Increase Your Leg Strength for Vertical Jumping
If you are trying to improve your performance in any sport or activity that requires powerful legs, you will want to do exercises that build strength and explosive power. Exercises that help improve your vertical jump will absolutely help. Hopefully you will obtain some info here to help get you started at improving your vertical jumping power by increasing your leg strength. Be ready to work hard to get those extra inches you need. It is not easy trying to get strong enough to increase your jump height and it will have to be a long term pursuit so don’t give up.
Spud Webb at the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest
So you think you are too short to dunk?
How to Jump Higher
When you have the desire to have the ability to have explosive jumping power as needed for Basketball or Volleyball or even for Football, Running or other sports, you should follow a comprehensive plan to reach your goals. Using the so called shotgun effect of just trying different things will not give you the best results.
The purpose of this site is to concentrate on improving the ability to jump higher. The exercises and methods shown here are to illustrate some of the things that you should be expected to do to improve leg power to give you those extra inches.
Exercises to Jump Higher
To achieve this goal you need to first start doing slower, controlled exercises like SQUATS and LUNGES to build the basic power and strength in your legs, and you must do exercises that are explosive like PLYOMETRICS. Remember to do these two types of exercises on separate days. In addition to these, work on your core strength and your upper body.
If your body weight is more than it should be, you need to get it down. Trim off some fat and you have less to get off the ground. If you are not used to doing intense workouts, take it easy at first till you get stronger, don’t overdo it. And, you must take time to recover from your intense workouts, you will not get stronger if you do not give your muscles time to repair and grow. Four days a week should be enough to improve your jump. And allow up to six months to see real results, this is not an overnight success story.
Strengthen Legs to Get a Higher Jump
The first thing you must do is to work on basic leg strength, strong legs are the key to greater jumping heights. Exercises such as squats and deadlifts are the most important. Hamstring curls, lunges and other such exercises would be next. Remember that a good portion of the power needed to jump come from the hamstrings and glutes. While you need to work on the entire leg, concentrate a bit more on those two areas. Do not even try to do plyometrics until you have a good foundation of strength.
- Hack Squats
- One Leg Squats (Pistols)
- Hamstring Curls
- Leg Extensions
- Leg Press
- Calf Raises
Cheerleading Exercises to Jump Higher
A lot of what is found on this site relates to improving jump skills for Basketball or Volleyball. But those who participate in Cheerleading need to be able to jump higher also. Cheerleaders could benefit from stronger thigh muscles but not to the extent of doing heavy squats. There are a number of good exercises that Cheerleaders would benefit from to improve the leg strength.
Cheerleaders should also improve their core strength as a stronger mid-section helps to support your torso.
Strengthen your Core
When I say core strength, I’m not talking about just doing ab workouts. Core Strength means the different muscles that help control the spine, pelvis, back and abdominals. In other words, the Torso.
The benefits of core conditioning are better body control, improved balance, reduced risk of injury and increased power.
A few of the exercises that can be utilized are:
Hip Raises: While on your back, legs bent upward 90 degrees, raise your hips upward and lower them.
Russion Twists: While sitting with knees bent, twist your torso slowly side to side. You can hold a weight for extra resistance as needed.
Prone Bridge: While laying face down, Balance on your toes and forearms while keeping the back straight. Hold for count.
Side Bridge: Like Prone Bridge, only you are on your side balanced on forearm and keeping body straight. Hold for count. Alternate sides.
There are many more exercises that can be used. Mix them up so you keep the muscles from getting used to the same stuff.
Jumping Workouts to Increase Vertical Jump
These are for after you have built your foundation of strength!
Jump workouts or plyometrics will stimulate the explosive power of your muscles. You need to move into this training with caution at first until your joints are used to the extra impact they will receive. The quality of your jumps not the quantity will take you further and help prevent injury. Remember to be warmed up prior to doing plyometrics.
Some example exercises are:
Depth Jump: Step off box and land on both feet and go into shallow squat then jump up. Foot contact after jump should be minimal.
Hops: Just jump forward over and over. Start at short distance and increase when stronger.
Box Jump: Jump onto a box for repetitions. Increase the height as you get stronger.
Vertical Jump: For this one, squat down as if to jump. Hold this position for five seconds then explode upwards into a jump.
Ankle Hops: Hop just using the motion of your ankles.
Box jumping, or jumping up on any platform you can find is a great way to build explosive power in your legs. Just stand with feet shoulder width apart, lower yourself by bending your knees and drive yourself upward onto the box. Step back down off the box and repeat the jump. Keep your torso straight and your head up and be sure to use your arms to help propel you upward. As you get stronger go for higher jumps so you keep pushing yourself. What’s good about doing box jumps is you get the benefit of the explosive jump without the stress on the body impacting the ground.
Tools to help
To give extra variety to the workouts try jumping rope, this will give cardiovascular conditioning along with a leg workout. When your legs get stronger, you can hold Dumbbells for extra weight for resistance for some of your exercises. There are specialized shoes available that force you to stay on your toes to strengthen your lower legs. And finally, you need to work on jumping technique to help get you off the ground.
With a little research you can find the info you need to succeed at jumping higher. Remember it will take time so do not give up or be discouraged at achieving your goal. Put together a routine that will utilize the three parts (core, leg strength and explosive power) that will be compatible for you and give it time to work.
Vert Shock is the program I recommend on this website. Check out my detailed Vert Shock review here.
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