Not everyone is blessed with the height of Dwight Howard or the natural athleticism of LeBron James, but that doesn’t mean you wont be able to dunk or grab that rebound. There are many ways to increase your vertical which will help you out in just about any sport from basketball to volleyball.
To begin your regimen on increasing your vertical, you must increase your flexibility. Doing many stretches from head to toe in the morning and after workouts will help you become more flexible. A loose and limber muscle will jump much higher than a tight and clenched muscle! I prefer doing yoga for both strength and flexibility in your whole body.
Jumping primarily uses your quadriceps muscles, those are your thigh muscles. These are the biggest muscles in your legs so we will need to strengthen the quads as much as possible. Doing squats is the best way, but there are many different types of squats. For novice weight lifters or people new to working out body weight squats will work fine. Doing three sets of 10 when you wake up and before you go to bed will be great for the first week or two. Graduating from body weight squats to weighted squats will be a major increase in leg strength. Either hold weights or a bar on you back to do squats. Be very careful here as squatting can be dangerous if done wrong. The last type of squat is a squat jump, in which you squat down and actually jump up into the air when you come up from the squat. These are great for your vertical and can be very tiring!
The calf is another major muscle group in your legs that are vital when you jump. One way to strengthen your calves, other than jumping, is to do calf raises. An easy way to do this is put your toes on a stair with your heel hanging off and then go up on your tippy toes then back to the rest position. These can be done easily while watching TV or reading a book.
Other than strengthening your legs, jumping rope is a great exercise for increasing your vertical. It is not only a great cardio workout but it really builds muscle in the whole leg. Push-ups and sit-ups will also help increasing your vertical as your core and upper body need to be strong in conducting momentum upwards to maximize your jump. Other than these exercises, eating healthy, staying hydrated and staying away from fatty foods will also be instrumental in increasing your vertical.
What are you waiting for? Now you know how to maximize your jump so what’s holding you down? Get out there and might as well JUMP!