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Improve Your Vertical Jump

My name is Graham Wilkerson and I am the owner of Genesis Sports Performance. I have been training youth to professional athletes for the past 9 years and during that time I have become obsessed with improving athlete’s vertical jumps.

The vertical jump is an indicator of power and power is one of the most valued athletic qualities and for good reason, powerful athletes can produce force in less time. This leads to faster running, harder hitting, further throwing, and higher jumping.

Here at Genesis we are known for creating explosive athletes and I want to give you our best training secrets for improving the vertical jump.

Disclaimer: Not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone. Check with your doctor before beginning any fitness program to avoid/reduce the risk of injury. Perform these exercises at your own risk. Premier Performance will not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained as a result of using any fitness program presented in this document.

No portion of this manual may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including fax, photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system by anyone but the purchaser for their own personal use. This manual may not be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Genesis Sports Performance.

First let’s get into the factors which influence vertical jump ability.

1. Coordination and timing between hip and knee extension

2. Maximum Strength

3. Explosive Strength

4. Reactive Strength

Coordination involves ensuring an athlete has proper motor and muscle recruitment patterns. The best tool to improve recruitment patterns is yielding isometrics. Yielding isometrics involve having an athlete hold a static position for a predetermined amount of time.

1. For improving the vertical jump, we prefer deep lunge isometric holds and wall squats. A good place to begin is having the athlete holds for 3 sets of 30s each leg gradually building up to 2:00.

2. The ability to produce large amounts of force is vital to vertical jump performance. Furthermore, athletes must be able to express that force quickly for it to translate to vertical jumping. If an athlete has not trained the ability to develop high amounts of force at low speeds, characterized by heavy strength training, then there is certainly no way that they will be able to express force at high speed. The amount of power they can produce will be limited as they do not have the ability to create force. Force precedes velocity! This is why youth athlete need to focus on developing strength before power.

Squatting and Deadlifting are 2 exercises we utilize to develop strength that translates to jumping performance. We generally will perform these exercises between 75 and 90% or an athletes 1 repetition max gradually progressing as they advance.