When we talk about vertical jump exercises, it is usually the squat which gets the most attention. Don’t get me wrong – the squat is still the best strength exercise for improving vertical jump height because it exercises all the muscles which go into a jump. However, it takes more than just your legs to get off the ground. Coaches now recognize that deadlifts are just as important to improving vertical jump as squats.
Muscles Worked by the Deadlift
While the squat may be the king of leg strength, the deadlift is king when it comes to strengthening the back and all its surrounding muscles. Deadlifts also work your core muscles, as well as down into your glutes. Remember, core strength is what gives you stability – and you need stability in order to jump higher!
Weak Posterior = Weakened Legs
The main muscles which go into a vertical jump are the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Even if these muscles are incredibly strong, you won’t be able to get high off the ground if your cores and posterior are weak.
Without getting too scientific about it, remember that all parts of your body are connected. Ever heard the phrase, “a chain is only as strong as the weakest link”? Well, if your core and posterior are weak, then your jump is going to be weak too. Also keep this in mind: when you jump, all that force goes upwards through your body. You need to have a strong core in order to handle all that force and maintain an upward motion.
Tip for Making the Most of Deadlift Exercises during Jump Training
With the deadlift, as well as other strength exercises, athletes usually focus on the upwards movement. To make the most of deadlifts, you should focus on the downward movement too. Don’t just quickly drop the weight down! Instead, slowly lower the weight back down. This will help you improve eccentric power and develop agility. As an added bonus, you will also be able to improve your ability to absorb force, which is important for being able to release huge amounts of force when jumping.
Don’t forget the basics of plyometrics training! Your goal with deadlifts isn’t to increase brute strength and bulk. You want to increase strength and speed. Instead of doing traditional bodybuilding workouts, do fewer repetitions at higher weights. Make sure to take longer breaks between each rep (about 3-5 minutes)!
Trap Bar Deadlifts Off Box — The Ultimate Deadlift for Jump Training
There are a lot of different ways to do deadlifts, but the Trap Bar Deadlift is supreme for jump training. For starters, it puts less strain on the back and spine because you are standing inside the bar instead of having it in front of you. Because you are inside the bar rather than standing behind it, you will be able to get more leverage. This means you will be able to lift higher loads.
To improve range of movement, do the trap bar deadlifts off of a box (4 inches is a good height). This gives you a great range of movement and you will active your hamstrings more.