5 Simple Ways To Increase The Vertical Jump
Markus Miller – CSCS USAW USATF – MMiller@elitespeedsp.com
For our purposes we will address two aspects of strength, Max Effort Strength (ME) and Reactive Strength. Your back squat is a simple metric to use for ME. It should be close to, or above 1.5x bodyweight. Reactive Strength index (RSI) is a critical measurement we use at Elite Speed that breaks down several of the factors related to to jump performance. These include but are not limited to ground contact time, sport specific force application, and jump height.
An emphasis must be made on mobility rather than flexibility. Mobility is active range of motion though a given, plane, axis, and direction. Proper mobility training elicits muscle tissue to hold variable tension through any given ROM. The best jumpers hold incredible amounts tension in their muscles at the right period of time and at optimal joint angles. Great jumpers prep the body like a coiled spring upwards and downwards, releasing great amounts of energy in optimal sport specific directions.
Sleep is of paramount value to jump skill and ability. Many studies have shown reduced sleep can lead to a reduction in performance. Sleeping 6 or less hours per night has been shown to reduce nervous system efficiency, affect cognitive function, and decrease motivational output. Nervous system efficacy is critical for jump performance and determines systemic output. Read more about Nervous System Overload Here.
Demands Of Sport
At Elite, we train the strengths of each individual athlete while simultaneously shoring up their weaknesses in any jumping technique. In basketball and volleyball, max jump height won’t always be achieved. These sports are more about optimizing jumps whereas a sport like track and field is always about achieving maximal height or distance.
At Elite, we apply jumping in a wide variety of ways. We use unilateral & bilateral jump training as well as randomized, weighted, and overspeed executions. Jumping needs to be methodical and progressive. It doesn’t always need to be overcomplicated. Most athletes need to learn how to express force, absorb force and harness it. Jumpers need to learn how to land before they can progress to reactive or overspeed training. Everyone is different. Jumping will always be about quality over quantity. Quality allows quantity!
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