Jump Higher: How to Increase Your Vertical Force
Hi, I’m Trevor Theismann and welcome back to the blog. Today we’ll be focusing on the vertical jump and looking for ways to jump higher and increase our vertical distance. We’ve demonstrated some vertical jump exercises on the blog in the past, but now let’s take a minute to talk about technique. Training your body to jump higher isn’t just a matter of reps and strength building. No matter how many box jumps you take on, your vertical distance isn’t likely to increase unless you’re building your jump reflex correctly.
Jump Higher By Focusing On How You Land
The key to a great vertical jump lies in the landing. If you train yourself to land correctly every time you complete a jump, your vertical distance will increase. Until that happens, you’ll build strength, but you won’t be generating the explosive force you need to get off the ground.
Each time you land, spring immediately back up. Don’t hesitate. The single beat that typically happens after we hit the ground is a natural reflex, and we may not even realize we’re doing it. But that extra pause has to go if we’re looking for a way to jump higher. Check the mirror or watch videos of yourself as you hit the ground. The momentary pause you may see between one vertical jump and the next may be holding you back. For more detail on how this works, visit the plyometrics section of our website.
Meanwhile, let’s focus on exercises to increase our vertical.
|Workout Reps||Workout Sets|
One-Legged Jump Hops
|Body Squat Hold|
Jump Higher: One-Legged Jump Hops
This vertical exercise works one leg at a time and also helps increase the balance we need to eliminate the pause between jumps. You can do this with or without the resistance bands, but the bands can help increase tension and maximize your explosive vertical force.
Stand on your right leg and lift your left knee up as high as you can. Keeping your knee bent and your left leg out of the way, jump and land eight to ten times on your right leg. Focus on the landing. Your body should be ready to spring back up again the second you hit the ground. Try to jump higher with every repetition. Use your left hip and raised leg to build leverage.
Jump Higher: The Depth Jump
Before you attempt depth jumps to increase your vertical, make sure you’re able to squat 1.5 times your body weight. If you don’t have a strong squat, depth jumps can be dangerous, so feel free to skip this vertical jump exercise until you’re ready.
If you’re confident with your squat strength, find a stable box a little taller than your knees. Climb onto the box and jump off. When you hit the ground, jump into the air as high as you can without a single second of hesitation. Aim for six to ten of these vertical jumps in a row. Try to jump higher each time.
Jump Higher: Strengthen the Hips and Glutes
The hips and glutes are the primary muscles that help us jump higher and increase our vertical. To increase power in these muscle groups, attach the Kbands securely around your legs and plant your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Sit deep in a squat position (knees in line with toes, hips pushed back) and hold the move for a full 30 seconds. To see the effects of this move in your vertical jump, you should feel a burn in your rear, hips and quads.
Increase Your Vertical Jump: Final Notes
Before you take on these vertical jump exercises, spend a few minutes looking over the plyometric section of our website. When you increase your vertical jump, you’re actually altering the nature of your muscle fibers, and our plyometric articles can explain how this works. Meanwhile, keep working on strength-building exercises for your quads, glutes and hips, and remember to keep an eye on any hesitation between your jumps.
If you have any questions, I’m here to help. Leave a comment below, subscribe, or contact me directly for tips and guidance. Enjoy your workout!