The vertical leap is one’s capacity to drive their body through the air in the vertical plane. It’s an essential skill for different sports, and so many athletes, whether professional or recreational, look towards training to improve vertical jumping ability. Some popular sports are volleyball, football, basketball, track and field, soccer, etc…
What Determines The Height of a Vertical Jump?
There are several elements that come into play when determining the height of a vertical jump. The 4 main contributors are:
- Tendon length, muscle fiber composition, bone structure, etc… Otherwise known as “genetics”.
- Jumping technique and form.
- Maximal muscular strength.
- Rate of force development (Referred to as ROFD).
- Reactive/Plyometric strength.
The first factor is out of your control, and so the only thing you can do is make sure you’re eating healthy and keeping a low body fat percentage. When it comes to the second point, jumping technique is usually good for the big majority of people, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re jumping correctly for an easy way to improve vertical
Improve Vertical – How?
The other points can be improved in an effort to increase your vertical jump.
Relative strength refers to the strength of the jumping muscles compared to your bodyweight. Those are the exact same muscles used in a deep back squat, and so it is commonly believed that the ratio of your maximum full squat to your bodyweight is one of the greatest factors in determining how high you can jump. additionally, those same muscles are used extensively in the deadlift.
For this reason, the first thing you need to take a look at is your squat strength, and follow it up by implementing full back squats in your training and complement them with some deadlifts. With your squat and deadlift weights going up, your vertical jump will increase.
Rate of force development refers to power, which is also referred to as strength x speed. it’s basically the speed at which force can be produced, and it plays a big role in your vertical jump. If you want to improve vertical jumping ability, then it is important to train this by implementing explosive lifts that are linked to vertical jumping. For this reason, I highly recommend working in Power Cleans and Power Snatches, which are variations of the Olympic lifts.
Plyometric strength is the ability to quickly transfer force from an eccentric to a concentric movement. If you’re having issues switching from the yielding (eccentric) phase to the overcoming (concentric) phase in your vertical jump, you will have a difficult time executing the jump in a forceful manner , which means you will not jump very high. Due to this, it is essential to improve your reactive strength levels which is done by implementing plyometric exercises and training and perhaps some reactive lifts in your training regimen.
If you want to improve your vertical jump, then it is essential to consider the previous factors. Identify your weaknesses and work on them for a fast way to improve vertical. When considering reactive strength, I highly recommend to be squatting 1.5 times your bodyweight or more before you start implementing them in your routine. This gives you all the basic information you need to increase your vertical jump.