There are many physical attributes that can take your game to the next level. Point guards need to be quick and post players need to be strong, but there’s one trait that benefits players at all positions: jumping ability.
Having a high vertical jump will increase your ability to block shots, grab rebounds, disrupt players inbounding the ball and, most importantly, up your chances of dunking.
If you think your vertical jump is something you’re born into and stuck with, you’re about to hear some good news. There are many workouts you can do to add some inches to that vertical leap.
Develop a Workout Schedule
You can’t reach a goal that you don’t set, and the best way to track your progression is to set a workout schedule for yourself. You can either develop one yourself, or you can do some research and find a vertical jump program.
One such program will have you doing workouts every-other day that consist of the following exercises: jumping rope, 4-corners, single-leg 4-corners, slow-motion squats, tuck jumps, high-reach jumps, lateral jumps, single-leg lateral jumps, alternating lunge jumps, straight leg calf jumps and toe raises.
Follow this workout routine for 12 weeks and you’ll become something of a human grasshopper.
Don’t Hurt Yourself
As important as it is to build your muscles, it’s just as important to know your limits. If you feel like you’ve pulled something, you’ve probably pulled something.
There are amazing methods for preventing sports injuries, such as the SKIP Program. SKIP stands for Successful Knee Injury Prevention, and is designed to detect anything from stability issues to decreased strength and flexibility in the muscles. By following SKIP, you should be able to gain a higher jump without getting hurt.
The SKIP program also applies to aggravating old injuries, especially since you already know the areas of your body that are susceptible to getting hurt.
Even if you’re not as seriously injured as you think you might be, don’t take the risk. Go see a doctor.
Practice Depth Jumping
A very specific workout that has proven most effective in building leg strength is depth jumping. A depth jump is performed by stepping off a box or flat object, then exploding upward as soon as your feet touch the ground.
This exercise teaches your leg muscles to have a quick reaction time and to activate when you need them to propel you off the ground. Repeat this exercise in sets of three reps, and watch your vertical skyrocket!
Jump Over an Object
This sounds like an oversimplification, but one of the best ways to build leg strength is to simply flex those muscles constantly. That means jump — and jump often.
Start out with something like a six-inch box or table, and jump over it from a standing position. From there, move to an object that’s eight inches tall, 10 inches tall, and so on. This practice will provide a physical marker to surpass as you build your leg strength.
You can do this exercise anywhere, any time. Try jumping over random objects throughout the day, and you’ll be surprised at how much your leg muscles will be strengthened.
Soon you’ll be dunking all over people!