If you need to improve your ability to jump in a short period, then you know what your focus on is training your muscles and not building them. Therefore, instead of lifting heavy weights, you will perform exercises that improve your explosive and reactive power. Drills for increasing vertical jump in a short period mostly simulate jumping with powerful movements toward one direction.
If you can effectively develop your explosive and reactive powers, then you can increase your vertical jump in a short period. Let’s delve deeper into the ways of improving each of these powers:
Explosive strength is the ability to make a powerful muscle contraction in one direction. Sprinters use their explosive power when moving out of the starting blocks at the beginning of a race. A high-jumper propels himself from the ground using explosive force. Similarly, a footballer explodes off the line using the same power. In more descriptive words, explosive strength is the ability of an individual to exert the maximum amount of force in the shortest time interval possible.
The power wielded by explosive strength is a function of Force and Velocity. For you to increase your vertical jump, you must develop the capability to exert a higher amount of force and velocity to your upward movement.
So, how can you achieve greater force and velocity that will enable you to increase your vertical jump?
The simplest answer would be to get stronger and faster. For most training individuals, improving maximal strength comes before improving on speed. As one progresses in the training, improving on speed becomes more essential to gaining greater explosive strength.
There are various mechanisms behind improving explosive power but the most important is based on neural adaptations. You can research more on rate coding and motor unit recruitment for a deeper understanding of neural adaptations for greater explosive strength.
Reactive/ Power Training
Reactive training involves making quick, powerful movements through an eccentric contraction (reduce force) followed by immediate concentric contraction (produce force).
Reactive power incorporates the stretch capabilities of tissues to hold potential energy and to use this energy as kinetic energy to generate force efficiently. Training for reactive power coaches your nervous system to recruit jumping muscles quickly.
Importance of reactive training
No matter the activity you are engaged in, it’s important for the body to react and generate force quickly. Reactive training enhances an individual’s ability to stabilize, reduce and produce forces at the speeds the body has been trained to. Failure to train the nervous system how to recruit muscles quickly leads to sluggishness or failure to react quickly.
Any athlete is met with a demand requiring him to react quickly. With proper reactive training, you are also able to maintain your balance when you step on a space that’s deeper or shallower than expected. And if you lose balance, your trained nervous system can recruit the right muscles to regain balance and avoid injuries.
When to undertake reactive/power training
Reactive training should be introduced into a vertical jump training program once you have developed proper flexibility, balance capabilities, and strength.
Do you want to increase your vertical jump to dunk? Reactive strength exercises will train your muscles to quickly create powerful movements when bending knees and jumping up high to dunk the basketball.
Death jumps are the best known reactive strength exercise. To perform a death jump, you stand on a stable platform such a box equal to your current vertical jump, jump off the height, and then spring back up onto the starting position.
Reactive jump squats are also popular for improving reactive strength. They use 15 to 30 percent of your total weight and make for effective power training exercises for those who want to increase their vertical leap in a short period.
Getting faster when performing a vertical jump
A factor known as the time of force application is a crucial component of faster jumping. When performing a vertical jump, you only have approximately 0.20 to 0.40 seconds to apply your maximum power and thrust your body up. Your ability to accelerate quickly is therefore highly correlated with your ability to jump higher.
How to Jump Higher in less time – In a Nutshell
The power to perform a vertical jump comes from a collaboration of explosive strength and reactive strength. Once you are able to put these two together, there’s merely nothing to stop you from becoming a spectacular athlete.
Explosive strength is the foundation while reactive strength is the display of the power resulting from the strong foundation.
Your vertical jump training program breaks up training methods into categories and shows you the top exercises in each category. Following the program helps you to develop the capability to jump higher within the shortest time possible.
A smartly designed vertical leap training program such as the Jump Manual contains all the drills to increase vertical jump. It enables you to train the right way so that you are able to jump higher and get better at your sport.
The Jump Manual enlightens you on:
- Drills to increase vertical jump by enhancing explosive strength. These include box squats, one-leg split-squat jumps, the paused jump squat, jump shrug, clean and snatch variations, and hurdle jumps.
- Drills to increase vertical jump by improving reactive strength exercises. They broadly consist of jumps and aim at executing movements by jumping higher or with the least time spent on the ground. The most used exercises include ankle jumps, shock jumps, depth jumps, reactive squats, and reverse hyperextension.