Do Ankle Weights Make You Jump Higher?

Basketball Players
Strong legs help you jump high enough to make a slam dunk. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If you want to improve your vertical leap, skip the ankle weights. Jumping with ankle weights only makes you better at jumping while wearing ankle weights. This practice won't help you jump higher without them. To become a higher jumper, you have to practice raising your body up against resistance and strengthen the muscles you use to jump, specifically the thighs, glutes and calves.

Weights Equal Interference

Wearing ankle weights only makes you better at lifting up heavy feet, not at using your leg and buttock muscles to propel all your body weight off the ground. Because the weight is added at your ankles, rather than in a place where you'd naturally gain fat or muscle, it also throws off your coordination and form, leaving you vulnerable to injury. The extra weight puts excess pressure on your joints as you land. If you want stronger muscles for bigger jumps, include plyometric -- or jumping exercises -- and strength-training exercises for the lower body.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.