The back squat and jump squat are the two most commonly-used strength training exercises for increasing vertical jump height. The back squat is clearly more effective for improving maximum force, while the jump squat can be used to shift the force-velocity gradient towards a more “velocity-oriented” profile when required. In addition, the jump squat has the secondary benefit of training force production right through until the muscles are contracting at short lengths, because of its longer acceleration phase. Even so, it is unclear whether squat variations are optimal for improving vertical jump height, because the center of mass is in a different place from in the vertical jump.
In the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Carter used an elbow hang along with his reverse 360 windmill dunk and between-the-legs dunk. When performed, much of the audience was speechless, including the judges, because none had seen these types of dunks before (Carter's first round 360 windmill dunk is reminiscent of Kenny Walker's 360 windmill dunk in 1989 except that Carter spins clockwise, whereas Walker spins counter-clockwise).
This isn’t just some light-duty assistance exercise. The rear-foot elevated split squat (aka, Bulgarian split squat) is a legitimate movement for increasing pure glute and quad strength, which will in turn enhance power and vertical jumping performance. Even if you’re a two-foot jumper, focusing on one leg at a time like you do here will ensure that your dominant side isn’t compensating for your weaker leg during the movement.
The vertical jump is one of the most explosive physical movements executed in sport. In a number of sports, the higher the athlete is able to jump, the greater the prospects of success in that discipline. Basketball and volleyball are the two most prominent examples of sports where that correlation is plain. The jumping ability of an athlete is also an indicator of overall athletic ability, as there is a clear relationship between the ability to jump and the running speed that the athlete will develop over short distances. The National Football League, where prospective players are subjected to various physical tests, requires every player to be tested for both vertical leaps and 40-yd (37 m) sprints, irrespective of the position played.
The following data were recorded every 6 hours for 48 hours, every 8 hours on days 3, 4, and 5, and once a day on days 6, 7, 14, 21, and 28: vital signs, hemodynamic variables (including systolic and diastolic arterial pressures, heart rate, central venous pressure, and, when possible, pulmonary-artery pressures), cardiac output, arterial and mixed-venous (or central venous) blood gas levels, doses of vasoactive agents, and respiratory conditions. Biologic variables, data on daily fluid balance, microbiologic data, and antibiotic therapy were recorded daily for the first 7 days and then on days 14, 21, and 28.
Early in my mission, my editor had given me a book, Jump Attack, by Tim Grover, personal trainer to Jordan, Dwyane Wade and myriad other NBA stars. I’d ignored it at first; I figured I knew plenty about how to jump higher. When I finally opened it last December, I was further dissuaded. The exercises Grover prescribed to increase one’s vertical leap looked either nonsensical (hold a deep lunge for 90 excruciating seconds, without moving) or sadistic (the series of rapid-fire bursts and landings that he’d named “attack depth jumps”). These self-immolations, Grover wrote, would last for three months.
I scoured the Internet looking for guidance. There are dozens of sites promising a path to dunking, most of them coded at the dawn of the Web. It was daunting finding one that seemed legit. I ended up paying $67 for the Jump Manual, an online program offered by Jacob Heller, a trainer with a 42-inch vertical who counts NBA players among his clients, according to his website. Next, I ordered a pair of Strength Shoes. You’ll remember these if you’re a basketball player of a certain age—the ridiculous-looking training kicks popular in the ’90s, with a platform under the toe that places your bodyweight on the balls of your feet.
variations: The vertical jump test can also be performed using a specialized apparatus called the Vertec. The procedure when using the Vertec is very similar to as described above. Jump height can also be measured using a jump mat which measures the displacement of the hips. To be accurate, you must ensure the feet land back on the mat with legs nearly fully extended. Vertical jump height can also be measured using a timing mat. The vertical jump test is usually performed with a counter movement, where there is bending of the knees immediately prior to the jump. The test can also be performed as a squat jump, starting from the position of knees being bent. Other test variations are to perform the test with no arm movement (one hand on hip, the other raised above the head) to isolate the leg muscles and reduce the effect of variations in coordination of the arm movements. The test can also be performed off one leg, with a step into the jump, or with a run-up off two feet or one foot, depending on the relevance to the sport involved. For more details see vertical jump technique.
The hips and glutes are the primary muscles that help us jump higher and increase our vertical. To increase power in these muscle groups, attach the Kbands securely around your legs and plant your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Sit deep in a squat position (knees in line with toes, hips pushed back) and hold the move for a full 30 seconds. To see the effects of this move in your vertical jump, you should feel a burn in your rear, hips and quads.
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