Getting Higher: How to Improve Your Vertical Jump

Want to learn how to improve your vertical jump? This can come in handy for certain types of sports, exercises, and activities. Learn more here.

Are you looking for helpful exercises to jump higher? Do you want to improve your vertical jump for an awesome dunk?

The highest recorded vertical jump is 46 inches, achieved by former NFL safety Gerald Sensabaugh. Not a lot of people can come close to that record, but it isn't hopeless. There are a few important tips and tricks to follow to keep improving and increase your vertical jump height.

Don't know where to start? Why not check out the following steps to learn how to jump higher.

1. Measure Your Jump Height

Before you start, you need to know the highest point your vertical jump reaches. After all, how will you know you’ve improved if you don’t have anything to compare your progress with?

Measure your highest and average vertical jump heights.

Later, when you know how to jump higher, measure it again. If you want to, you can record your jumps daily. If you’re not in a rush to see results, wait for a period before you measure your vertical jumps again.

Now, let us move on to the jump exercises to increase vertical jump.

2. Increase Leg and Core Power

If you want to improve your vertical jump, you need to have the strength to do it. When you jump, your calf and leg muscles are the primary forces behind it. This is why it’s important to strengthen them before you start pushing yourself to jump higher.

Start by doing regular jumps against a wall. This dynamic yet basic exercise helps your body get used to the needed movement for the jump. Make sure this exercise is always in your routine.

The next thing you should do for building up leg power is squats. You can try anything from deep, full squats to single-leg squats. Add weights to your squat exercises for boosted improvement.

If you want to exercise with all your power, go for box jumps. The higher they are, the more they engage your core and leg muscles. For something that engages your whole body, try jumping from your knees to your feet.

3. Improve Your Vertical Jump by Going Faster

When you increase your strength, you also need to increase your speed. Basic physics laws state that you need not only more strength but also more speed for a more powerful vertical jump. In other words, power is equal to strength (force) times velocity.

When you’re starting to put on too much muscle, hold up and start focusing on speed. When you neglect your speed and put on too much muscle, you’ll only become slower. A slow jumper, no matter how strong his leg muscles, isn’t a very powerful jumper.

Our bodies have two types of twitch muscle fibers: slow-twitch and fast-twitch. If you want to know how to increase your vertical jump, work on improving your fast-twitch muscles. You can do this by doing plyometric exercises.

Plyometric training consists of constant jumping, hopping, and/or skipping. Examples include box jumping, broad jumps, and skater jumps. For more plyometric exercises for vertical jumps, try going online to explore programs.

4. Enhance Your Balance and Coordination

Of course, when you’re looking to get better at vertical jumps, you’ll need aerobic coordination too. Being able to find your balance before, during, and after the jump is also important. For this, your best friend is the jump rope.

Jumping rope is a great low-risk exercise that helps improve many things. It doesn’t only enhance your coordination and balance but it develops coordination and stamina as well. Furthermore, it’s the ideal exercise that engages all the muscles in your body, not only your legs.

Get at least 10 minutes of jump rope workouts in the day. You can also chop it down to bite-sized pieces if you find a straight 10-minute jumping rope session too much.

5. Work on Your Form

Proper form is another very important factor in vertical jumping. You could have the speed, strength, and balance. However, without the correct form and posture, your progress will be much slower.

Remember that jumping is a high-impact activity, too. Without knowing and practicing the proper form, you put yourself at risk for injuries. Everyone can jump but only some people could pull off a high jump without hurting themselves.

Your knees, hips, ankles, and feet are most susceptible to injury when you jump. Practice the proper form for all stages of the jump. Work on your form from when you’re in the ready position to jump, to during the jump when you’ve curled your body, until the landing position.

It’s also a good idea to know how you should fall when you somehow fail to jump right. That way, you decrease your risk of injury.

If you’re unsure about your form, look online for tutorials and techniques on proper form.

6. Practice Your Highest Jump

As with everything in sports, practice is the key. If you’re aiming to jump higher, then jump higher. It’s not enough to amass strength, speed, and balance.

A trick to getting higher jumps in practice is to make sure you make learning deliberate. According to research, any deliberate high-level practice has a positive relation to high-level performance. Make practice more than a grind for success.

After a few weeks or so of practice, go back and try to measure your new vertical jump. Check to see if you had any progress. For more progress, keep practicing even after you see an increase in your jump height.

Whatever the result, you might want to go back to your regimen. Adjust your regimen how you want or so it addresses other concerns. Change some exercises or focus on more plyometric drills if you want.

Reach Your Vertical Jump Height Goals

A high vertical jump is critical for athletes in volleyball, netball, and basketball. However, many sports measure the players’ vertical jumping ability through physical examinations. Still, having the skill to make a high vertical jump can help a lot in your sports career.

That’s our quick guide on how you can improve your vertical jump. We hope you found this post helpful and educational. If you have any questions, feel free to check out our other articles today.

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