How to Increase Your Vertical Jump Through Plyometrics

One of the most effective ways to increase your vertical jump is to implement Plyometric exercises in your training. Their benefits have been proven many times, but they can be easily abused and badly implemented in training. This How-To provides you with a guide on Plyometric training and exercises to improve vertical jump.

Steps

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    Make sure you're a good candidate for Plyometric Exercises:
    • You should be able to perform a full back squat with at least 1.5 times your body weight (e.g. If you weight 150lbs, you should be able to squat 225lbs for 1 repetition).
    • You should not be grossly overweight. If you are, it is recommended you lose a bit of weight to put less pressure on your joints.
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    Better safe than sorry: Start slow and learn the movements first, then gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.
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    Make sure you are well rested: Plyometric Exercises used to improve vertical jump are taxing on the Central Nervous System (CNS), the muscles, and the joints. It is important to be well rested before performing them.
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    Figure out the exercises you need to implement in your plyometric training that will help improve vertical jump. One high impact/intensity exercise is more than enough per workout. Here's a list of some of the most effective exercises with their impact levels:
    • Depth Jumps: This is a jump performed upon reaching the ground after the athlete steps off a platform or a box. Impact Level: High.
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    • Altitude Drops: Use a high box (~20% higher than your standing vertical jump) and step off of it. Attempt to absorb the impact when you land while making sure you bend the knees as little as possible and staying mostly on your toes. Impact Level: High.
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    • Box Jumps: stand in front of a box then jump on it, then step off. This can also be done unilaterally. Low impact but high intensity.
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    • Reactive Squats: Start similarly to squats w/ 20-50% of your max squat weight. From the standing position, drop quickly down into a deep squat position and then quickly reverse direction. Impact Level: Medium.
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    • Jump Squats: Use 30-60% of your squat weight. Do a quarter squat then jump up. Impact Level: Medium.
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    Quality over Quantity: For high impact exercises, limit each set to 4-6 repetitions. For medium impact, limit each set to 8-10 repetitions. Make sure to rest well between each set.
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    Design a well thought-out Plyometrics workout: Plyometric exercises should be done before strength training to avoid injuries. High impact exercises should be limited to 1 during a training phase, you should be mentally and physically prepared, you should have at least 1-day of rest between workouts that include plyometric exercises. An example program would be the following:
    • Warm up: Some light cardio and dynamic stretching to prepare your body.
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    • Power Skipping: 3 Sets, each for ~25 meters or ~25 yards. 90 seconds rest between sets.
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    • Depth Jumps: 4 Sets of 5 Repetitions. 3 minutes of rest between sets.
    • Box Jumps: 3 Sets of 6 repetitions. 2 minutes of rest between sets.
    • Leapfrog Jumps: 3 Sets, each for ~25 meters of ~25 years. 60 seconds rest between sets.
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Tips

  • There is no reason to do hundreds of jumps per workout. That will only set you up for injuries. Remember, quality over quantity.
  • It's a good idea to have at least 1 day of rest between each plyometric training session to allow your body to recover.
  • You should look at what you're doing outside of plyometrics to figure out how many times you should do them and how much volume you should implement in your program.

Warnings

  • Avoid doing Plyometric exercises when you are fatigued.
  • Do not abuse high impact exercises.
  • Learn how to correctly absorb the impact of Plyometric exercises.
  • Stick to relatively low volume to avoid injuries.

Article Info

Categories: Athletic Jumping