A great vertical jump sets you apart from the pack, not only because you can jump high, but because it displays your overall athleticism and lower-body strength.
These five movements can get you on your way to a better vertical jump. Check out the video player above for a demonstration of each.
1. Trap Bar Deadlift with Band Hip Pull
- Attach one end of a resistance band to a solid anchor, and place the other end around your waist.
- Walk forward until you feel a slight resistance pull on your waist.
- Keeping your chest up and your arms locked at your sides, perform a Trap Bar Deadlift while resisting the band.
Tip from the Pros: Puff up your chest and act like you are squeezing tennis balls between your armpits. This will correct your posture and keep your form looking good.
- A full-body exercise, it trains your glutes, legs, lower- and upper-back muscles.
- Adding band resistance on the hip forces your glutes to fire when you flex your hip joint.
- By strengthening your leg muscles and flexing your hips powerfully, you maximize your ability to drive force into the ground, which leads to lower-body strength and power.
2. Medicine Ball Reverse Toss
- Grab a 10- to 20-pound medicine ball, preferably one that does not bounce.
- Start in an athletic position with the ball on the ground and your hands below the ball in a “scoop” stance.
- Stand straight up as fast as you can and release the ball behind your head.
- Works the glutes, upper- and lower-back muscles, rectus abdominus.
- Requires you to rapidly fire your hips forward while driving your legs into the ground. The harder you drive your feet into the ground and the faster you flex your hips, the further the ball will go.
- By firing your muscles quickly when you lift the ball, you are training your Type II muscle fibers, which are crucial for the vertical jump test.
3. Vertimax Jump
- Step into a Vertimax with a medium/heavy resistance.
- Keeping your knees driving over your toes, jump as high and as fast as you can and land safely.
- Repeat, but do not go longer than 10-20 seconds.
- This full-body exercise trains your quads, glutes, calves, hamstrings and Type II muscle fibers.
- Allows you to perform the same motion as you you do for the test, but forces your hips, glutes and other lower-body muscles to fire against the resistance.
- By jumping as high and as fast as possible, you are training to be more efficient and powerful with your Type II muscle fibers, which are huge for the vertical jump test.
4. Arm Dumbbell Snatch
- Assume the athletic position with your knees bent, chest up and one hand on the dumbbell, which should be slightly behind your toes.
- Grip the dumbbell with your palm facing you.
- Explode up by driving your legs into the ground as hard and fast as possible (jump!).
- Pull your elbow up to the sky as if you were zipping up a big jacket.
- Keeping the dumbbell close to your body, raise it over your head.
- Develops hip flexion, lower-body power, coordination and balance.
- It’s a powerful athletic movement, like the vertical jump test. When you drive force into the ground with your legs, the dumbbell moves above your head fast.
- Teaches you to explode your hips forward fast using your lower-body power.
5. Trans Med Ball Box Jump
- Start on a box at a height you are comfortable landing down from.
- Swing your outside leg out and land on the ground in an athletic position.
- Have a partner toss you a decent-sized med ball (10-12 pounds).
- Catch, turn and jump to another box as fast as you can.
- Develops the Type II muscle fibers needed for jumping.
- More sports-related than some other movements. You never just jump in one direction, so why train that way?
- By landing fast and in a good position, you are training the decelerators in your leg muscles, preventing injury and increasing performance.
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