Many of the jump training programs out there use a multi-prong approach to help you gain inches on your vertical leap. Most include some form of weight training, agility work, jumping technique, rest periods, and flexibility. A common, but often missed, exercise you can use to increase your jumping abilities is sprint training. This writeup will convince you why sprinting is a fabulous exercise, help you get started with a basic sprint training program, and teach you what you can do to get the most from your sprinting.
If done correctly, sprinting can be one of the best all around exercises you can do. It will contribute to lower body fat, more muscle tone, increased sex drive, and firmer skin with less wrinkles, but it will also increase your vertical jumping abilities. Sprinting at your maximum output works your super fast twitch muscle fibers. These are the white fibers that are only used by your body when under full exertion. Plyometrics, another popular training tool, usually only works your fast twitch muscle fibers, while general cardio activity works your slow twitch muscle fibers. Recent studies have shown that in order to increase your body’s natural level of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), you have to work your super fast twitch muscle fibers. If you know anything about HGH, you know that it is an athlete’s best friend. The higher your natural levels of HGH, the better your body will be able to perform all athletic maneuvers, including jumping high.
A good sprinting program only needs to be performed once every four days or twice a week at the most. I recommend doing the following every fourth day. Shortly after waking in the morning, head outside and find a road, sidewalk, or grassy area with a mild to moderate incline. Begin by jogging up the hill for a few minutes to warm your legs up. Using a stopwatch for accuracy, sprint at full output, for a full 30 seconds followed by 90 seconds of rest by walking back down the hill. Do this a total of 8 times. You might only be able to do 3 or 4 times your first time out. That’s okay, just slowly work your way up to the full 8 repetitions. Finish your sprint training with a cool down jog of at least three minutes.
To get the best out of your sprinting, you must, must, must be at one hundred percent output for every repetition. Studies have proven that your level of exertion is the secret to having your body make an increase level of HGH. It might help to use a heart rate monitor to be sure that by the seventh and eighth reps, you are just about reaching your maximum heart rate. (That can be estimated as 220 less your age). The next essential thing you must do after a sprinting workout is to NOT eat any type of simple carbohydrate. This includes Gatorade, fruit juice, and fruit itself – no sugar whatsoever for at least 2 hours. Consuming any carbohydrates will halt your body from making HGH by releasing somatostatin – a hormone that signals your pituitary gland to stop making HGH.
Hopefully you realize the importance of HGH in relation to your overall athletic abilities including jumping high. Maximize your bodies release of this important hormone while strengthening your legs and improving foot speed with the above sprint training program. Commit yourself to once every 4 days. It only takes about 20 minutes. You will see great results within 8 weeks.