Every athlete, regardless of the sport they are involved in, must use vertical jump training. Obviously some athletes will benefit from jump exercises more than others, but it should never be overlooked by anyone.
Here you will learn all you need to know about increasing your vertical and vertical training programs in general.
An athlete's vertical is very important regardless of sport.
Most people associate an athletes vertical with just basketball, volleyball, etc. but it's very important for all other sports both amateur and professional.
The measurement of your vertical is to determine key areas of athletic performance and is used by coaches to make selections on athletes.
Your vertical jump is the ability for you to lift your body straight up in a vertical plane using only the strength, flexibility and contractions of your muscles. An easier way to explain it is by saying it's an assessment of just how high you can jump off the ground starting in a neutral position.
The best way to measure a your vertical, if you don't have a piece of equipment such as a Vertical Tester is to position yourself up against a flat wall. You have to make sure you're on a flat, stable surface. Concrete or preferably a gym floor will work the best. Outside on the ground isn't the best because one foot or both feet may be supported by softer ground.
The next step is to reach up a high as you can with one hand while keeping both of your feet completely flat on the floor. Have someone mark the highest point you can reach to.
The next step is for you to take a few jumps while in a standing position. After each jump have someone mark off the point where you touched. The distance between your first jump (when you were standing with both feet flat on the floor and reaching up) and the highest point you were able to reach when jumping will be your vertical distance.
While this may be the easiest and cheapest way to test your vertical, it's not the most accurate.
There are a few other ways to test your vertical that are considered to be a little bit more accurate. This includes a pressure pad. It's used to determine the time it takes you to complete your jump. It measures when you leave the pad and then land on it again with both feet.
Then a using what is called a kinematics equation, the computer will determine your vertical and take into account the length of time you are in the air. This of course can be "beaten" by pulling your knees up resulting in a false measurement. That's why a trainer must be present to verify the jump.
Another way to measure your vertical is through the use of an infrared laser. The laser is placed at ground level and as soon you jump up and break the beam with your hand your vertical is calculated.
A Vertical Tester however, is the best way to do this but unfortunately a lot of training centers don't have them.
Using proper and focused fitness training techniques and programs, increasing vertical jump is easy for athletes in all sports, regardless of current conditioning levels.
It's actually much easier for all athletes to increase their vertical than you may think.
The most common method is through the use of plyometrics.
Plyometrics are used by athletes to increase power, speed, quickness, vertical jump etc.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that you should get advice from a qualified and experienced plyometric trainer before starting.
With plyometric training, your muscles become conditioned to exert maximal force in the shortest time possible. Since your vertical begins from a standing position, plyometric training will increase the speed and height of your vertical jump. This, as with all types of training, takes time and your muscles must be properly conditioned.
If you just need to improve your vertical, do it in the shortest period of time, and much better than an over-all plyometric program will give you, then you should consider a vertical jump program.
One such program used by both professional and amateur athlete world-wide and the one that's considered by all athletic trainers to be the very best way to increase your vertical jump.
With the different types of lower body plyometric training exercises you can use and the fact that you are repeating them over and over, your leg muscles will be overloaded on a continuous basis. This develops both speed and power with every jump.
With plyometic training exercises you will dramatically increase your explosiveness, which is of course the best combination of speed and leg power.
Plyometric training will help you strengthen your knee and ankle joints. With every plyometric training session, your joints become stronger and more stable helping with improving your vertical. Also, when you strengthen the joints in your lower body you will help to prevent injuries from occurring during training sessions and sports events.
All athletes ask the same question when it comes to their vertical, especially athletes who play volleyball and basketball, and that question is: What can I do to jump higher?
Well we've gone over some of the ways you can do this. Now the main question is: Why should you increase your vertical, especially when you don't play basketball or volleyball? After all, not many sports require you to jump as high as you can.
All sports both professional and amateur require physical testing to determine if you are physically fit to play. Vertical jumps are just one of the tests you will be required to do at some point.
Your vertical is a key measure of leg strength and quickness. If you have a good vertical jump the coaches know immediately that you have good strength and quickness in your lower body.