If you want to out-jump your opponents on the basketball court or soccer field, do some work to improve your vertical jump. Some people can naturally jump higher than others, but no matter what type of body you're born with, you can improve your jumping ability. Add 12 inches to your vertical jump by following a specific workout strategy, then grab that critical rebound when your team needs it the most.
Warm up your muscles by stretching before working on your vertical leap or engaging in an activity in which you will be performing jumps. Take a full five minutes to stretch your hamstrings, calves, arms, shoulders, back and neck. Do not neglect any major body parts.
Start your vertical leap warm-up by running up and down some stairs. Do this only a couple of times to get your blood pumping and your legs further stretched out. Using this simple activity for a few weeks will build your endurance and allow you to train for longer periods of time.
Use a jump rope to begin your leap training. Jumping rope helps condition your body and gets you accustomed to short vertical leaps that will help you when you work on higher jumps. Aim for five minutes or more of jumping rope every other day.
Practice deep knee bends to increase the musculature in your legs to prepare you to leap high vertically. Place your hands on your hips, keep your back straight and head up as you bend low from your knees. Rise up slowly and repeat the bending 15 to 20 times.
Add jumping to your basic knee bends. Instead of rising slowly from your bend, you will explode upwards as far as you can. Repeat 10 times and then rest and repeat again. Add a couple of extra repetitions to your routine each week as you gain endurance. Strive to leap up as high as possible.
Practice toe raises to help you improve your vertical leap. This is an excellent exercise for strengthening your calf muscles. Simply stand up straight and then rise up slowly onto your toes. Come down and then rise again. Start with 30 repetitions and add more each week. The Inside Hoops website advises holding small weights while performing toe raises to increase their benefits.
Lift weights to improve your strengthen so that you will be able to jump higher. Be conscious of not adding too much bulk, as extra pounds can weigh you down and have an adverse effect on your leaps. You want to remain lean but strong. Accomplish this goal by using small weights and lots of repetitions.
Work on your abdominal muscles. The Critical Bench website recommends strengthening your abs, as this will help you propel yourself high into the air. Do crunches to strengthen this core area. Start with as many as you are able to perform and add to this number weekly.
Practice your vertical leaps every other day. You can do isolated leaps or practice them as you participate in a basketball game. Enlist a friend to observe your height off the ground so you can better measure your improvement.