Do you remember Allen Iverson’s dunk over the 6’11” Marcus Camby? You know, the guy isn’t even 6 feet tall! He is actually only 5′ 10.75”. So its clear that he can jump. But without any exercises no one can jump that high. There are a lot of exercises that may increase your vertical leap but the most of them are simply not effective.
So which exercises are the most effective? Here are the top 5 exercises to increase your vertical leap:
1. Jump Rope
It’s a very common exercise and the reason why is because it works. Jumping rope not only gives you explosiveness and calf strength but is also a great way to build stamina, and work on your overall leg strength. Jump rope at least three times per week to build up your aerobic fitness level.
2. Calf Raises
Calf raises are a very effective exercise because they train the muscles that give you the explosive boost in the jumping process. Here is how you do it: Stand on a foot block or the first step of a staircase in your house and rise up on your toes as far as possible. Hold the contraction briefly, then slower return to the starting position. Strong calves help you do quick, on the spot jumping.
This is a great exercise because it simultaneously trains different muscles that are involved in the jumping process – the thighs, the lower leg, the backside muscles, the abdominal muscles. Stand in an upright position, step as far forward as possible with no forward lean of the upper body until your front knee is at 90 degree angle. Then step back to the original position in one step. Do this 8 times with one leg, then 8 with the other. You also can use some dumbbells.
4. Step Ups
For this exercise you need a bench or something you can step on (about 15 inches high). Just stand in an upright position, then step up on the bench at the height that would put your knee at a 90-degree angle. Do 8 repetitions with one leg and repeat with the other. This exercise is a perfect extension to the lunge-exercise because you train the the antagonistic muscle group.
5. Touch the Rim
Either stand under the rim and try to touch it with one or both hands or take a running start and jump as high as possible to reach the rim. Important: Try to perform this exercise very clean and with maximum power and repeat it only limited times (for example max. 3 sets with 5 repetitions). After that don’t do any leg exercises for 24 – 48 hours. Your muscles need time to grow and regenerate.
Besides these exercises its important that you take care of your nutrition. The most important point here is limiting the amount of fat that you take to you. Fat makes food taste delicious but its the biggest enemy of an athlete cause its the extra weight you have to get up in the air and it inhibits the flexibility of the muscles you need to jump. So, if you are able to control your nutrition and will use the exercises above serious results are guaranteed.