Want to Jump Higher? Build Explosive Hips
Would you like to know more about building explosive hips to jump higher? If yes, you are at the right place. First, what is a vertical jump? It is a test of athletic ability depicted by some gifted basketball leapers like LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Although it looks easy when they do it, vertical leap with either one or both feet is powerful and explosive movement.
What is the most important aspect of a great vertical jump?
Answer. The ability to reach the full range of motion and generate vast amounts of power. Also, specifically getting a triple extension at the hips, knees and ankles. During fad jump programs and plyometric training, we regularly focus on quick pogo jumps and explosive knee-dominant jumps for the ankles. Surprisingly, the hips hold the key to the ability of loading explosively and then exploding. When done well, hip training offers less impact on the joints and thus safer than high-impact plyometric.
The explosive leg exercises key to unlocking your performance.
Build Explosive Hips
1. Hip extension and flexion
In any forward/backward or linear movement, there is extension and flexion motions. Regarding hips and vertical leap, extension motion involves moving the hips up and forward while flexion involves pushing the hips into a loaded position (backward). When in a flexed position, extending the hips properly by leaning is crucial to gaining explosive upward speed. And for that to happen, an athlete needs to have a great technique and be strong and flexible.
2. Mobility and flexibility essential to achieving a full range of motion
Developing the required range of motion is the first step to achieving explosive extension. The posterior (hip flexors and quads) chain and anterior (glutes and hamstrings) chain must be flexible and strong. At least one of the exercises should be used to address the anterior chain and another for the posterior chain.
a. Assisted hip-hinge stretch – posterior chain
Lacking lower-back strength and hamstring flexibility forms the most common inconsistency movement. Before tackling explosive hip extension, we should first address the inability of the hips to flex back while keeping a strong spine and core. Use the dowel or aPVC pipe to rectify the hip extension and flexion movement to improve the hamstring flexibility.
The dowel should be aligned along your spine, concentrating on the three contact points namely the tailbone, the top of the spine above the shoulder blades and the back of the head. Then perform a hip hinge or RDL until the three points cannot be maintained any longer. After you establish he right movement pattern, then practice even more. Load the movement only after you are sure that you can perform hip hinge correctly and have developed the proper neuromuscular adjustments.
b. Bride progression – anterior chain
Getting the ability of explosively extending hips requires a lot of anterior chain strength. Meaning athletes should extend their hips without reaching a poor pelvic tilt. Here, correct core positioning is crucial, and the bridge forms a great way of maintaining a strong core and correcting hip extension. Basic Floor Bridge entails:
• Lying on your back with the feet flat and knees bent
• Squeeze your glutes and elevate your hips so that your hips can extend up while focusing on not arching your back but maintaining your core flexed
• A nice way to learn the correct pelvic positioning in case of hip extension movements
• After mastering it, progress to elevated bridges, leg bridges and so on
3. Unlock your performance with hip flexor stretches
Here, you need to master the technique referred to as the Med Ball Slam to Jump. After moving safely through the full range of motion, you can improve your explosiveness and vertical power that you require to perfect the technique.
• Hold a fully extended medicine ball overhead
• In a single motion, ensure you throw your ball straight down as hard as you possibly can while at the same time sinking back to a loaded position (back flat and hips back)
• Then extend your hips, swing up your arms fast and jump; ensure you land safely.
• When using a light med ball, the exercise can work with one leg emphasizing on the use of reps before progressing to other challenging movements.
4. Improving your vertical jump without jumping
Developing power is the key here. You should move a high-speed rate and develop a high force comparative to your bodyweight. The use of the technique is required when training for power while using the correct training is crucial to getting desired results. Also, Keep It Simple and Stupid (KISS) principle is applicable here. Two power exercises are included for that.
a. Overhead Med Ball Throws
An awesome way of creating speed and power with light resistance while placing the emphasis on form but always check your ceiling before throwing. To do this,
• Start in an athletic posture with your back flat and hips flexed
• Then, hold the med ball a little above the ground while fully extending your arms and leveling your feet.
• In a single motion, drive forward with hips until your hips, knees and ankles are fully extended.
• From the momentum generated, swing the med ball overhead and release it but avoid hyperextending your hips or overarching your back.
b. Kneeling pop-ups
It is a low-impact exercise for forcing you to generate force and isolate hip extension through your arm swing and core. You should master all the basics though it can be progressed to Box Jumps, Snatches, and Kneeling Hang Cleans.
• Start in a kneeling posture with your hips extended and both your arms extended overhead
• Drive your hips and arms back, then explosively change the motion upward, ensuring you land athletically.
• Begin again after resting. If you encounter problems associated with landing or getting off the ground, revert to plyometric.
A basic workout for enhancing your vertical leap and explosive hip extension can be incorporated into your current training sessions or practices. Moreover, you can expand and progress it into a complete training session focused on enhancing vertical power.
• Take 15 minutes to perform a thorough warm up
• Perform three rounds of mobility and positioning circuit
• 1A – X10 Assisted Hip Hinge Stretch, 1B – X10 Two-Foot Floor Bridge, 1C – X10 Single-Leg Floor Bridge on each leg
Three rounds of technique mastery
• 1A – X8 Med Ball Slam to Jump, 1B – X4 Single-Leg Med Ball Slam to Jump on each leg
• Rest for 60 seconds between sets to develop power
• 1A – 4X4 Overhead Med Ball, 2A – 4X4 Kneeling Pop-Ups