Being able to jump high is a desirable skill in many sports, but particularly in basketball, when you want to make a spectacular shot. If you’re struggling to get some serious height, we have some pro basketball coaching tips to help you.
The Mechanics of a Good Vertical Jump
Good vertical jumpers have some characteristics in common. You’ll need good “spring,” which involves powerful muscles with the ability to dynamically shorten and stretch. It is also important to decent upper body strength to create upward momentum. Unfortunately, if you lack the sprinter type muscles, you may struggle to be a champion jumper, and you’ll need to work hard to maximise your jump height.
Condition Your Body
Just like sprinters, high jumpers and hurdlers, it is crucial to be well conditioned to achieve a good vertical jump. Try incorporating light jogging for 10 to 15 minutes into your routine a couple of times a week.
Training to Improve Your Jumping Ability
To maximise your jumping ability, you’ll need power and strength. You will also need to optimise the muscles you’re carrying, but regardless of your sport, there may be a trade off in jump performance against speed, agility, and mobility. Great strength and large muscles don’t automatically create a great athlete or superb jumper. Remember, there is no benefit to having great jumping talents if you have poor court skills.
The end goal of training for most athletic performance standards including vertical jumping is the execution of power. The power will be a product of speed of execution and strength. There are three phases of training to optimise your power; build basic muscle strength, emphasise strength and convert it to power. Plyometric exercises, such as box jumps, leaps, and tuck jumps can work to complement weight training. This can be accomplished at the gym, at the court or working in a park.
Exercises to Build Your Vertical Jump
The best exercises to convert strength to power are variations of conventional Olympic lifts. The clean, power clean, hang clean, push press, Romanian deadlift and high pull allows that explosive movement necessary to build vertical jump potential. The weight should be light enough to enable that explosiveness, but with enough burden to stimulate adaptation.
You can also add jump squats to this program. These are performed like a normal squat, but on standing, you should vertically push off with a little jump of 15 centimetres. Don’t aim to jump too high, as the landing and impact may cause injury. You don’t need a heavy weight for a jump squat, it needs to be sufficient to burden the jump, but light enough to allow that upward explosion.
A one legged jump squat can be useful, but they may be injury risky, so they are best avoided.
Putting it Together
To bring all of these exercises and new muscle memories together for a great vertical jump, you’ll need to practice. Repeatedly practice vertical jumps at the hoop to build your new skill. Remember that while weight training can be beneficial for most sports, it is crucial to avoid overdoing it.
If you would like to build your skills and are considering basketball coaching in Melbourne, we’re here to help. We offer a wide variety of basketball coaching options to suit all your skill levels.