Aloha CAMPers, if you’re ever so lucky to stumble upon today’s blog then do we have a treat for you. Today we’ll be discussing one of my favorite topics…the vertical jump. For those of you who don’t know what a vertical jump is, you better ask somebody….. or just keep reading and I’ll gladly fill you in.
*BORING DEFINITION ALERT: Vertical Jump – the act of raising one’s center of gravity in the vertical plane solely with the use of one’s own muscles.
The vertical jump is so much more than just jumping as high as you can. It is one of the most important tests that an athlete needs to be able to perform. It tests the athlete’s power. If you’ve been keeping up on our blogs then you know that power=strength x speed. The more powerful an athlete can become, the more explosive he/she is. If you look at some of today’s top athletes, you would definitely be able to see how their explosiveness helps them succeed. Some people are naturally more powerful but there are so many things that an athlete can do to train for power.
How can you better your vertical jump? You could look up exercises on YouTube to increase your vertical jump, but chances are you’ll end up getting hurt. Not necessarily because the drills or exercises wouldn’t work, but more because of the lack of instruction. When doing this type of training, it is so important to have an educated instructor watching and critiquing your movements. If you read my post on “Plyometrics,” you would remember how important technique is when it comes to jumping. Alignment and posture are key factors for good technique. Once you’ve got your supervisor and your technique down you’re ready to start training.
There are so many things to do that can help with increasing your vertical jump. Plyometrics is one of the most beneficial keys to your development. Done correctly, “plyos” can have you jumping through the roof! Refer back to our blog on plyometrics, to get more familiar with them. Olympic Lifts are another great way to improve your vertical. Just like plyometrics, Olympic lifts should only be done with perfect technique and under the watchful eyes of an educated supervisor (like the guys down at CAMP)…. I cannot stress the importance of technique enough, when it comes to this type of training. Another thing that could help with improving your “vert” is flexibility. Range of motion in the hip joint, knee joint, and ankle joint are critical factors as they directly correlate with the muscles involved in the vertical jump.Akamu Aki Performance Specialist / Trainer CAMP, Building Better Athletes