If you take part in a sport where the ability to jump vertically is an important skill to have, then your desire to be able to jump higher will hopefully be a strong one. More than that, you will surely want to be able to jump higher in the quickest time possible, so that your improved jumping height allows you to positively contribute to your team's performance right away.
In this article, we are going to show you a process for quickly improving your jumping height which will include exercises of various types. If you are especially keen to improve, you should check out 'The Jump Manual' which is an excellent program full of advice, tips, and improvement techniques that will help you jump higher, faster.
How High Can You Jump Now?
If you want to improve your jump height, then it is essential that you take note of how high you can currently jump. To do so, you need to measure your vertical jump. For this, you will need a wall or pole, a ladder, a marker, a measuring tape, and a partner. First, you need to stand next to the wall or pole and keeping your feet flat on the ground stretch up as far as you can. Standing on the ladder, your friend should mark where your fingertips reach.
Next, you want to jump vertically from a standing start, and reach up as far as you can. You can attempt to do this several times. With your friend on the ladder once more, get them to look and see the highest point where your fingertips reach now. After several jumps, they should mark the highest point reached. Now you measure the difference between the two marks, and this figure is the one you compare your future progress against.
How Much Higher Do You Really Want to Jump?
How many times have you seen an athlete achieve something that seemed almost impossible? One of the biggest reasons they were able to achieve that feat was as much coming from their mind, as it was their body. In other words, they had a goal, were convinced they could achieve it, and knew that nothing was going to stop them doing so.
This same mentality is what you need to improve your jump height. Get words like 'try,' ‘hope to,' and 'attempt' out of your vocabulary, as these suggest failure. The conversation you should be having with yourself is that you are going to succeed in improving your jumping height and are 100% committed to doing so. That's more like the words of a winner.
Warming Up Before You Jump Up
Although advising you to warm up before exercising might seem a very basic point, it still needs to be made. The reason is that countless athletes are sitting out injured as you read this, for the simple reason that they got injured due to not warming up properly. Whether it is a slight muscle strain or serious ligament damage, it could so easily have been avoided.
That 5 or 10 minutes gently stretching and getting all parts of your body ready for the serious exercises to come, could help prevent weeks or even months on the sidelines looking on.
Exercises for Improving Your Jump Height Faster
The order in which these exercises are written is not specific so you can do them in any order. The key is to try them all because they work and focus on various aspects of your jumping action. There's no point on focusing entirely on becoming more flexible if the burst of power you can generate when you jump is lacking.
A program that covers all aspects of improving your jumping is 'The Jump Manual,' which provides lots of tips and techniques for improving every element of your jump.
Step Ups With Weights
You will need a solid step or bench for this exercise, as well as a set of dumbbells and/or weights. You can do this by either holding a dumbbell in each hand or the weights bar across your shoulders. Step up using your left foot, and then bring your right foot up next to it. Bend your left knee and step back down, then bring your right leg back down.
Continue stepping up and down for a length of time that you are comfortable with, remembering to bend the knee with each step. You can vary the intensity of this routine by using steps of different heights, increasing the weight you are lifting, or by stepping up and down faster.
This exercise is great for your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, as it strengthens them. It also enhances your balance and stability which are both important aspects of being able to jump higher.
Single Leg Squats
This is a simple, but very effective exercise for strengthening the main muscles associated with jumping (glutes, quads, calves) as well as enhancing the flexibility in your legs.
You start by standing on your right leg and pointing your foot directly in front of you. If you find that you are struggling to stay balanced, you can hold your arms out in front of you to help. With your left knee slightly bent, slowly move your left leg forward. As you do, start to squat down on your right leg.
At first, you may only be able to squat down a little way, but as you practice you should try to get as close to the floor as possible. You should aim to 10 squats on each leg, and then repeat these 3 times within your exercise session.
You might wonder why sprints are included when we are talking about jumping but they can help you jump higher in many ways. Apart from the cardiovascular benefits, practicing sprints improves your speed when jumping on the move, and for jumping while standing, sprints tone all the muscles in your legs.
The routine involves sprinting for 30 seconds at around 60% of your maximum speed, recovering for two minutes, sprinting 30 seconds at 80% capacity, recovering for 2 minutes, and then sprinting flat out for the final 30 seconds. You can now recover for up to 4 minutes before going through the sprint cycle again. Each session should include at least 4 of these sprint cycles, with the aim of increasing it to 8.