Although it's only an inch higher, a 30-inch vertical jump sounds more impressive than a 29-inch one. That extra inch can be the difference between getting a look from a college coach or becoming just another guy who talks about his glory days in high school.
You may not have time to devote extra work to increasing your vertical jump before testing. If this is the case, you need some quick fixes to achieve that extra inch. Follow these three tips to get that extra inch and make a better impression. (See also How to Train for the Vertical Jump Test.)
Perform Depth Jumps
Sets/Reps: 2-3x6-10 three times per week
Depth Jumps should be used only after you've established a strong base with resistance training.
- Start with a 12-inch plyo box
- Place a high target a little in front of the box to measure the height of your jump (a small ball hanging from a rope suspended from the ceiling will work fine); try to keep increasing the mark every workout
- Begin standing on the box
- Step (don't jump) off the box
- Absorb the force of your descent with your arms pulled back
- Quickly swing your arms up as you jump as high as you can toward your target
Stretch Your Hip Flexors
In the weeks leading up to your vertical jump test, and even right before your test, stretch your hip flexors (the upper part of your legs leading to your pelvis). A good vertical jump involves a powerful hip extension generated by your glutes and hamstrings. If your hip flexors are tight, they will inhibit or impair the opposite muscles (glutes and hamstrings) from producing adequate force. (See Hip Flexor Stretches for Better Performance.) Here's a great hip flexor stretch:
- Go down on one knee in a deep lunge position
- Grab your foot with your opposite hand and pull it toward your butt
- Lean in for two seconds
- Lean back out, relax and repeat 10 more times on each leg
- Try to increase the stretch every time
Use Your Chin
When the day comes to test your vertical jump, use your chin to create some extra momentum. As humans, our bodies are programed to follow the movement and lead of our heads. If you tuck your chin in before you jump, then launch it up as hard as you can, you can gain an extra half-inch from this alone.
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