3 Tips to Improve Your Vertical
From basketball to volleyball and every sport in between, jumping is a universal movement. Improving your vertical gets you above and beyond your opponents, and it can improve your speed, power, and overall athleticism.
The following tips can easily be incorporated into your current training and provide adjusts for efficient training.
1. Find and Fix Your Base
A structurally sound foundation is everything. Without it, you put yourself at risk for injury. In a typical base position, feet should be about shoulder-width apart, toes forward, butt down, and arms in a down and back position. Regardless of if you are jumping off one foot or two, ankles, knees, and hips should be in line with one another. When knees cave in or bow outward, the power transfer leaks between you and the ground, minimizing your vertical height.
Once you’ve found your base, swing your arms forward and up, pushing your feet into the ground while extending from the hips, knees, and ankles in one smooth motion. Jumping is a full body movement, so if you are only using your lower body to jump, you are limiting the height of your vertical.
2. Incorporate Strength Training
Increasing lower body strength boosts force production while jumping. The greater amount of force you can produce, the higher heights you can achieve. Not only does strength training help with force production, but it also aids in injury prevention to keep you playing the sport you love. Incorporate exercises that mimic the positions of a jump, like hex bar squats and rear-foot-elevated split squats, which focus on extension at the hip, knee and ankle joints when performed in an explosive manner.
3. Add Plyometrics
Plyometrics increase your vertical by decreasing the amount of time it takes to generate force into the ground. Box jumps, hurdle hops, dumbbell-resisted jumps, and band-assisted jumps are simple exercises you can start incorporating into your training right away. Adding in a variety of jumps prepares your body for the various demands of your sport with the added benefit of improving your vertical.
Start improving your vertical by signing up for an Intro Session with one of our Sports Performance Coaches to evaluate your current skills and have a custom program created to meet your goals.