Increasing your vertical jump off one foot can do so much for your game.
Chase-down blocks, athletic transition finishes and all around just more explosive movements.
By applying the technique tips and training advice here, you’ll be able to improve your one foot jump.
One foot jump technique
Through implementing these three tips and practicing them, your one foot jump will improve with time.
NOTE: the goal is not for you to cram all of these tips into your head when you do a one foot jump.
Doing this might help a bit now and then, but will limit success in the long run.
The goal is to practice applying these tips so that they become a part of your natural technique.
Tip #1: ACCELERATE THROUGH YOUR APPROACH
Your running speed at takeoff is CRUCIAL for the one foot jump.
Generally, the greater your speed at takeoff, the higher you will jump.
A few choppy steps aren’t too bad at the beginning of your approach/run-up.
However, your speed MUST be increasing up until your takeoff.
A stutter/slowing down before your final steps might not reduce height too much for a two-foot jump.
But, it will significantly hold you back from your maximum one foot jumping height.
This habit can be difficult to kick at first, but your approach will easily become smoother with consistent practice.
Tip #2: OPPOSITE KNEE SWING
As you push off the floor with your jumping leg to takeoff, also swing your knee on the non-jumping leg upwards aggressively.
This is similar to the movement in the plyometrics exercise: power skipping.
By combining the pushing force of your jumping leg with an opposite knee swing, you get an extra height boost on your one foot jump.
Tip #3: TRIPLE EXTENSION
Triple extension is going to boost your height on any leap, even a standing vertical jump with no run-up. It’s no different for jumping off one foot.
Wondering what triple extension is and why it’s useful?
All it means is fully extending your leg at the ankle, knee and hip.
(by squeezing your calves, quads and glutes respectively)
i.e. By making sure you fully straighten your leg as you push off the floor, you get as much force as you can into your jump.
Plyometrics training for one foot jump
As you run at high speed and takeoff, you need your muscles to fire quickly, to reduce contact time on the floor and explode into the air.
Training this muscle speed is KEY for one foot jumps especially, and plyometrics training is the answer for this.
If your focus is one foot jumps, make sure to put more emphasis on a variety of one leg jumps in your training.
(for a guide to plyometrics training clink the link just above)
Balance and stability
Since you’re jumping off one foot, balance and stability is especially important.
Training your balance and stability on one leg is an OFTEN overlooked way to improve the one foot jump.
Practice being fully on balance and in control of your body on one leg, paying attention to the muscles you are contracting and relaxing in order to do this.
As you progress, you can practice a variety of movements with only one foot on the floor, aiming to improve your body control.
For example, driving up your opposite knee (like in tip #2), a one leg calf raise, a one leg squat etc.
Mobility training is also key for establishing this balance and stability; this can give you an edge as it’s also often overlooked.
Focusing on mobility will give your body authority in greater ranges of motion, translating to more power as you explode out of the loading phase of a jump.
Remember that your jump can only improve with consistent training over time.
Your first jump will look nothing like your jump a month later, so be patient and enjoy the process.
Trust that even though there are tips to improving technique, your jump will also naturally improve over time with practice.