This is Part 1 of a 12 Part Series…Jumping Exercises To Improve Your Vertical
Hopefully, you realize that there is a lot more to the vertical jump than most people think. Since this is true, you should also realize that there would also be a lot more to the training involved in improving your vertical leap than you might originally think – and more than what you are now doing in your workout. For sure it is not about wearing some funny-looking shoes that claim to work magic, just skipping rope, or even a one week workout routine that you can do. There is definitely a form of science involved in this type of training.
In this series, we are going to cover 24 of the routines that have shown to provide the biggest boosts available. They can take your workout to a new level, enable you to increase strength, muscle capacity, endurance, power and cardiovascular performance, and let you achieve the performance boost you are looking for. There are reasons why each exercise listed was chosen. After reading them, hopefully you will be able to see why. There will be work involved, but there will also be great reward involved for those willing to do the work – a higher vertical jump. So let’s get started!…
The following article will cover the first two of the workouts we have selected. There will be eleven more articles that will each cover an additional two of the exercises. We hope you enjoy the series!
“Pogo Jump” Warm-up – This warm-up can be used before many of the lower body workouts (strength, plyometric, and speed workouts). Not only is it a great warm-up for your lower leg muscles, but this “warm-up” may actually improve your vertical jump in and by itself!
But what is a pogo jump anyway? A pogo jump is performed stiff-legged – that is, by jumping just by springing off your ankles. While you are in the air, you should pull your toes up. You also must prevent your heels from ever touching the ground. The primary benefit from this exercise lies in your ability to keep your knees straight while jumping and landing. You should also try to spend as little time on the ground as possible. Also, make sure you do not flex at the hips. Often when athletes do this exercise their feet will kick out in front of them. Don’t do this! Your whole body stay in a straight line (with the exception of your ankles).
You can do both low and high pogo jumps (or either) in your warm-up. The technique is the same. The difference is in the height (thus the “high” and “low”). Low pogo jumps are performed for speed. You only want to jump about 1” – 2” off the ground. You should try to perform as many reps as possible during the set. The goal of the high pogo jumps is to get as much height as possible by just springing off of your ankles during each jump. Pogo jumps are an incredible exercise that trains the Achilles tendon for elasticity. This will help to prevent ankle injuries as well as increase explosiveness. They will also make your calf muscles burn. Here’s the warm-up we use…
A. Low Pogo Jumps – 3 sets of 20 seconds, rest 30 seconds between each set
B. High Pogo Jumps – 3 sets of 20 seconds, rest 30 seconds between each set
Dumbell Swings – It can be said that this is one of the “old school” exercises – one you don’t see used very often anymore. To start this exercise, first hold one dumbbell with each hand (don’t use one that is to heavy). Set your feet as if you were doing a squat, while letting the dumbbell hang in front of you. While facing forward, squat down and let the dumbbell drop between your legs. Keep your back arched as you go down and keep looking straight ahead. Once you have reached the full squat position, immediately explode up. At the same time, while keeping your elbows straight, flex at the shoulders and raise the dumbbell over your head. This exercise “kills 2 birds with 1 stone” as it works both hip extension and your front deltoid muscles in a synchronized, explosive fashion. And why would we want to do this? Because this is EXACTLY what happens when you perform a vertical jump.
As a variation, you can also perform this exercise with a box under each foot. This will give you and extended range of motion.
Getting rid of some of those extra pounds that you may be carrying around and getting your muscles ripped will also help your efforts. Here are some fat burning jumping exercises that will help you be able to burn some of that fat off and change your body.
Also, be sure to check out our home page and the rest of the series of articles on Jumping Exercises To Increase Your Vertical Jump!