In the TD1 Minute weekly series, Kurt Hester, National Training Director for D1 Sports Training and a driving forces behind The Dominant One Challenge, offers instructional tips on how to master your training and dominate your sport. In week three, Hester provides detailed guidelines on proper technique for the Vertical Jump. For more information on the TD1 Challenge, visit thedominant1.com.
The Vertical Jump test is used at the NFL Combine to gauge overall athleticism. Although it's simply a jump, coaches value the test, because it measures explosiveness and directly correlates with speed. Typically, athletes who have higher Vertical Jumps are faster, since they can produce more force into the ground.
The Vertical Jump may seem simple, but you must pay careful attention to proper technique or you won't come close to your potential. Proper vertical jump technique first stores energy in your muscles, then releases as much of it as possible against the ground to propel you into the air. Work through the technique step by step to maximize your Vertical Jump and get noticed by coaches and scouts.
Perform hip flexor stretches (demonstrated in video above) to facilitate full hip extension.
Take two practice jumps, as the third and fourth jumps are often the best for most athletes. For the Combine test, you are allowed two official jumps.
Align feet even with the Vertex cross bar just inside the measuring slats.
Before the jump, stand as tall as possible once or twice by rising up onto toes and raising arms overhead. This increases the distance covered in the downward phase of the jump so the lower body can store more energy during the stretch-shortening cycle.
Forcefully swings arms down and back, and drop hips into quarter-squat position.
Explosively extend hips, knees and ankles, and propel off balls of feet to jump straight up.
Continue extending dominant hip as you cock hips to the side. Extend dominant arm up and look at middle finger of dominant hand.
Tap slat at the apex of the jump. Do not swipe at slats, as this decreases jump height.
Land softly with bent knees.