Call me crazy, but I’m just a little obsessed with the sport of basketball. I love the sport, whether it’s playing, coaching or watching my kids play, I enjoy being around it. So naturally, with being so into a sport, I am also a bit consumed in finding ways to help my kids and myself to become better at it.
To be one of the best players in the game of basketball, you’ll need strength, quickness, agility, ball handling skills and the ability to jump. So, this post will show you a few exercises that will increase your vertical.
Just a helpful hint, before performing strength exercises such as squats or plyometrics, make sure you warm up with a light jog or another exercise that will warm up your muscles and ligaments. Shoe choice also plays a critical role in your routine.
Five Exercises to Increase Your Vertical Jump
Squats – There’s a whole science behind maximizing your training efforts to receive the best result the quickest. Strength training is at the core of increasing your vertical jump, squats being one of the major exercises. Using proper technique and form, someone with sufficient leg strength should be able to squat 1.5 times their own body weight. So if you weight 200lbs, you should be able to get up a rep of 350lbs.
Don’t jump right into reaching your max if you haven’t been using squats in your workout. Work up to it. Do three sets of ten, increasing weight on each set until you feel like you can attempt 1.5 times your weight. Be safe.
I know some people don’t do squats because of the pain caused by the bar resting on your shoulders. For you, I’d recommend getting a bar pad. I use the CoreNetics bar pad which can be found on Amazon. It makes things a bit more comfortable. It’s built well and should last. When you’re using it, you can’t even feel the bar there. I actually received this one in exchange for my honest review, and it’s great!
Power Cleans – Any strength training exercise that mimics the jumping movement with only strengthens the muscles you use to jump. Power cleans mimic the jumping motion quite well. As you pull the bar up and thrust the hips forward to lift the bar above your chest, you’re strengthening those movements.
Weighted Hip Thrusts – One of the largest muscles in the body is the glutes, and the glutes have a large impact on your ability to jump higher. But not only to the glutes impact your vertical, they also promote good back strength and quicker movements.
Jump Ropes – Jump roping will increase the reflex strength in your jumping muscles and promote endurance. When doing jump ropes mix it up a bit by jump front to back and side to side. Try alternating legs and doing ten on one leg and ten on the other. I will usually do anywhere between 300 to 400 jump ropes, without stopping, alternating a few of the methods I mentioned above.
Plyometrics – There are a ton of different plyo workouts you can do to increase your vertical jump. Box jumps are one of the main ones. I usually set out three to four different sizes boxes in a line, increasing in height. My first box is around 18 inces, second is around 24, the third is closer to 32 and the fourth is at least 32 or higher.
This isn’t an aerobic workout. The goal is to increase the reactive power in your muscles by jumping up to the box, and as you step of the other side to jump to the next, spend as little time in contact with the floor as possible. Do you best to bounce right back up to the next box as soon as your feet make contact with the floor.
Note: Limit your contact with the ground to prevent injury, especially of you’re just beginning. A beginner plyo workout should consists of 60 floor impacts or less. As an example, on trip through the four plyo boxes would be four floor impacts.
In conclusion, just to cover the amount of time you should spend doing these workouts, always do your plyo workout when your legs are fresh. So do a small warm up exercise, such as jump ropes or jogging, then straight into plyo. Strength training can follow. I usually do two leg workouts a week with 48 hours rest in between.