highly recommend. I used this myself to increase my jumping height and it was simply amazing.
You need to know that those exercises are for training your muscle reflex. You probably wont feel very much exhaustion in your legs after those exercises and the fact is that, you don’t have to. You don’t have to always be totally worn off after training. A workout should consist of 2 – 3 sets each and 5 – 7 repetitions each set. If you also go to gym or train your legs with any other possible method, then leave those 2 exercises until the end of the workout.
This workout should be done twice or three times per week. If you are an advanced athlete and have somekind of proffessional knowledge, you can modify this yourself.
Remember I was talking about those African tribes that bounce around? Well now you know why they bounce so high. Their movement consists of great inertial resistance and a nice “bounce”. They train their muscle reflex in one of the best ways possible, although they are totally freakin’ unaware of that themselves.
I guess I’m gonna have to pull it together for now. Now remember, to raise your vertical jump it’s important to train your jump reflex. Bounce with a 55 – 60 degree knee bend maximum. If you go any lower, it’s gonna turn into a jump squat.
If you have already been training vertical jump before, you are probably stuck with your improvements. Don’t worry, it happens with everybody as your body just gets used to your workouts and doesn’t see a reason to improve it’s performance. Fortunately for you, there are a couple of training programs out there. I personally especially recommend Vert Shock. I used this program myself and it has improved my basketball game immensely. Vert Shock raised my vertical jump by 11 inches(!!) and I can now dunk easily