In many sports-basketball, volleyball, track and field-jumping higher can give you an edge over your opponent. How high you jump, though, isn’t set in stone; you can learn to jump higher.Here are a few quick and easy tips that will help you get more out of your jump.Stretch: Increasing your flexibility is important if you want to learn to jump higher. Tight muscles and tendons can prevent full range of motion, which impedes your ability to get the most out of a jump. When stretching, don’t simply focus on leg muscles. Include stretches for the stomach and back muscles also.Take a step or two: Gaining a little momentum by taking a couple steps will result in a jump that is higher than one that starts from a stationary position.
Increase strength: Like flexibility, improving strength is important in order to learn to jump higher. Here, you want to exercise both the large muscles (like those in your thighs and calves) and the small muscles (like those in your feet). Squats, calf raises, hip flexor exercises, and exercises to strengthen the small muscles in your feet are all good options for improving strength.Assume the position: If you want to learn to jump higher, you need to learn to put your body in a position that will give you the most bang out of your jump. You want to start the jump with your arms down at your sides, hips flexed about 30 degrees, knees bent approximately 90 degrees, and ankles flexed. This position will not only help you improve the height you achieve, but it will also help to protect our knees from injury.Practice in your head: If you learn to jump higher in your head, you can improve what you do in “real life.” Visualize yourself getting into the appropriate position, taking your steps, and springing into action-follow the jump in your mind from start to finish. The next time you jump, you should notice an improvement in both how it feels to do the jump and in the results that you get.
Practice plyometrics: Plyometrics is a specific type of exercise training meant to produce fast, powerful movement, such as that needed when jumping. Plyometrics toughens muscle tissues and trains nerves to illicit a set of muscle contractions so that muscles will generate the strongest possible contraction in the shortest period of time, which improves the “explosive” part of a jump (sort of like adding a larger, faster rocket to a rocket launch). Because of the potential for serious injury with plyometrics if done incorrectly, it should only be practiced by well-conditioned individuals and under the supervision of knowledgeable sports exercise professionals.