Imagine playing basketball, and you are driving to the basket, and you take your final two steps…
Then explode to the rim just like Michael Jordan.
This is the feeling that every basketball of all levels strives to get a taste of, and it is what drives these players to increase their verticals.
There are many variables to increasing your vertical, and there are mistakes that must be avoided. This article will go through how to improve your vertical and some of the mistakes you need to stay away from.
How is vertical jump tested?
The vertical jump is tested in two different methods, and both methods use a vertical measuring device called the Vertec. The first way a vertical is tested is by the standing vert, also known as the no-step vertical. This is where a player jumps as high as they can without taking a step.
The second method is the maximum vertical; this is when the player can achieve maximum velocity for a maximum vertical jump. NBA test both methods while the NFL only test the standing vertical.
Exercises to increase your vertical
The main subject that most players focus on when training their vertical jump…
The exercises you perform in your routine will make or break your results. When training, you must exercise your fast-twitch muscle fibers. These fast-twitch muscle fibers are the reason for the explosiveness you see in players like Russel Westbrook, who is known to fly to the rim and throw the basketball down. When trained correctly, even your slow-twitch muscle fibers will act like fast-twitched muscle fibers.
But what are the best exercises?
Let’s take a look below….
Box jumps are a plyometric workout that focuses on strengthening your lower body muscles, mainly involved in jumping. This exercise will not only make you jump higher, but it has the added benefits of making you faster and more powerful. When performing these, make sure you land softly. This will help prevent wear and tear on your knees, joints, and ligaments.
Weighted squats seem like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many athletes neglect this workout. Squats work your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abdominal muscles, lower back, and butt. All these muscle groups play a part in your vertical. If you want to achieve a maximum vertical jump like Jordan, do not neglect any of these muscle groups. When starting, you can start by doing squats without weights to make sure you have the correct form. When lifting weight, you must have the proper form to prevent injury.
Something that is not very popular because many athletes do not know about them: you can think of a death jump as the opposite of a box jump. With a death jump, your muscles are stretched suddenly because of the landing impact. This is great because it improves the rate of firing for your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Once this firing rate is increased, your muscles can contract and relax quicker, making for a higher jump.
The easiest exercise on the list because kids grow up doing this workout. There is a reason why multiple basketball players incorporate jump roping in their routines because it is a great aerobic exercise while working out your hamstrings and calves.
Tips for jumping higher
There are tips and little tricks to increase your vertical, and most athletes do not even pay attention to 90% of them, which keeps them from reaching their potential.
Let’s dig into these secrets’ tips….
#1 Vertical Technique
Having the proper technique can increase your vertical by a couple of inches. It does not matter if you are a one or two-footed jump; having proper technique has massive benefits. Having the correct jumping form will create synergy and allow you to jump in one fluid motion. The technique is the reason why pro athletes make it look so early.
#2 Core Workouts
Your core is an essential part of your body when jumping; without a strong core, your body will become off balance, which, as a result, will affect how high you jump. If you look closely at the world’s best dunkers, they all have one thing in common; they are ripped with a 6-pack.
#3 Training Programs
This is the true secret to unlocking your potential when it comes to increasing your vertical jump. I did not know about these until I was out of college. The website BasketballMentality.com does an excellent detailed review of the leading jump program Vert Shock that you can see here. I say this is a secret because it streamlines the correct exercises, perfects technique, and goes into diet recommendation plans to produce faster results. It is worth looking into.
#4 Never Give Up
You have to have the mentality of never giving up; sometimes, it will take a few weeks to see results, and you cannot throw in the towel. If you throw in the towel, you will never reach the peak of your vertical jumping ability. In the words of the great Kobe Bryant, “The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win.”
Stretching is an essential factor before and after a workout; this is because it loosens up your muscles and will decrease the risk for injury. Becoming injured can derail your training and prevent you from reaching your potential. You must do both dynamic and static stretching before and after a workout; you must not skip this step.