Vertical Jump Training

Top 5 Jumping tips

By Nick Newman MS

As many of you know I still compete as a long jumper in the sport of Track and Field. As I am also a performance coach I am always asked questions about vertical jump training. One of the most common questions I am asked is if there are any quick ways an athlete can improve their jumping ability. To this I always respond with the same answer. It all depends on how much of an improvement you are looking for. Substantial gains take substantial time to develop. I will use myself as an example. I have been developing my own vertical jump for the past 10 years. During that time my jump increased from 24 inches to 42.5 inches, which I achieved just last week. My improvement during that time is certainly quite large. However in real terms we are talking an 18.5 inch increase in 10 (TEN) years of training. This is an average of 1.8 inches per year and it has taken the last 5 years to improve just 5 inches. Not exactly a lot right?

The truth is it takes a lot to achieve substantial gains in physical performance. A lot meaning, a lot of time, perseverance, hard work, patience, motivation and drive to achieve it. There are no quick fixes in long-term physical development and although the human body is amazing at adapting to whatever is thrown its way, it takes time.

Throughout my journey as an athlete and coach I learned an awful lot about what to do and what not to do when improving someone’s jumping ability. Here are my top 5 tips for improving vertical jump performance

1.     TECHNIQUE – Perfect the technique of vertical jumping and approach vertical jumping and you can add inches onto your jump in no time. This basically unlocks physical ability that you already have developed. I have seen a 3 inch improvement in the space of 2 minutes with athletes I have helped.

2.     JUMP! – Sounds simple and it is. Jumping will improve jumping ability more than anything else will. Practice all kinds of jumping. This includes, vertical jumps, forward and backwards jumps, side to side jumps, single leg jumps, jumps on sand and many other variations. By jump training 2-3 times per week the athlete is creating a stimulus that is remembered within the body and over time will increase the bodies ability to jump higher.

3.     STRENGTH – A strong muscle has the ability to produce more force than a weak muscle. The more force produced while an athlete jumps the higher he/she will jump. Exercises like squats, lunges and step-ups will help the development of the leg muscles used for jumping.

4.     SPEED – Good jumpers are able to produce force quickly. Meaning they can contract their jump related muscles very fast and produce great force at the same time. In order to develop this ability, athlete must training fast. Sprinting should be a vital aspect of a training program for all jumping athletes for this very reason. After all, all sprinting is is a series of very fast jumps.

5.     CONSISTENCY – No different than becoming a good volleyball player or a good pitcher in baseball. Physical development takes great practice and repetition. I will say this again, to become a good athlete or jumper or sprinter or shooter in basketball it takes A LOT of time and practice performed consistently over the long term.

So there are my top 5 tips for improving jump performance. If you follow them your jumping ability will improve. Good luck!

Any questions regarding this information please feel free to contact me at Nickn@championsquest.com

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29 thoughts on “Vertical Jump Training

  1. Blake May 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm Reply

    To improve your vertical jump ability, an athlete requires a body full of strength, not just legs or any lower muscles. To get that strength, you need strength training. The purpose of strength training is to improve the overall strength of all muscles involved in the vertical jump motion. Actually, there are lots of muscles involved to accomplish the movement. Training the whole body will make the muscles you need stronger and quicker.

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