People who play sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball often feel inadequate in their jumping ability and request a vertical increase program from their coaches and physical trainers. Studies done by kinesiologists and physiologists observe that the only surefire way to improve jumping ability is with a personalized workout for the athlete. While this may be true, there are certainly some factors which overlap in all programs targeted towards the issue of how to get your vertical higher.
There are four main muscles in your leg which work together to get you off the ground, as well as your abdominal muscles. Thus, an athlete looking to explode off the ground and leap higher and further will have to work his or her gluts, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and abdominals. There are two important exercises which work all of these muscles. Before you start training, always warm up the muscles you plan to train with cardio, stretching, or light weight lifting.
The best way to work the quadriceps, gluts, hamstrings, and abdominals is with an exercise known as the ‘squat.’ Squatting is a tried and true method which has been proven to increase the strength of nearly every leg muscle as well as the abdominal region. To squat, stand up with your legs a bit more than shoulder length apart. Now, keeping your back straight at all times, slowly but steadily drop your butt as low to the ground as you can without falling over. Now push on the ground with the heels of your feet (the fat part, do not go up on your toes) and raise yourself back to the starting position.
To work your calf muscles a very important exercise is known as the ‘lunge.’ To do a lunge, stand with your feet shoulder length apart and keep your arms at your sides. Then move one of your legs backwards while simultaneously dropping your rear knee towards the ground and keeping your front leg in place. Get your rear knee as low as possible, but do not let it touch the ground. Bring your rear leg forward again and repeat with the other leg.
If you are still stumped on how to improve your jumping ability, remember that the best exercise of them all is to practice. Jump multiple times every day as high as you can and your body will naturally increase the strength of every muscle that goes into jumping. Good luck!