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Improve Vertical Jump
8 Performance Qualities to Improve Vertical Jump
The vertical jump
is a measure of raw power that is used widely throughout professional
and college athletics as a performance test. It can determine how
explosive an athlete is and if they can use their strength efficiently
in different athletic movements. It is for that reason that many
athletes look to improve vertical jumping performance.
Considering this, your vertical jump training program should include
and focus on 8 key performance qualities to help you maximize the
benefits you will receive to your vertical jump.
& Stability: Before you can develop high amounts of power,
it is important to have a good amount of control of your bodyweight,
and to be able to control minimal loads. When learning new movements,
it is important to first focus on coordination and on the movement
itself in order to learn the correct form and to avoid bad habits.
2. Range of Motion:
Also refers to flexibility. You need to have a certain degree of
flexibility in order to avoid injuries and to maximize performance.
When it comes to the vertical jump, if your ankles, calves, or
quadriceps are very tight, then that could potentially lead to serious
injuries. On the other hand, it is not very useful and can in fact be
detrimental to have a very high degree of flexibility, so there is no
need for your training program to have a major focus on flexibility.
3. Maximum or
Absolute Strength: The focus here is to enhance the muscles’
maximum force output. This is done by lifting maximum loads and using
progressive loading so that you can progressively increase the maximum
load you can lift from one workout to the next or from one week to the
next. This comes after control and stability for one reason: If you
have never executed a movement before in your life (such as squats),
then there is a high risk you will injure yourself. For that reason, it
is important to focus on learning the movement using lower loads before
you can gradually add more load and advance towards maximal strength
4. Maximum or Absolute
Power: Power can be defined as (force x speed). The focus here
is to ideally put out more force in less time so you can jump higher.
This is important because a vertical jump takes around 0.2 seconds to
execute, an d so you can only use a part of your maximum
strength. All types of training can include power training as
long as you’re working against a load and you attempt to move the load
fast, though some can be less effective than others. This can also be
referred to as rate of force development.
Starting Strength: This refers to the ability to apply a high
amount of force at the start of a movement. Like any other strength
quality, it can be trained and improved, and its purpose is to allow
your muscles to fire in a quicker manner.
Absorption: During a vertical jump, there is a high amount of
eccentric forces generated when you dip down, and the ability to absorb
and stabilize these forces is an important step in developing good
plyometric power. This is a pre-requisite to the next quality: reactive
7. Reactive Training:
The focus is to improve your reactive strength, otherwise known as
plyometric strength or elastic strength. This is a result of being able
to release a high amount of the energy absorbed due to the eccentric
forces generated during the negative movement of certain movements.
This is a highly trainable strength quality, and makes an important
part of performance in any athletic endeavor, especially when looking
to increase your vertical jump. The combination of both force
absorption and reactive training (certain drills can train both at the
same time) make up what many athletes know as plyometric training.
Reactive training is rather a big topic as there can be differences in
how you train for different movements: a single-leg running vertical
jump or a sprint requires a very short time to switch from an eccentric
to a concentric movement, and so can benefit from faster plyometric
8. Movement Training:
All the training you do might not lead to optimal gains without
training the movement itself. To jump higher, you need to actually
jump. Practice makes perfect and your body will adapt to the jumping
needs. In addition, this will develop an optimal mind-to-muscle link
which will translate to a better vertical leap.
This covers the key performance qualities that will help you improve
vertical leap. It is important to note that they are not mutually
exclusive, and do not exist strictly in isolation, and instead, their
combination makes for great athletic ability and more specifically, a
high vertical jump.
Joel Jamieson is both a Basketball enthusiast and strength and
conditioning coach from Canada. He runs a vertical jump training
website that provides solid advice and information on how to improve