The vertical jump is a crucial aspect in sports. In several different types of sports, the higher the vertical jump of the athlete, the higher the chances of succeeding in that field. Two of the most prominent sports where athletes benefit greatly from vertical jumps are volleyball and basketball. The athlete’s ability to perform vertical jumps also corresponds to his/her athletic ability. As studies have pointed out, there is an evident relation between the vertical jumping ability of an athlete to his/her capacity to run short distances. Often, when the athlete has good vertical jumps, he/she also can run at impressive speeds. Since the ability to do vertical jumps comes with several benefits, it’s important to know how to do them properly.
Before doing the vertical jump, it is important to warm up the muscles first. Do some stretching and jog slightly for a few minutes. For better conditioning, use a jump rope. This will definitely help prepare the muscles. Other warm up techniques include running up and down the stairs. All warm up exercises should be done in moderation. It’s not good to tire the legs at once.
Vertical jumps are done as part of an athlete’s training and test. For training purposes, vertical jumps are usually done with the person standing beside a wall. The idea is for the individual to jump and touch a point on the wall or towards a certain point. Before doing the jump, it’s important to follow proper standby position. Both feet should be planted flat on the ground. This is referred to as the standing reach height.
Doing the Jump
There are two types of vertical jumps: static and squat jump. The static jump is performed starting from a level lower than a squat before jumping. A squat jump, on the other hand begins with a semi-squatting position. The person should step a good distance away from the wall or a certain point before jumping upwards. Force is exerted using the legs and the arms. The arms may be used to improve the projection of the jump.
Counter Movement Technique
Vertical jumps are usually done with a counter movement technique. This technique refers to the bending of knees immediately before the jump is made. The counter movement technique stimulates the stretch-shorting cycle of the muscles. When this aspect of the muscles gets activated, the legs can provide greater power. The arms are also important for better projection.
In order to do vertical jumps successfully, it is important to constantly do jumping exercises. Some of these exercises include: deep knee bends, deep knee bend jumps, toe raises, toe raise with weights and stomach crunches. Deep knee bends refer to repeated bending of the knees with a straight back. Crouch slowly and bend as low as possible before rising up slowly. Repeat this exercise 15 times. The frequency may be increased over time. Deep knee bend jumps are done almost similarly although the pace is faster. Also, when the person bends down it is important that his/her bottom is almost touching the ground before launching upward. Toe raises are done by raising the tip of the toes while in standing position. This should be done slowly. Toe raises with weights incorporate the use of small weight around 5 to ten pounds.