Can’t jump higher?
Want to improve your vertical jump, but not sure why you can’t reach your goal?
This post’s for you.
Vertical jump training
This goes without saying, so I’ll get it out of the way first.
If you’re serious about being able to jump higher, you need to be doing the right training.
A great vertical jump is a combination of MULTIPLE factors, not just one.
For instance, lower body strength is important.
But, without the necessary speed and mobility, you won’t be taking flight like you could AND should be.
You don’t see olympic weightlifters doing 360 dunks, do you?
To thank you for reading and help you reach your goals, I’ve made the FREE Hooper Boost 4-Week Vertical Jump Program.
All the exercises have video explanations and can be done at home with no special gym equipment.
The jump itself
My first in-game dunk is something I’ll never forget…
(As we were practicing layups before the start of the game, I tried to go for some dunks. I felt sluggish, like I could barely jump.)
The game starts and our team is dominating. Midway through the first quarter, my teammate got a steal and threw me a no-look pass…
I bounce the ball once, take two steps and BOOM.
This taught me two things that are important for getting the most out of your jump:
- It may sound obvious, but as with all exercise, your body needs to be warmed up for peak performance. (Like I was by the first quarter)
- Focus on maximum effort and contracting the muscles in your legs that you use to jump.
Often, you might be too relaxed going into the jump, without focusing on FULLY engaging your leg muscles used in the jump.
Lack of rest
Ever been training your legs for a while and got excited to test out your new bounce?
Then, it gets to the jump and… it feels like you’ve made no progress.
In all jump training, you will initially experience a fall in your vertical, as your muscles are fatigued.
However, your body will then work to build your muscles back up, so that you can jump higher than you could to begin with.
Even if your muscles aren’t sore, your central nervous system could be fatigued.
This is often the case with plyometrics, as well as other types of jump training.
After an extended period of training, rest for 3-6 days (however much is appropriate).
For example, taking 5 days off after following a training program for 4 weeks.
But, include some light activity (nothing intense) during these rest days.
This will help to keep blood flowing to these muscles and speed up the recovery process.
Jumping technique needs improvement
The last reason why you can’t jump higher is a lack of good jumping technique.
Here’s two quick tips to help get you jumping higher (click the link above for a full breakdown):
- TRIPLE EXTENSION: As you explode upwards out of the jump, make sure to fully straighten your legs. Extend at the ankle, knee and hip by squeezing your calves, quads and glutes respectively
- ACCELERATE THROUGH YOUR RUN-UP: Make sure not to slow down/stutter before you takeoff to jump.
It’s better to start off with slow steps and speed up towards the end.
That way, you can convert all your horizontal momentum into vertical explosion.