If you are not blessed enough with genes to be as tall as Lebron, jumping high could even out the playing field. An improved vertical leap will put in advantage in defense and offense in any sporting event. Thus, it is no surprise that more people find ways on how to increase vertical jump height.
According to Scott Caulfield, the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, higher vertical jump also works out your hamstring, calves, and glutes. Knowing how to jump properly also lowers the risk of getting injuries and fractures as explained by Wall Street Journal.
If you want to leap higher than usual, this article might be best for you. I will share with you some simple methods to stay in the air longer with ease.
Your journey towards a higher jump begins with getting your body ready. No exercise routine or workout is effective if you haven’t done the following preparatory activities:
Joints play a major role when we jump. As Mayo Clinic explains, stretching before strenuous activities will improve your athletic performance. Besides, it also lowers the risks of activity-based injuries on joints and cartilages.
Most fitness neophytes fall into the wrong perception that stretching is tantamount to warming up. It’s not correct. Do warm up activities like walking jogging or biking before stretching. First of all, to draw the line between the two, stretching is any action that “stretches” your body before an exercise.
Wear The Right Apparel
To achieve higher jump, any fitness expert will suggest you wear the most comfortable clothes. Have you seen anyone who jumps high wearing jeans? So how exactly are clothing and jumping related? Apparently, it’s not all about comfort and convenience.
According to Real Men Real Style, wearing the right kinds of clothes could not only boost your performance but could also protect you from injuries. Most of all, appropriate apparel gives you the freedom to move. As a result, you can keep the focus on your routine and execute it correctly.
Also read: Best Weightlifting Belts 2017
Fill Your Body With Electrolytes And Water
When you jump, you sweat. You lose water and electrolytes when you perspire. These losses must be replenished for your body to perform its basic functions smoothly. If the amount of electrolyte that goes out of your body is greater than what goes in, dehydration may occur.
The American Health Association agrees that dehydration can be detrimental to your health, and the best way to prevent this is by drinking water.
Aside from doing the preparations mentioned above, do not forget to record the height of your current jump, which will serve as your baseline. Moreover, this number will serve as your reference to monitor your progress.
Aim High, Jump Higher
To increase your vertical leap, you need to do the following exercises properly and consistently. Here are the best exercises you can perform to improve your vertical jump:
Vertical Jump is a common exercise performed by athletes to monitor their conditioning program routinely. If you are after an elevated leap while strengthening your legs, this workout is your best option.
Vertical jump involves a lot of techniques while mastery of movements will kick-in after multiple tries. Here’s how to perform the Vertical Jump:
How It’s Done:
- First of all, start by standing in front of a wall and stretch your hand as high as you can. Mark this point as your initial reaching height.
- Next, move a few steps back and jump as high as possible. You may sway your arms and use your leg power to assist your body.
- Finally, mark the point you’ve reached by jumping and calculate the difference
- Make this routine a daily habit and monitor your progress.
Trainer’s Precaution: For safety reasons, ensure that the floor is dry and clutter free to avoid tripping or slipping as a result.
Here’s a link to a video discussing the principles of a Vertical Jump:
If you want to take your jumping exercises to the next level, try doing the Box jump. This exercise uses a box as your motivating factor to leap higher. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s quite useful. Although a Box jump can be more efficient than vertical jumps, it is also riskier because miscalculations of your leap could result in injuries.
Follow the steps below to perform Box Jump correctly:
How It’s Done:
- First of all, start by selecting a rigid box with a height approximately one to two feet
- Then, stand in front of the box with your legs shoulder width apart
- Next, perform the squat position in preparation for your jump. You may sway both hands to earn momentum
- Finally, jump as high as you can landing on top of the box
- Repeat the steps until the required repetition is achieved. Increase the height of the box as you progress on your workout plan
Watch this video below and see how to do a Box jump for optimum results:
If there’s a jumping exercise that makes your leap higher and works your hamstrings at the same time, it is the jump squats. Although this is an effective routine, people with knee and back injuries must avoid performing it.
Jump squats put a lot of strain on your knees and back making injuries very possible for those with a history of pain in those parts. Below are the steps in performing jump squats:
How It’s Done:
- Begin by crossing your arms over the chest while bending your knees like in the squat position
- Next, position your feet apart in shoulder width
- Then, jump as high as possible keeping your back straight with your arms raised up
- Upon landing down, go back to your original squatting position
- Finally, complete the routine with the required repetitions
Trainer’s Tip: Challenge yourself even more by holding dumbbells on your sides or barbell resting on your shoulders.
For a more detailed procedure, click on the link below for a video tutorial of Jump Squats:
One way to higher leaps is by strengthening your calf muscle. The calf is a muscle located at the back of your legs connected to the Achilles’ tendon on your heels.
Runner’s World explains that when you perform high vertical jumps, calf muscle pulls your heel up allowing maximum thrust and movement. Calf raise is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your calf. Here’s how to do it:
How It’s Done:
- First of all, stand with your both feet slightly apart
- Second, stand up on your toes and contract your calf
- Next, hold for a few seconds once maximum contraction is achieved
- Finally, lower your heels down back to your original position
Trainer’s Tip: There are multiple variations for Calf Raise. You can carry a set of weights with both hands on your sides or step into a stretchable band for maximum contractions.
Here’s a demonstration video of Calf Raise with dumbbells:
Straight Leg Calf Stretch
Another way to strengthen your calf that will result in a higher leap is straight leg calf stretch. Just like the Calf Raise, this exercise works out your calf muscle by stretching and contracting it. In this workout, you will need a rigid wall to push. Here are the steps in doing straight leg calf stretch:
How It’s Done:
- Begin by standing in front of a wall with one of your feet slightly in front of the other
- Next, ensure that you align the toes of your back foot with the heels of the other
- Then, place your both hands against the wall and push it
- Finally, transfer the weight of the body on your back foot while your knees bend to contract your calf fully
- Return to the starting position and do the required repetitions
Trainer’s Tip: Hold the final position in place for at least 30 seconds for best results.
Watch this video and see how expert fitness enthusiasts perform a Straight Leg Calf Stretch:
One, Two, Three Jump
This may sound ridiculous, but the simplest way to increase the height of your jump is by jumping. One, two, three jump is a routine exercise that you can perform at home without the need for any flamboyant gym equipment. It involves a few running steps and leaping as high as you could.
Below are the steps on how to perform it correctly:
How It’s Done:
- First of all start by standing in an open area where you can freely move
- Next, take two large running steps forward
- Using both hands as additional leverage, leap as high as you can after the third step. Do this six times
- Finally, walk back to your starting position. Use both feet alternately when starting your first step
Trainer’s Tip: Although this routine is overly simple, you still need to exercise caution in doing steps and jumps. Clear your area from tripping hazards to avoid injuries.
Click on the link below to see a video showing how One, Two, Three Jumps is done:
Standing Broad Jumps
Standing broad jump is also known as the Long Jump in the Olympics. According to the National Register of Personal Trainers, this workout is an explosive routine that powers up your legs and makes you jump higher. Your motivation to go higher and the impact of your landing also strengthens your leg muscles.
Follow these instructions to perform Standing Broad Jumps:
How It’s Done:
- First of all, look for a sand pit in a coliseum or a gym specifically designed for Standing Broad Jumps
- Secondly, stand with your feet close to each other at the edge of the sand pit
- Next, leap forward as far as you can. Be sure to land on your foot seamlessly
- Finally, go back to the edge of the pit and perform the required number of repetitions
Trainer’s Tip: Swinging your hands on the side gives you more momentum and aids your balance.
To know how a proper Standing Broad Jump is performed, click here:
You may associate Deep Squats in building leg muscles. What you don’t know is the fact that it’s indirectly affecting the maximum height you can reach when you leap. To propel yourself higher from the ground, you need to have a perfect combination of increased force output and enhanced rate of force development.
Therefore, if there’s one workout that could provide you both, it’s the Deep Squat. Here’s how to perform it correctly:
How It’s Done:
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms crossed over your chest
- While keeping your torso tight and your spine straight, bend your knees as low as possible
- Next, hold this position for a few seconds and slowly return to your starting position
- Finally, complete the routine with three sets of 20 repetitions
Trainer’s Tip: To increase difficulty and effectiveness, you may carry a dumbbell or a barbell with both hands supported by your shoulders.
See this video showing how to perform Deep Squats accurately:
Bench Hurdles is another jumping exercise that helps your leap higher and better. In this simple routine, all you need to have is a bench or anything that you can jump over.
Although this exercise is relatively easy and light, extreme caution must be practiced to avoid tripping over the bench. Below are easy steps that you can follow in performing bench hurdles:
How It’s Done:
- First of all, start by standing in front of a bench, box or anything with a height just enough for you to jump over
- Next, bend your knees slightly to earn momentum and leap as high as you can over the bench, and land on another side
- Finally, do the same to go back to your original place
- Do two to three sets of 15 repetitions with one-minute rest in between
See this video to do Bench Hurdles correctly:
Avoid the common pitfall of some fitness neophytes of “jumping” directly into exercises without prepping their foot. Remember, the height you can reach in jumping is directly related to how strong your legs are in first place. With these doable exercises, you will be surprised how high you can reach and how strong your legs will be as a result.
Read more: The Ultimate Calisthenics Workouts Routine – Develop muscle mass like never before
Did you like this article? If your favorite jumping routine did not make it on our list, please let us know by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear how these exercises helped you achieve a higher vertical leap. And don’t forget to spread the word by sharing this article with your friends.