For many parents of athletes who weren't also athletes you start to learn all these measurements that you didn't know were important prior. The only time I had ever heard anything about a "vertical" was when watching the NFL combine, well there is more to it!
What does vertical jump mean? A vertical jump is the act of jumping into the air with as much power as you can generate with the aim to reach as high a point as possible. It is a measure of your lower body power and explosiveness and is a large measure of professional sports athletes to their overall ability.
Since a vertical jump is super important to almost all athletes involved in almost all sports then we can explore some reasons why for some big sports along with how you could measure your performance and explore methods to improve your performance.
The value that is behind a vertical jump number is tied to each sport differently but it is a good way to look at the overall strength of a jumper. This can also show off the dedication to hard work and discipline as this takes years of day to day grind to accomplish.
Well I am sure many will be jumping to talk about the relation of your vertical jump to being able to dunk a basketball, this is very true. The additional parts though are in blocking shots, tip off, and the endurance your legs build while practicing a vertical jumping program, like Vert Shock.
This comes down to when jumps are beyond necessary, serving and spiking, where you need to get high to clear the net while also being able to maintain the height while going through the motion in a re-eatable manner.
There is nothing involved in football that doesn't need explosive power and push, the generation of force drives lineman from their stance, allows you to intercept an under-thrown ball, allows for you to leap in the air while making the acrobatic catch.
Very much something that the goalkeepers need to cover leaps across the goal to actively enhance their ability to block more shots. Additionally the power generation can show up in the ability to have explosive kicking power and distance.
Especially helpful for the outfield players who need to scale walls on occasion the benefits extend from there to the explosive power to leave the box fast after the hit and the power to push on a dive.
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There is multiple ways to try and measure a vertical jump, from the inexpensive and less exact methods to the more exact but increased cost of a tool like this Tandem vertical challenger tool on Amazon which is much more exact.
The simple way though to measure at home is to mark your highest position on a paper mounted to the wall, use a pen to mark your fingertip max, then jump while holding the pen to mark as high as you can.
While this isn't optimal you can then measure the distance between your hand before jump and your max mark above and get a solid idea of your overall vertical jump to start working with, no fancy things necessary (though much easier).
First thing is to check what your vertical jump looks like versus others your age and sex, this way you have a solid basis on where you are starting from. There are many things that you can do and even programs which are built specifically to help you improve.
While jumping consistently will possibly add to your vertical the act of jumping without a push to get better isn't magically going to give you inches in your leaping abilities.
The one thing that jumping can give you is a endurance boost since you will be preparing your body to fight gravity and being able to make multiple jumps will pay dividends when you reach a program to get results.
The most useful exercise you could focus your efforts on would be plyometric style exercises that build explosive strength, power and control all combined.
Plyometric exercises are activities that include things like box jumps, hops, and large bounding movements. These are important to work out on the regular to build your strength and power consistently.
Similar to jumping above adding weights to your ankles isn't some miracle to jumping higher, it just helps you learn to jump with weights on your feet. If anything this additional weight on just your ankles could be dangerous to the muscles, so do this cautiously!
This is where you can start to get results, people have built training programs which specifically target helping build the muscle chain that gives you your high vertical you search for.
There are only two primary programs which I would say can and will help you get results if you are willing to put in the time and follow them, the Jump Manual and Vert Shock.
There is no "secret" to building your ability to jump higher, in fact it comes down to mastering these five essential and fundamental needs for your body to becomes strong in vertical jumps. The 5 Core Fundamentals are:
Build muscle, strong and powerful muscles. You want to get yourself in the gym and you want to focus on building power through your entire lower body from your feet to your glutes.
Definitely strength is necessary to your ability to jump higher but it will not be of much benefit if it cant be created almost instantly. As you see when you actually plan to jump you have about a half second to generate the entire force in the jump.
Beyond this time-frame the push isn't contributing to you force as you have already left the ground. This is why you need to practice plyomterics and FAST generation of power as you need to be able to push all in that .5 second window!
This is pretty straight forward as the more you weigh the more force that you will need to generate to jump higher, so an immediate way to jump bigger would be to cut weight (bodyfat).
This weight loss needs to be a cautious approach to not lose your lean body weight, you don't want to be dropping muscle if you can help it but lower body fat will ensure better results in your vertical leaping.
Sloppy technique will yield sloppy results, this is true in the gym for traditional workouts also as well as for your ability to jump. Learn how you can change and fix your technique as this will yield far better results on less volume in many cases.
This technique tweaking should include how to land properly also and not just on the takeoff, landing is violent on your body and you want to learn how to minimize this impact force or face injuries down the road.
Often overlooked and passed over as it is "lazy", your recovery is incredibly vital to your success as the recovery period is actually when muscle growth has the chance to occur.
If you jump and work constantly without downtime you actually will more than likely start to see a drastic loss in overall performance and may be confused why it is occurring, take breaks it is healthy.
While many will speak on their bench press and many other numbers to prop themselves up a good overall measure of athletic ability is your vertical leap and jump ability.
Taking time to master these skills will pay dividends on your goals in any sport you want to focus on. I prefer programs like Jump Manual and Vert Shock instead of just gym or self learning as they are structured to provide RESULTS.
We love the Vert Shock system as it offers a vast trove of amazing information, drills, and strategies to jump high fast and it is proven through numerous user testimonials.
They offer a TOTALLY FREE ebook to start learning to jump higher starting today, this minute, delivered to your email so you can start reading and working on your abilities immediately!