3 Best Exercises for the Vertical Jump
In basketball, jumping higher is an important aspect of the game. Therefore, you must perk up your vertical leap ability and further liven up your athletic abilities. Focus on three things- flexibility, strength and power.
Including these three crucial exercises in your normal training regimen will see you enhancing your vertical leap drastically, something which will improve your overall performance in the game.
Let’s look at the three exercises:
Hip flexor stretch
Hip flexors are a group of skeletal muscles that connect the leg, pelvis, and abdomen and help to pull the knee forward and upward. Extremely tight hip flexors can really hamper your athletic capabilities. The hip flexor is an area that has become more and more susceptible to tightness and contraction due to modern habits, almost pulling a large majority of athletes into anterior tilt.
Tight and contracted hip flexors hamper our vertical leap in two ways.
A tight and contracted muscle inhibits the glute maximus which is crucial for a vertical jump. Athletes with a weak glute maximus do not usually jump higher. Besides, a weak glute maximus overworks the hamstring resulting into hamstring strains.
Moreover, tight and contracted hip flexors prevent full hip extension resulting into a poor jump. There are two simple flexor stretches that will address this constraint. The first one is the hip flexor pulse stretch. To perform this stretch properly, you will start by getting into the lunge position with your back knee on the floor.
Ensure the front knee and hip are at 90 degrees. Place your hands on your glutes and gently push your pelvis forward while keeping your torso still. Repeat the procedure in the same position. You should feel a great stretch at the point where the pelvis meets the femur on the front of the down leg. Perform these two-second stretches ten times on each leg.
Let’s look at the second stretch which is of course more complicated. Start by kneeling at 45 degrees in front of an 8-12 inch box. With the rest of the body in the same position, put your inside leg on top of the box and gently move your pelvis forward. Your torso should be kept still.
For added balance, you can place your hands on the knee up if you choose to. For a greater stretch, raise your hands over your head and lean them towards the up knee. Maintain the position for 15-20 seconds. Perform three of these 15-20 seconds stretches on each leg.
Trap Bar Deadlift (The Strength Component)
Strength exercises are good at enhancing your vertical leap. The amount of force you exert on the ground will determine the height at which you will rise and the trap bar deadlift gives you that force.
When compared to the squat, the trap bar deadlift has more advantages:
First, it’s consistent regarding range of motion. There is a tendency among athletes to decrease their range of motion when they get exhausted. A majority of athletes do not squat to the require depth.
Secondly, the trap bar deadlift engages the posterior chain more than the squat when done properly. It ensures the hamstrings and glutes are worked out properly. Lastly, the trap bar deadlift is easier to learn and requires less mobility.
Now that you are adept with the trap bar deadlift, focus on increasing the range of motion and hammer the posterior chain by deadlifting of a 4-inch box. You can add bar deadlift jumps to focus on the speed side of the speed- strength continuum.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (The Power Component)
Most people usually mistaken power for powerlifting. The two things are different. Olympic lifters are actually more powerful than powerlifters. Power is determined by the time a person takes to move a weight from one point to another.
Both time and power are crucial in basketball. It’s not about how high you can jump but how fast can you jump high. Usually, the first jump alone does not count but how quick can you explode on the subsequent jumps.
You can be strong but lack the power and speed. Once you have built up on strength, its time you focus on speed.
Olympic lifts are ideal for power training. The single-arm dumbbell snatch in particular is very effective at increasing your vertical jump. Unlike Olympic lifts, this exercise is easy to teach. With the arms acting as a rope, wrap the knuckles under the dumbbell while pointing the elbow to the outside.
The powerful triple extension of the hip, knee and ankle, as well as the violent shrug of the upper back will have the weight move. Then come off of the ground. Olympic lifts are all about speed.
Performing these great exercises twice a week will help you tremendously in your vertical leap results.