Got Hops?


How to Increase Your Vertical? What Are the Go-To Exercises?

Are you a competitive basketball player that wants to perform better on the basketball court?

Do you believe that you need to jump higher to be able to do more lay-ups?

Do you feel that you need more lift to bring up the speed of your game?

You may need to ‘increase your vertical’ and learn special athletic skills to jump higher. According to some experts, you can either jump or not jump based on your physical makeup. But there are other experts that believe that if you routinely perform certain strength enriching exercises, then you can develop the ability to jump higher and enrich ‘your game’.

There are generally believed to be five key muscle groups areas that are utilized to boost your jumping skills. These are: glutes (for hip extension), quadriceps (for knee extension), hamstrings (for hip extension, knee flexion, and absorbing landings), calves (for ankle extension), abdominals and core (for ‘trunk stability’).

Perhaps being in fit shape will reshape or redefine the flow of your movement pattern. By having stronger muscles and by exercising key muscle groups often your body will be more ‘fine tuned’ and more capable of running and jumping faster, higher and achieving more lift or height, during your jump.

Strive to be better, faster, stronger. Run faster, jump higher and achieve a higher vertical. How can you do it? Let us consider the process that your body goes during a jump. A jump is the result of a triple extension of various muscle groups and body parts. You will require the simultaneous and expansive extension of your hips, knees and ankles.

To jump higher and get a better vertical jump you will need to strengthen the muscles in your ‘glutes’ or butt, quadriceps(important for knee extension) hamstrings (essential for hip extension, knee movement and absorbent landings, calves(for ankle extension) abdominals and core(for trunk stability).

Here is some real deal ‘top baller’ advice on how higher, the right way.

  • Step 1. Stand with your feet directly under your hips. Shift your knees outward without moving your feet. You may feel some tension in your hips. But, this seeming tightness will position and prepare your hips for increased jumping power.
  • Step 2. Speedily dip your hips and knees, while at the same time, swingin your arms behind you, in order to gain momentum. Imagine a half squat position. Keep your hips positioned behind your knees. The hip action in a jump is similar to the movement pattern you perform, by using your hips during a deadlift. For maximum lift off, bend your knees deeply, while maintained an elongated spine.
  • Step 3. Jump as highly as possible – depending on your height – while simultaneously flinging your arms forward and over your head. When your your feet leave the ground, only reach up with one arm. This will allow you to reach higher than versus extending both arms, during your jump. Be sure to land softly, with your knees slightly bent. Be careful not to let your knees cave inward. Force your knees  outward, to maintain balance.

Weight Lifting exercises to practice for enriched jumping power.

  • Barbell Deadlift

Bend at your hips and knees. Clasp a barbell, while using an overhand grip. Position your hands slightly beyond your shoulder width. Extend your body to reach a standing position, as you shift your hips forward.

  • Dumbbell Jump Squat

Grab and lift a pair of dumbbells. Hold the weights at your sides, with your palms facing each other. Then lower yourself into a squatting position. Next, jump as highly as you are able to jump. Finally, try to land softly, while ensuring your knees are bent, upon impact. Get back to a standing position, then repeat the entire process.

  • Box Jump

Face a knee-high bench. Keep your arms raised upward. Ensure your arms remain downward. Be sure to push your hips backwards, while lowering your body. Lift your arms upwards. Next, jump onto the bench, then jump off and land safely on the ground. Repeat this process many times.

  • 4 Upraised Barbell Stretch

Use an overhand clasp on the weight. Hold a barbell across your upper back. Keep your knees slightly bent and keep your back in an arched position. Bend at your hips, until your torso is almost parallel to the floor, then raise your body upwards.

According to a new study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research the key to jumping higher starts in your knees.

A vertical jump involves “triple extension” whereby you should fully extending your ankles, knees, and hips. All three of these joints are involved. Therefore, the faster and more forcefully that you contract muscles, which surround your ankles and knees, while you extend – the higher you’ll jump.

Your hips play a bigger role when you jump forward, not upwards.

Try out these weight exercise to get more lift off of your jump.

Weight-Release Jump

Grab a pair of light dumbbells and hold them by your sides, with your palms facing each other. Dip your knees, and then explosively jump as high as you can. As you leave the floor, release the dumbbells from your hands. That’s 1 rep. Perform 3 to 5 reps in a row, with maximum intensity.

Depth Jump

Stand on the edge of a 12-inch box or bench. Step off, landing softly on the balls of your feet, followed by your heels. Both feet should hit the floor at the same time. When you make contact with the floor or the ground, be sure to bend your knees slightly, then extend the reach of your legs and arms as highly as possible.

The above instructions are for 1 rep. Do 3 to 5 sets of 8 reps.

The prescribed exercise routine was presented by James Cerbie, C.S.C.S., USAW, is a sports performance coach at Pure Performance Training in Needham, Massachusetts and the founder of Rebel Performance.

According to Miami Heat Strength and Conditioning Coach Bill Foran, “Jumping is a very explosive movement that can, believe it or not, be improved with proper training.” Most NBA players have vertical jumps in the 28-inch to 34-inch range. To get your best vertical jump it is necessary to do both strength and power training.

Best Power and Strength Exercises for Jumping

Strength exercises include slow, controlled movements like squats, lunges, and weighted step-ups. Power exercisesrequire explosive, quick moves, like those needed for plyometricsand power cleans. Plyometrics are explosive bonding, hopping and jumping drills that blend strength and speed. Finally, practicing a maximum vertical jump, will increase your vertical jump.

There are many ways to improve your vertical jump. Some of the most effective exercises include: plyometrics; along with exercises that build both strength and power.

  • Plyometrics: The most common plyometric exercises include hops, jumps, and bouncing movements. One popular plyometric exercise is jumping off a box and rebounding off the floor and onto another, higher box. Box jumps also provide practice for jumping.
  • Full Squats: This barbell exercise builds both strength and power. It is also one of the best total body exercises you can do.
  • Weighted / Dynamic Step Ups: The step up is a great all-around exercise that you can do almost anywhere. Not only will it build strength in your quadriceps, you can also use it as part of a cardio workout. It has a low risk of injury.
  • Overhead Walking Lunges: This exercise builds power, strength, and speed in your legs as well as improving core strength during movement. All you need is a weight and room to walk.
  • Single-leg Squats: The single leg squat is an exercise you can do anywhere, without equipment. It works your hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus. and calves, while strengthening your core and developing greater flexibility.
  • Sprints: These short bouts of intense exercise help to build muscle and enrich performance. It best to use more muscles, simultaneously, similar to a weightlifting routine.
  • Agility drills: Agility drills help to improve coordination, speed, power, and specific sports skills. Several of these abilities include jumping.
  • Stair Running: Stair running is a high-intensity workout that helps build speed, power, and cardiovascular fitness. It targets the glutes, quads, and calves.

You can build strength, by performing basic weight training exercises, while using slow, controlled movements. Build power with faster and dynamic movements. You also you need to improve the speed of movements, in order to increase power in your muscles. This is done with explosive, quick exercises.

You can add specific plyometric drills as well. These build both power and speed and generally include explosive bonding, hopping and jumping exercises.

Practice Your Maximum Jump

If you want to jump higher, then you should include some time to practice your maximum jump, by combining all of the routines noted herein. Work on your form, while incorporating your lead up to the jump, arm motion, and safe landing technique.

Keep in mind that jumping is a high impact activity. It is not suitable for everyone. You may discover that jumping takes a toll on your knees, hips, ankles, and feet. Be sure to give your body a rest, in between difficult workouts, so that your muscles have time to repair and develop, before you challenge them again.

Before beginning any new exercise routine, be sure to consult with your Family Doctor and get training on how to exercise and on how to use weights from a local licensed personal trainer.


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