You’ve all witnessed the Youtube videos where an athlete has such an incredible vertical jump they do these amazing dunks.  You wonder if it is real or some type of video trickery.

Basketball is just beginning so those athletes presumably have worked on improving their vertical jump and it is at a point where it should be.  But, with the winter time approaching this is the best time for other athletes to work on improving their vertical jump.

Volleyball players, high jumpers, football players looking to do well at a combine are among some of those athletes who need to work on their vertical jump.

How would you do it?

You could get those magic jumping shoes that I wore back in the late 80’s.  But, if you don’t have a time travelling Delorean then that might not work.  So in order to not delay suspense any longer, I will tell you what you want to do.

There was a study done in 1992 that had three groups.  The first group just did heavy squats.  The second group just did plyometric training.  The third group did a combination of both.  The study was for 6 weeks and all the participants had at least a year’s worth of lifting experience.  So they weren’t newbies who would react favorably to anything that was thrown at them.

At the end of the 6 weeks, the squat group improved their vertical by 1.3 inches.  The plyometric group improved their vertical by 1.5 inches.  The combo squat/plyo group improved their vertical by 4.2 inches.

Okay, thanks a lot, but what the heck does that mean???

You need to put together a program that combines developing maximal strength and transferring that maximal strength into specific strength development.  Basically, do some type of submaximal set of squats or deadlifts and then combine with some dynamic movement like a jump squat.

For example, doing a squat at 85% 1RM for 5 reps, rest 20 seconds, and then do 12 jump squats.  Repeat for 3-4 sets and you’ve got something for your athlete.

Do that twice a week and I could almost guarantee your athlete will increase his/her vertical.  And that is it for today’s post.  Short and sweet.  Go out and hit it and start leaping over tall buildings in a single bound.