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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Vertical Leap

Aug 21, 2008
Do you feel like you are stuck to the ground? Have you ever dreamed of dunking on someone or blocking the shot of the tallest guy on the other team?

All these dreams are possible and they all involve vertical jumping ability. If you can increase your vertical jump, you will be able to accomplish athletic feats you only dreamed of, like spiking a volleyball and dunking a basketball.

Believe it or not, with extra explosive power that comes with an increased vertical, you will even run and accelerate faster! So the question is, how can you increase your vertical and what exactly does it take to get consistent results?

There are a few major factors at work during a vertical jump. Once you understand what it takes to leave the ground behind you, you will know which training regimens will be the most effective. It has been found that the height of a vertical jump is directly related to the acceleration of the center of gravity when the feet are last touching the ground.

In other words, the faster your body is moving upward when your feet leave the ground, the higher your vertical jump. What does it take to increase the speed of your center of gravity? There are a few major factors involved including relative strength and reactive strength.

Relative strength is your personal strength-to-weight ratio. Who do you think will jump higher, a power-lifter who weighs in at 300 lbs and can squat 800 pounds, or an Olympic lifter who weights in at 150 lbs but can squat 450 lbs? If you guessed the Olympic lifter, you are right! But why is this true?

It is true because the Olympic lifter can squat three times his bodyweight. Although the power lifter can squat almost twice as much as the Olympic lifter, when the power lifter wants to jump he has to propel all 300 lbs of his body upward. The power lifter is built like a rhino and while super strong, we all know a grasshopper jumps much higher than a rhino.

It is all about strength-to-weight ratio, or relative strength. So how do you increase it? You increase it by either losing weight or becoming stronger. You can rapidly increase your relative strength through dead lifts and squats.

The next piece of the huge vertical puzzle is called reactive strength, or Plyometric ability. Have you ever seen those guys who are as skinny as twigs but can practically head butt the rim?

They have an attribute called plyometric ability, or reactive strength. Those guys rely on the elasticity of their tendons to store energy from a run up and direct that energy into the ground rapidly on their last step, propelling their body upward!

You can increase this aspect of athletic ability by a type of training exercise that is called plyometric training. Plyometric training exercises are exercises meant to increase your bodys ability to store and release energy more effectively.

If you have both of these aspects of strength, the only aspect left that could help you increase your vertical is called speed strength, or the rate at which your body develops force.

This is a byproduct of Olympic lifting. Once you have all three of these aspects, all you need is some mobility and you will be flying high in no time!
About the Author
Alan Largo is the creator and administrator of Best Vertical Jump and strives to assist others identify with their current physique through informative reviews. You are invited to visit Best Vertical Jump to read his most recent article review.
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