You want to improve your jumping ability but are only limited to home exercise for various reasons? Maybe gyms and fitness centers are viewed by many as the best places to build muscle and train for vertical jumping. But you can also exercise to increase vertical jump at home. In fact, a good number of vertical jump exercises don’t need much equipment and this makes it pretty easy to increase vertical jump at home.
Fundamentals of vertical jump workout at home
1. Understanding what muscles to train
The hip flexors are the muscles on which your home workout should be majorly focused. These are a group of muscles that help in pulling the knee upward.
Training hip flexors are no joke. In the majority of athletes, this muscle group is usually extremely tight. Who is to blame for this? The new order of the world has created a society that spends most of its time sitting. If one is not in school sitting in class, they are at work sitting behind a computer or at home watching TV while sitting. Hip flexors become more contracted and tight as one sits for prolonged periods.
There are two ways in which tight, contracted hip flexors affect our vertical jump.
- It inhibits the glute Maximus, an antagonist muscle that’s highly needed during vertical jumping. Weak, inhibited glute maximums make one a weak jumper. A weak glute also forces the hamstring to work harder, which increases the chances of hamstring strains and injuries.
- A tight, contracted hip flexor also prevents full hip extension and thus puts brakes on your vertical jump. It brings the torso slightly forward and prevents the hip from extending fully.
2. Setting up the testing area
You can use a wall as your measuring area to test the improvements you make after performing various drills to increase vertical jump.
Find a chalk and hold it with the fingers of one of your hands. Stand adjacent to the wall, the hand with the chalk raised and pressed against the wall. Mark the highest height your hand can reach by brushing your hand on the wall with the chalk.
Now stand in the same position but with the hand not extended. Jump vertically and as you do so extend your arm to mark the highest height you reach. Measure the distance between the two chalk marks and that is your starting vertical leap.
3. Exercises you can do at home to increase your vertical leap
To develop your strength, speed, and power so as to increase your vertical jump, the following exercises are suitable for a home workout:
- Squat jumps: These are plyometric exercises aimed at increasing quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors. They enable you to create the required explosive power to jumping higher.
How to do a squat jump
Stand with feet shoulder width apart then lower your body as if you are sitting back into a chair. Make sure you go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor(a quarter squat).
Come off the ground explosively by pushing through your knees and driving the upper body upward.
2-3 sets of 3-5 reps and a one and a half seconds break between each set should be enough for a start.
Squat jumps should be programmed after a warm up and before lifting.
NOTE: The number of reps isn’t the most important factor in vertical jump training. Focus on the full hip extension as you jump and cultivate sound landing mechanics. Improving on these two will help you greatly to improve your jumping skills.
The box jump is one of the most popular plyometric exercises done by athletes to improve their vertical leaping ability as well as to fast-twitch muscles.
While performing the box jump, you leap onto a box like you’d do in a jump squat. The most important things to remember are to make sure the entire feet (from toes to the heel) land on the box, and, that you make a safe descent from the box. At home, you can use the stairs or other raised platform as long as it is sturdy.
You need substantial leg strength to practice the box jump, which is why the exercise is mostly recommended for experienced athletes.
Fitness trainers emphasize the importance of starting with boxes whose heights are between your knee and waist height.
You can add weights as you advance in the exercise. Hold equal weights in each hand as you make the leaps to increase your workout on the glutes as well as other body muscles.
CAUTION: When jumping on stairs, ensure that the steps are at least longer than your foot. It would also be great to have supports that you can grab upon landing on the step. A spotter can be used as support in this case.
The rope jump has a wide range of uses in fitness training. The exercise comes with many health and athletic benefits – it can help to improve aerobic ability and coordination, to burn calories for those who need to get into better shape, to maintain your body fit without dedicating much of your time to the gym and to improve your jumping ability.
Jumping rope strengthens all the muscles in the legs and thus makes for an effective at-home vertical jump training exercise.
The fact that you constantly jump is an added advantage of jumping rope. Though you may not reach your maximum vertical leap, the constant jumping improves your endurance and trains your body to fight gravity.
The best thing about jumping rope is that you can perform it at any time during your workout. You can jump rope for at least 10 minutes during your workout session, having rests between two to three minutes of jumping. Maintaining this exercising habit will go a long way towards improving your jumping stamina. You will get stronger calf muscles, activate your core and improve your footwork thus become better at jumping.
Training to increase vertical jump at home is a viable option for those who can’t make it to the gym frequently. You only need time and effort. Exercises like the ones explained above don’t require expensive equipment or a coach. With the information provided by the Jump Manual, you can learn exercises to increase vertical jump at home and become a better athlete.