Plyometric Exercises and Vertical Jump Training

If you have wanted to jump higher but don’t where to start, let me give you a quick crash course on why you are probably doing something wrong.
First off there are some people that jump really high that have chicken legs and others, like some NFL players, that jump high with massive legs. The skinny people don’t need as much leg strength because their upper body doesn’t weigh very much while the bigger guys needs stronger legs to get that weight off the ground. So keep this in mind, if you have a ton of upper body muscle, you will need stronger legs but that’s just common sense.
You get power from a combination of speed and strength, this means that just having one of those 2 will not result you jumping super high. Sure you can jump in the low thirty inches with lots of leg strength and minimal speed or vice versa but you want to get to the lower 40′s to stand out.
If you can squat twice your body weight 10 times and it’s not even that hard then guess what, you probably have sufficient leg strength to be jumping in the high 30′s so you need to focus more on plyometric exercises instead of doing bodybuilder leg workouts. No more of this 8 to 12 slow and controlled rep crap! We aren’t trying to win fitness competitions. Start training with some more intensity that mimics jumping, that is what plyometrics are.
Yet people are always doing plyometric jumping exercises wrong when I see them. They get a plyo box out and jump on it, then they jump off of it, land, take a little rest, do a little stutter step and jump back on the box. That is not going to work. You are trying to train the golgi tendon reflex in the knee to fire as many muscle fibers at the exact same time as possible and that’s not doing the trick. There should be no rest in between reps! That means no little stutter step before jumping. It’s like jump roping really fast, you don’t have time to do anything but jump as soon as your feet hit the ground. Only the difference here is that jump rope is not effective because you are jumping about 4 inches off the ground and doing so for tons of reps. True vertical jump training is not done by going to a submaximal height over and over again. How is that going to make you jump higher? Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. So in order to jump higher you have to train the proper way and that is to jump high in your workouts. Oh but I can’t do 12 reps at the highest I can jump. Well duh, you shouldn’t be doing 12 reps, that is too high! Try just doing 6 reps, and you will notice an increase in your vertical jump. People don’t know how to jump higher because they are too focused on following workout programs or “rules” that have been set in society by bodybuilders. I don’t remember the last time I saw a bodybuilder dunk a basketball or spike a volleyball in front of the 10 foot line. Those are show muscles, they don’t have speed in them so don’t train like them unless you want slow muscles like them. Muscle size has nothing to do with performance when it comes to jumping.

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