Most of people said that if you’re not tall enough, you can’t dunk! Well, is it true?
At least, we all know it’s possible but it will require so much hard work. And because you are here now, I know that you want to increase your jump. We’ll discuss the best guide to improve your jumping ability right now. Let’s get in to it!
If you want to make enormous dunks on the basketball court, you’ve got to have a jumping exercise routine that trains your body to perform such a powerful activity. Any effective exercise demands hard work. But as the old saying goes: no pain, no gains, and therefore, you have to be dedicated to tone your muscles. In this post, we will discuss how to jump higher for basketball; the shoes that make you jump higher and jumping exercises that will boost your vertical jump as well as various techniques one can use to get closer to the rim.
Plyometric Exercises to Help Improve the Vertical Leap
- Hurdle Jumps
Place about six hurdles or any objects that are light in front of you. Squat down with your legs held together. Jump while tucking the legs under your chest as you clear the objects or hurdles. Land on both feet for maximum effectiveness and don’t let your heels come into contact with the ground. Continue along while using the momentum of your arms to propel you up. You should aim to stretch higher with each jump. However, if you’re doing them right, they won’t be too easy at the start.
- Box Jump
This is one of the most common exercises used by basketball players or athletes who want to improve their vertical height. Get a box with a height that you can jump, and place it in front of you. Jump up on it while your legs are held together, and then drop back down. As soon as your feet touch the ground, jump up on it again. As you get used to jumping, try not to let your heels come into contact with the ground, you can swing your arms to gain momentum. As you get used to the height, add an extra load to increase the height until you hit your maximum.
- Dumbbell Jump Squat
This is done when one is in the squat position with light weight dumbbells attached to both hands; you can add some weight if you want to. Explode up and jump as high as you can. Point the toes down while you’re in the air. As you land, try to absorb some of your body weight so that you land soft (try not to make landing noise). Squat down to the original squat position and explode again. Repeat the exercise as one continuous movement.
- Alternating Lunge Jumps
These exercises are a bit tiring if you perform them right and at your maximum. They can really help to build up the quadriceps muscles and other crucial jumping muscles. If possible, carry out these exercises at the beginning of your workouts so that you have the energy to undertake them rightly.
How to do it: Begin your alternating jump exercise in a kneeling position. One knee should be out in front of you while the other should be almost touching the floor. From this position, jump up as high as you can and land in the starting position again. When landing, alternate your leg position so that your other knee is the one in front of you. Try to perform this test vigorously without taking rests in between the jumps.
Before performing this exercise, always stretch your legs first to make them flexible. Be careful not to perform this exercise when nearing the event day as it put a lot of stress on your knee joints. If you are not careful enough, you can end up injuring yourself and put your training routine on hold.
- Side Jump
While standing next to a bench or stairs squat down and try jumping sideways over. Now tuck your legs up to the chest and try jumping a bit higher this time. Do this until you get used to this exercise.
- Ankle Bounces
The concept behind ankle bounce exercise is pretty simple. All you’re doing is to use your calves to help you jump with minimum knee movement. Eliminating knee movement forces the calf muscles to absorb more stress, thus making them strong and grow. Besides, you’ll be making your lower half off your leg to get used to explosive movements that you’ll use when performing regular jumps.
Reps for the ankle bounces should be in the range of 50-75 since this a low-intensity exercise. You can pair this exercise with jump roping to involve more body parts (especially arms). When performing ankle bounces, don’t rest in between the reps; simply bounce up again. If you start feeling exhausted, and your knees start bending, just take a rest. Remember, quality is better than quantity.
- Jump Rope
Jumping rope is one of the most versatile ways and effective exercises to help one improve the vertical jump. Jump rope exercise can follow a warm-up or be part of your regular exercise routine. This exercise targets the muscles needed to help you increase your vertical leap. The best thing with this exercise is that you can do it anywhere and require minimum exercise.
- High box depth jumps
This another plyometric exercise that combines box jumps and depth jumps. These kinds of rigorous exercises add more variation to your workouts to help avoid mundane. It’s always good to add more exercises to your routine when your workouts start getting boring.
How to do it: To begin, find a box that is about 18 inches high. Stand on top of the box and step off and straightaway jump out to as far as you can. This primes your body for the impact it’ll experience each time you jump during the game. Repeat the exercise to train your body to hang in the air for some time. Be careful when doing high box depth jumps as it can cause bones and joint problems in your legs.
- Rim Jumps
These exercises are typical for basketball players and are taken as advanced plyometric exercise. The basketball rim touch provides a great measure of your vertical leap ability. The rim jump is used to build endurance and power in your lower legs. If you want to perform rim jumps properly, you ought to slightly touch a 10-foot rim easily. Using a shorter rim to train, especially for the basketball players, will make you fail you terribly for the real test. Try to go for the maximum effort that your game will require in the real test.
How to do it: Run jumps are pretty easy to perform. All you need to do is to find a rim. Make repeated jumps until you can touch it. Avoid taking rest between the jumps; once you touch, explode back up. Also, try not to bend the knees too much.
- Multiple Box Jumps
This exercise is good at helping a sportsperson increase their endurance and explosiveness at the same time. Almost anyone can do them, and they’re a great addition to your vertical jump workout.
How to do it: you’ll need several boxes lined in order of their increasing height; the best boxes being the plyometric boxes. Space the boxes about 2-3 feet apart. There should be ample room for you to land in between the boxes.
Once your boxes are set, stand so that you’re looking down the row of your boxes. Jump on to the lowest box, and then jump straight off of it so that you land right in front of the subsequent box. Jump up onto it and repeat the move until you’ve jumped up onto the tallest box. Repeat the exercises two or three times. This is a great exercise to boost your vertical height.
With the above exercise in mind, let’s now focus on some tips that can help you.
Tips to Help Increase Your Vertical Leap
- Keep Your Exercise Short And Intense
The most important thing to keep in mind when performing jumping exercises is to keep the workout routine short and intense. Don’t be deceived to think that an increase in the length of the workout will impact positively into the height of your jump. Extended workouts can make you better at performing a high number of jumps as it improves endurance. But in basketball, this will only improve the quality of your jump and not the height of your jump.
Therefore, it’s better to keep your reps short and ensure a maximum level of intensity. This will ensure that you only target the muscle fibers that are only used during the game.
- Strengthen The Hamstrings And Glutes
The hamstrings and glutes are the chief movers that act at the hip area. Researches regarding movement patterns or biomechanics of the best jumpers have revealed that the hamstrings contribute to 25 percent and glutes 40 percent to the vertical height. Train these muscles with ground-based lifts such as Dumbbell jump squats to give them ample strength.
- Alternate Power Cycles And Strength
Be sure not to confuse training strength and power simultaneously. It’s true that you need both maximal power and peak strength to be able to jump high, but making the body adapt to a disorganized program will do more harm than good. Start with strength exercises such as dumbbell jump squats and alternating lunge jumps then proceed to power cycles such as rope jump and rim jumps to make the most out of your workout.
In your strength training, keep the time of the rep to be to less than 30 seconds per set before having rest intervals. In your power cycles, keep the time for the set to be below the 45 seconds mark, with 6-8 sets per exercise. For example, perform a set of six high box depth jumps before taking a three-minute rest.
Avoid varying tempo within a workout routine. Be consistent so that you can get the maximum out of your jump exercises.
- Wearing Light Weight Shoes
Power and strength relative your body weight is what defines your vertical leap. So, reducing the weight of your shoes and clothes will increase your vertical jump. Having light weight clothes and shoes will make you feel light making you jump higher. They may not bring a bigger percentage increase, but it’s something. The most famous basketball training shoes for jumping higher are the strength shoes.
Strength shoes are designed in a way that makes your forefoot section to be raised from the ground. They’re normally used when doing plyometric exercises. Training with strength shoes can add considerable height to your vertical jump.
However, most of the strength shoes were banned from basketball sport as they were seen to give an added advantage to some players. For instance, the Air Jordan 1 was banned by the National Basketball Association mainly because of the same reason. Also, the Athletic Propulsion Lab’s Concept 1 was also not spared by the NBA due to an unfairly added advantage the shoes gave to the players. These shoes are only used when training and not in a competitive match.
- Springbak Insoles
These are shoe insoles that athletes place inside their shoes. Regular insoles that come with most shoes are able to provide support, cushion, and at times, absorb moisture. However, these regular insoles get used up and lose their cushioning capability, particularly where there’re needed most- the heels where the body weight is supported and at the ball of the foot.
Springbak Insoles are made using a highly robust cutting-edge material that has close to 80% energy return. Normally, the energy return is produced when the body of the athlete lands and compresses the material. The Insoles then releases the 80% of the energy it absorbed during compression and pushes it back outwards to reinstate the insoles original shape. They are designed to fit any sportsperson shoe.
Wearing Springbak Insoles allows a sportsperson to benefit from their own body energy by drawing from it. This enables one to maximize their muscle potential during the training sessions and completion. Besides, the recoil action of the insole reduces fatigue and recovery time and at the same time eliminates the shin splints.
THE BOTTOM LINE
To increasing your vertical jump, you have to combine several things. You need to perform the right exercises, wear ideal clothes and comfortable shoes and have some skills. The above exercises can be done without a trainer as they’re simple and straightforward. Couple the exercises with the above tips on how to increase your vertical jump to hit the dunk every time!