What Does it Take to Get an Explosive Vertical Leap?
Making the jump(get it?!) into the world of vertical jump training is one every basketball player should pursue. With a combination of total leg strength(squats), plyometrics(box jumps), flexibility, core strength, and speed training(jump rope), you can become an explosive jumper.
These 5 moves are the essential steps to getting your maximum vertical and becoming an explosive player in general.
The more your vertical jumping ability grows, the more you will see quickness, agility, and straight-line speed increase. Your entire lower body is tied together, so using all of these training tips will take you to your full potential.
As with any workout, you get back what you put in. If you half ass your workout and don’t push yourself to the limits of your body’s capabilities, you will not reach your goals of dunking one day. Give every part of the workout your full undivided focus and effort and you will see vertical leap gains without question.
1. Total Leg Strength
There are as many as 20 different individual leg moves that can increase the strength of your legs. These moves will single out different aspects and muscles for improvement. To avoid doing all of these, let’s focus on the best one for total strength, the squat.
The squat engages almost all of your leg muscles and forces the body to stabilize itself using the core. All of these muscles are used to make you an explosive athlete and leaper.
If you do one weight training exercise to increase your vertical, make it squats.
Plyometrics is a training regimen that uses jumping itself to help increase your vertical and dynamic movements. By doing exercises like box jumps, broad jumps, and many other moves that recreate an explosive move set.
By using the exact muscles that are used in jumping, in an explosive way, you are training your body to spend more time in the air.
Your muscle fibers need to be stretchy and flexible to grow and give you the hops that you want. Power is one aspect of training, but being flexible and pliable will help your muscles reach their potential. It will also help you to avoid injury while training and during games.
The more flexible you are, on the whole, the better your body will react to extreme conditions and training moves.
Quick tip: Don’t stretch or work on your flexibility with cold muscles. Work the muscles and work up a good sweat before stretching and flexibility work.
The body’s core is the central stabilizing force that keeps your upper body and lower body in perfect unison. A strong core can lead to a much better vertical leap and more explosive movements.
Working your core muscles is essential to any training for speed and agility and will determine if you ever get more inches on your vertical leap. The core stabilizes your body on take off and helps create the spring-like action needed for jumping.
You are doing yourself no favors by skipping ab and back core work.
Sprinting, jump rope, and any other speed drills will be essential to making you a great leaper. This type of training takes all of the other training you’ve done and makes the muscles become fast-twitch machines. Fast twitch muscle fibers are the ones that lead to vertical gains, and slow twitch muscle fibers are the ones that lead to power gains.
The more you train for speed, the more you will see those gains on the court.
Quick tip: Train your muscles to exhaustion and then some more each time to see real benefits.
Create A Meal Plan
Your body requires copious amounts of good food to help grow the muscles necessary for jumping. Most players will continue to work on their game as well as train to jump higher, so you will need to increase your intake of nutrients.
It isn’t enough to eat, you should eat as clean as possible and supplement when needed. To become a high level, explosive leaper, you will need to fuel your body as an elite athlete would.
I have seen young players spend so much time working on their game and training hard, only to gorge themselves on fast food afterward.
You will not become an elite athlete with fast food as your main dish.
The harder you work in the gym, the more nutrients your body will need to replenish and even more to grow.
The muscles you use for jumping need to grow just like any other muscle in the body, so make sure you don’t neglect your nutrition.
Create a meal plan that you can stick to. If you aren’t old enough, ask your parents to help you get explosive gains with the right foods.
Don’t Stop Improving
The first few times you do a full workout for increasing your vertical leap, you’ll feel like you are going to collapse. Working the legs and core stresses the body more than most muscle groups.
This means you may not feel like doing other parts of your training routine.
Keep putting up jumpers, keep working on your handles, and always study to become more of an elite level player.
In time, your legs will become accustomed to the rigors of working them this hard, but as for now, you must keep working on all aspects of your game even if it hurts.
Develop A Schedule
Working on your vertical leap is a very time-consuming process and one that we don’t recommend you taking on during basketball season. As we talked about before, it can cause very serious drains on your body and could affect how you play.
Save your vertical training for long breaks in the season or in the offseason. Find a way to fit it in.
Once you know when you’ll be working on your jumping prowess, you need to set a weekly schedule to grab those gains.
It can take 8-12 weeks to see full results from training, so make sure you use each week to the fullest. Use our 5 moves above to make your body into a machine built for leaping.
A schedule we recommend would look like this:
- Day 1: Squats and Core work
- Day 2: Flexibility and upper body
- Day 3: Rest or Regular Basketball work
- Day 4: Plyometrics and speed training
- Day 5: Rest or Regular Basketball work
- Day 6: Squats and Core work
- Day 7: Rest
This is just an example but it gives you an idea of how to spread out your workouts while maintaining the work on your game itself.
A Training Guide
There are many programs out there that will help you and show you step by step how to become an elite jumper. Our moves will get you started on the path, but they are not everything you may need to get there.
If you need step by step assistance in becoming an explosive leaper, then you may want to check out VertShock.
This program will give you the tools and step by step guidance to get you playing above the rim. With dedication and perseverance, you can be Elite.
Let us know if VertShock made you an Elite leaper!
Keep Pushing to Get Stronger
Consistently getting gains in your vertical leap is difficult if you are not pushing yourself to the limit every single session. Use our 5 moves to help you leap out of the gym and play above the rim.
No matter your height, a higher vertical jumping ability will make you a better player. There is no doubt that agility and speed are improved along with your jumping ability.
If you work your tail off, you can be an elite player and an elite leaper.
Let us know if you put our tips to work and we want to hear your success stories and if you are dunking now because of your training.