In order for you to increase your vertical jump, you first have to understand what is involved in jumping and come up with a program that addresses the shortcomings of the jump process. Once you are privy to this information, especially on the mechanics of movement and muscles that play a part in the jump process, move on to know the contractions needed to boost your vertical leap. It is imperative that you then relate these movements, mechanics with specific sporting exercises in order to be a better jumper.
Vertical jump movement analysis
The powerful hip, ankle extension and knees are all executed at the same time during the vertical leap. These are called the lower extremity mechanics and focusing on them during training for vertical jump will definitely deliver results. The muscles that are most involved in the vertical jump process include the powerful gluteus maximus muscle as well as the three hamstring muscles (biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus).
Strength exercise? Turn it to a power exercise
Since the vertical jump is actually a power movement, you need to train the hip and knee muscles for power, not just strength. Power training includes the speed and strength components, any exercise that incorporates speed can be a power exercise. For instance, you can easily turn a squat exercise, which is typically a strength exercise, into a power exercise when you perform in concentrically. You will discover that a vertical jump program comprises of mostly power exercises that combine different necessary aspects of physical training with speed and swiftness to improve the vertical leap.
The key to plyometric exercises
You probably already know that the most effective vertical jump programs are plyometric exercises. If you have not heard of them, they are short but explosive exercises that target specific leg muscles and are performed repeatedly to equip the muscles with power, strength, speed and coordination. The key concept of plyometric exercises is to reduce the duration of the amortization phase, the time it takes for the change of direction from downwards (loading phase) to upwards (explosion phase). To do this, an individual has to focus on quick change of directions during exercises.
Contrary to what most people believe, plyometric jump exercises do not actually involve depth training jumps. As I mentioned before, you can turn almost any exercise into a plyometric exercise if you incorporate the quick amortization phase. These exercises use the body as the weight resistance and by virtue focus on change of direction.
If you need to jump higher, you do not need to cram all these because there are programs out there that have been researched and easily written to be used by anyone, the best example being the jump manual. In this program, you will find all the beneficial information and simplified and illustrated exercises that you will follow in order to increase your vertical jump. Although so many people have increased their vertical jump, I should warn you that your effort and dedication will be the greatest determinant on how long you will take to increase your vertical jump and by how many inches.