Complete Guide to Vertical Jump Trainers
Time to read 6 min
Written by: Chris Hungerford
Time to read 6 min
An individual's vertical jump, or the ability to raise one's center of gravity vertically within the same plane using one's own resources, is important in the game of basketball. Players use their jumping ability throughout an entire game. They shoot jump shots, jump to obtain rebounds, and more. A player that can increase his or her vertical leap is a more explosive athlete, one that is likely more valuable than one without explosiveness.
In order to understand how to increase one's jumping ability, it helps to understand the science behind it. Increasing the ability to leap higher is really all about physics. It is simply a function of increasing an athlete's power-to-body-weight ratio. Increase power, and an athlete possesses the ability to leap higher.
Digging deeper, we find that power is simply force times velocity. Force is the maximum strength that one possesses. Velocity is the maximum speed at which someone moves. If an athlete can increase strength, speed, or both; the athlete can improve his or her ability to jump. It's really that simple.
Jumping high is a skill that is important in many sports, not just basketball. Both the NBA and NFL use the vertical jump test at their annual combines. The results give prospective teams a tool that helps to measure things like an athlete's power, explosive strength, and the ability to use that strength.
Jumping ability in relation to athletic ability is very similar to the capacity of a vehicle to go from zero to sixty in relation to racing. The horsepower in an engine can be tweaked to make a vehicle more powerful, but can the driver use that extra horsepower to his or her advantage? Similarly, an athlete with great leaping skills is using that "horsepower" to its advantage.
With an understanding of the science behind jumping, one can begin to train in an effort to increase their vertical jump. Remember, the secrets to jumping higher are found in physics. Athletes must train to increase their power, which is a function of force, or muscle strength, and velocity. Therefore, it makes sense that athletes commit to a training program that addresses power and strength exercises for jumping.
One of the most overlooked areas in increasing an athlete's explosiveness is flexibility. If you are not flexible enough, you cannot achieve a full range of motion and get into the proper position to maximize one's leg strength and power. Working with a trainer, an athlete can perform both static and dynamic stretching to help improve flexibility.
Static stretches are the "old-school" stretches where the body stays stationary while stretching a muscle or muscles. One common static stretch is simply bending over and touching your toes. The position is held for a certain time period without moving. These types of stretches are best done after a workout or on off days.
Dynamic stretches are those that use the speed of a movement and momentum to stretch a muscle. Swinging one's leg from side to side, for example, is a dynamic stretch. These movements are best done prior to a workout as they work on stretching muscles and increasing an athlete's blood flow.
A stretching routine will not only increase an athlete's flexibility, but it will also help to protect the athlete from injury. These stretching exercises are done on a daily basis and are a key part of helping an athlete jump higher.
One of the latest crazes in vertical jump training is the use of unique products. The purchase of HoopsKing Vertical Jump Trainer Resistance Bands can help athletes break through plateaus and improve leg strength and also their vertical leap. Resistance bands are great because they can work with any type of training program.
The bands can provide various levels of resistance as an athlete jumps. The concept is relatively simple. An athlete performs jumps with added resistance. The increase in resistance forces the athlete's muscles to do more work. The increase in work translates into increases in muscle strength. Stronger muscles mean an increase in force, which remember is a component of power. Ultimately, by increasing an athlete's power he or she can see a higher vertical leap.
Training with resistance bands is no different than training with weights. Bodyweight training can only take you so far. If you continue doing pushups, at some point the exercise no longer increases your strength. It only increases your endurance and ability to do more pushups. In order to get stronger, some form of resistance needs to be added. The same holds true in trying to improve jumping ability. There needs to be an increase in leg strength and that can be achieved using products like resistance bands.
Athletes can work with a vertical jump trainer to see increases in their ability to get off the floor. Vertical jump trainers can put together training programs and teach athletes the correct way to perform all of the exercises involved.
There are a number of ways to improve one's vertical jump. Improving flexibility is one way already mentioned. In addition, an athlete can perform exercises that build power and strength. Plyometrics, or explosive jump training, can also be used to build strength and power and, ultimately, explosiveness.
The various plyometric exercises an athlete can perform to get more explosive are hops, jumps, and bounding. Athletes can also perform box jumps where they jump from the floor onto boxes of varying heights. Athletes can also jump off boxes and then immediately rebound off the floor onto another box. These are common plyometric drills.
Working with a trainer, an athlete looking to improve his or her explosiveness will be encouraged to get into the weight room and work on leg strength. The full squat is one of the best exercises any athlete can do to make great gains in overall strength.
Athletes can work on isolated exercises such as single-leg squats, lunges, and step-ups. Each of these exercises works on building power and strength as well as addressing an athlete's core. These exercises are easy to learn and easy to perform and can go a long way in helping an athlete improve performance. In addition, these exercises can be used in conjunction with products like HoopsKing Resistance Bands. Add them to these weight training movements and maximize strength gains.
There is no single magical program that will improve an athlete's ability to jump higher. A vertical jumping trainer can put together a program designed to increase your power-to-weight ratio and improve your flexibility. If you improve your flexibility and increase your power-to-weight ratio, then you have the ability to jump higher.
Any training program would address velocity, or speed, strength, and flexibility with the ultimate goal of increasing an athlete's vertical leap. That said, in the following sample training program, weights used would have to progressively increase for an athlete to make gains.
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