Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Vertical Leap | Track and Field

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.

How to Jump Higher by Training With Plyometrics and a Weight Vest | Track and Field

Do you want to know how to jump higher? There are many programs out on the internet that promise to double your vertical jump. Many of these programs are really looking to double the size of someone else’s wallet with your money. Do a simple Google search for terms like: “how to jump higher”, “jump higher”, “exercises to jump higher” and you will see what I mean… those really long web pages with lots of highlights and fake testimonials.If you want to learn how to jump higher what you really need is just some common sense. Learning how to jump higher means exercising not only your muscles but training your nerves and strength force to respond more efficiently. This well documented training method is called Plyometrics Training.

Plyometrics Training refers to a specialized type of training used to produce explosive muscular reactions. When you build muscle, you build strength. But muscle strength is not always used as efficiently as possible. Plyometrics Training involves taking the inherent strength in a muscle and training it to produce explosive muscular results.More specifically, Plyometric Training involves doing hops, runs and jumps to train. Athletes often use exercise platforms, sturdy boxes or stairs to perform Plyometric Training.Now here’s the “secret” you can use to train your muscles on how to jump higher. Buy a weight vest to implement into your regular or Plyometric training program. Weight vests are no longer bulky or uncomfortable. Advancements in design and technology have made weight vests comfortable, adjustable and stylish. You can buy weight vests with variable weighted allocations. This will allow you to add more resistance as you progress on your quest to jump higher. There are a lot of great weight vests on the market. In my opinion the Hyperwear weight vest is one of the best. It was named by Men’s Health magazine as one of their top products for 2009.

But how well does it work? Texas Tech University went out and did a study to answer this very question. They chose to test track and field athletes by having some of them train using Plyometric exercises and weighted vests. What did they find? After six weeks, both groups improved their vertical jumping ability. The athletes who did not wear any weighted training devices increased their vertical jumps by 1.3 inches, while the plyometric people soared a full 3 inches higher, a terrific 13% improvement.So Plyometric training is a great way to learn how to increase your vertical. Using a weight vest to provide added resistance will give even superior vertical leaping capability.