How to Improve your Vertical Leap
The vertical leap is any jump or spring that achieves great height, distance or done with great force while in an upright angle to a horizontal plane.
Leaping ability is often talked about as a skill or talent that an athlete is born with. Those who can soar through the sky to catch footballs or baseballs, dunk basketballs or spike volleyballs, exhibit a similar set of attributes that a dedicated athlete can embody. The key to increasing your vertical leap is to perform exercises and stretches that are geared to target the muscles that contribute to great leaping ability. Apply these training methods to improve your vertical leap results and excel at whichever you sport you choose to play.
Firstly, losing weight will allow you to jump higher. The amount of force your legs can generate now will allow a leaner you to jump higher. The key to losing weight is that you must replace fat with lean muscle. If you lose fat and gain muscle, you may remain at a similar weight or even gain weight. The benefit of replacing fat with muscle is that the muscle you gain will be used to help you perform better while the fat just weighs you down and restricts your cardiovascular aptitude.
Stretching is another fundamental key to improving your leaping ability. The effectiveness of your leaping is based upon the power you generate and the range of motion you can muster. By stretching your muscles to allow them greater flexibility and range of motion, you will increase the effectiveness of your leaping effort and begin to jump higher. Concentrate your flexibility exercises and stretching on your legs; from the calves and hamstrings and up to the buttocks on the back sides of your legs. On the front, stretch your quadriceps muscles as they will be crucial in supplying the power for your leaping. Do not neglect stretching the muscles that comprise your body’s core. The abdominal muscles and other muscles that surround your waist and ribcage are important for every athletic endeavor and leaping is no exception.
Strengthen your upper leg muscles and core by performing alternating dumbbell lunges. Hold two dumbbells in your hands at your sides. Place your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Take turns taking a step forward with each leg. As you step forward, lower the trailing leg’s knee toward the ground. Allow the dumbbells to lower straight toward the floor as you descend deeper into the lunge. Stop before your knee touches the ground and return to a standing position. Switch legs and repeat the lunges.
Other exercises that improve the strength in the larger leg muscles include squats. You can choose to do squats by using free weights or circuit weight training machines. The key is to build the strength and flexibility in your quads and calves by adding resistance via weights or resistance bands.
Augment your training with plyometrics. Plyometrics are exercises that rely upon short hops and explosive leaps. During a session you should remain on your toes to give your leaping muscles a steady workout to build up the fast-twitching muscles that is essential in improving your vertical leap.