There are many reasons why you would want to improve your jumping ability. Higher vertical jumps are the goal of nearly every basketball player; however, you don’t need to be a professional athlete in order to benefit. There are many simple ways to improve your jumping ability.
Any sport that involves beating an opponent to a ball (or hitting/throwing/catching a ball) also involves jumping. Basketball, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and football are all great examples. Every single professional athlete works on improving his or her vertical jumping ability – or should.
Athletes aren’t the only people who benefit from practicing vertical increase programs. Any exercise that improves your vertical height while jumping will also lead to increased muscle endurance, strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance. Follow some simple exercises and you will see improvement in all of these areas.
Plyometric exercises are defined by Wikipedia as being “…a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in sports.” Two examples of plyometric movements are squat jumps and single leg jumps. To perform a squat jump, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms at your sides, and squat (do not let your knees go past your toes). Spring upwards, push your hands into the air and leap as high as you can. Return to the crouch, and repeat. Do this for 30 seconds at a time when you start out and slowly increase the time you perform the exercise.
Single leg jumps are similar to the squat jump, except you stand on one leg and perform the same movement. Slightly bend your support leg and keep your other leg tucked up off the ground. Go into a slight crouch and then explode into the air. Use your arms for momentum. Return to the slight crouch on the same leg. Practice this movement for 30 seconds on each leg, with a one-minute break in between. As you get better and jump higher, increase the time you perform the exercise.
These plyometric exercises help with calf, thigh, and core strength and endurance, as well as cardiovascular improvement. Flexibility will also increase as you continue to practice. These simple, equipment-free vertical jumping exercises will improve your jumping ability in a short period of time.