If you have ever played basketball, volleyball, or any other sport that involves a lot of jumping, you have probably talked to a coach about improving your vertical jump. It is one of the most common goals we have for people in those spots. Being able to jump high while protecting oneself from injury is a huge advantage for athletes. Even in sports that don’t require a lot of jumping, by improving your jump you can improve your overall performance and fitness level. So how do you improve your vertical jump?
Start with a baseline
The first step to improving any skill is figuring out where you are now. There are a few ways you can measure your vertical jump height. We find the best way is through an app that measures your air time and calculates your jump.
A low tech option you can use involves nothing more than a wall and chalk. Stand in front of a wall and reach as high as you can and mark the wall. Then, with chalk in hand, jump as high as you can and mark the wall. The space between the two lines is your jump height.
There are also jump mats, vertecs, and other tools your coach or trainer may have on hand to be able to help you measure.
Back to the basics
Work with a coach to make sure you have your jump mechanics up to par. Work with them to make sure your take off and landing forms are correct to protect yourself from injury. Even if you are a seasoned jumper, checking in with a coach or trainer to make sure your form is still sound can go a long way to help you protect your body.
A large part of jumping is how much power is in your legs. By utilizing exercises that have similar poses to those used during takeoff, you can help to build the strength you need to get more height. Some of these exercises include
- Multiple Squat variations
- Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatches
- Hip flexor stretches
Steady and measured
One big risk that comes with jumping is repetitive motion injuries. If you are jumping too often, too quickly, or with incorrect form, you can seriously hurt yourself and end up setting yourself back.
The best way to improve your vertical jump is to work with a coach or a trainer. They are going to be able to asses your current jump and make recommendations based off of your sport, your goals, and your body. They will be able to identify any hurdles in your training, and help you overcome them. If you would like to talk to one of our coaches about improving your jump, contact us and we can get you started. To learn more about how to improve your vertical jump, listen to Episode 40 of “Training Room Talk” powered by Precision Performance Physical Therapy.