As an athlete, you know the importance of improving your vertical jump. Jump training isn’t just about being able to achieve higher heights (which is obviously important in sports like basketball and football) – it is also about improving your ability to produce explosive force. This is something that all athletes can benefit from.
Unfortunately, too many athletes are making serious mistakes in their vertical jump training which are affecting their results. See if you are making any of these common vertical jump training mistakes!
Doing Too Many Reps
If you jump over and over again, you will improve your jump height – right? WRONG! Jump height is all about being able to access your body’s explosive abilities. This means exercising your body’s fast-twitch muscle fibers. Fast-twitch muscle fibers fatigue quickly, so your body won’t use them in repetitive actions.
For repetitive body movements, your body relies on its slow-twitch muscle fibers which are built for endurance. They will help you jump a hundred times in a row without getting tired, but won’t help you get to more explosive heights.
To make sure you are exercising your fast-twitch muscle fibers instead of your endurance slow-twitch fibers, you need to train in short but powerful bursts.
Not Strengthening Your Core
Most inexperienced jumpers make the mistake of only working on their leg strength. Obviously, your leg muscles are important for your jump height. However, you also need to have a strong core. This is what will stabilize your body and also help you maximize the explosive power from your legs and arms.
Not Enough Intensity
This goes along with the mistake of doing too many repetitions. Instead of doing lots of repetitions at a lower intensity, you need to focus on doing fewer repetitions of HIGH intensity. You should be pushing your body to its limits with each exercise, be it a jump or a squat. Plyometrics are great for this.
Forgetting to Take a Break
It is easy to get caught up in your training. But you need to remember to give your body a break! If you allow your body to get tired, then you will end up training for endurance by doing low-intensity, high-repetition exercises instead of the high-intensity, low-repetition exercises you need to do for harnessing your explosive energy.
Landing in a Squat
There are dozens of YouTube videos which show people doing impressive 40 and even 50 inch box jumps. Because of these videos, a lot of athletes try to improve their vertical jump by imitating what they see on the videos. This usually means jumping like a kangaroo and landing in a squat.
Did you ever see a pro basketball player jump like a kangaroo and land in a squat? NO!
To get a high vertical jump, you need to be able to move your central body mass upwards through hip extension and not hip flexion. There is no need to get down in a squat like a kangaroo to do this! Also, if you are landing in a squat, you risk injuring your joints.
Not Getting Proper Nutrition
Without proper nutrition, your body will not be able to see results from vertical jump training. You might even injure your body by depleting energy stores and getting a buildup of lactic acid. Sorry jumpers – but protein is not enough for jump training! You will need to focus first on calories, then on protein, and then on getting enough supporting vitamins like C, D, E, and B complex.