Strength Shoes are a specially designed sneaker that may increase your vertical jump and running speed. Strength Shoes have a built-up forefoot that places your calf in a stretched position, and this, claims the manufacturer, results in greater muscular overload leading to increased lower limb strength and power. Strength Shoes are popular with basketball and volleyball players and many other sports in which a high vertical jump is desirable. Not all experts agree that Strength Shoes are beneficial, and some suggest that the injury risk associated with this type of training device outweighs the possible benefits.
Perform jump rope. Jumping rope while wearing Strength Shoes is a good introductory exercise. Hold the jump rope in both hands and place the middle of the rope behind you. Swing the rope over your head and, as it nears your feet, jump over. Continue turning the rope and jumping for the desired length of time or number of repetitions. Start slowly and build up speed as you become more proficient.
Perform plyometric box jumps. To develop your vertical jumping ability, stand 12 inches away from a knee-high plyometric box. Bend your knees and swing your arms backward. Swing your arms forward and simultaneously jump up to land on top of the box. Carefully step back down and repeat. Increase the height of the box as your vertical jump increases.
Perform agility hurdle jumps. Place five to 10 knee-high agility hurdles in a row. The hurdles should be around 36 inches apart. Stand at the beginning of the row with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Swing your arms back and bend your knees into a quarter squat position. Swing your arms forward and jump up and over the first hurdle. On landing, immediately spring into another jump. Continue jumping until you have cleared all the hurdles. Increase the height and number of hurdles in your run as you become more adept at this drill.
Perform stadium stair sprints. Stand at the foot of a set of stadium stairs or any other long flight of stairs you have access to. Sprint up the stairs as fast as possible and focus on driving with your arms, pumping your knees and extending your rear leg and ankle. Once you reach the top, carefully walk back down to the beginning and repeat. You can make this exercise easier by taking one step at a time or harder by taking two or three steps per stride.
- "Explosive Power and Jumping Ability for All Sports"; Tadeusz Starzynski; 1999
- "Basketball for Dummies"; Richard Phelps; 1999
- "Complete Conditioning for Basketball"; National Basketball Conditioning Coaches Association; 2007