High pulls can also be done using a dumbbell or kettlebell,. When doing so, position the weight between your feet and pull with one arm at a time (switching arms halfway through the set). A trap bar (aka, hex bar) is also an option, particularly for individuals who have a hard time keeping the lower back flat; the trap bar allows the hands to be positioned behind the shins to help pull the shoulders back.
By emphasizing certain muscles in your legs, you can train your body for the force needed to leap high. Increasing your vertical jump will improve your rebounding, blocking, dunking, and make you an all-around better basketball player. Here are a few of CoachUp’s favorite exercises for improving your leg strength and vertical jump. If you ever need extra motivation to get through these exercises on a daily basis, just re-watch these gifs and focus up!
Two foot jumpers spend a lot more time on the ground during take-off than one-foot jumpers. This allows them to generate a lot of force through the muscles of the calves, quads, glutes and hips. While one-foot jumpers rely heavily on elasticity and "bounciness", two-foot jumps are more reliant on strength and power. This is one of the reasons why football players are excellent two-foot jumpers - they have really strong lower bodies!
A second, more efficient and correct method is to use an infrared laser placed at ground level. When an athlete jumps and breaks the plane of the laser with his/her hand, the height at which this occurs is measured. Devices based on United States Patent 5031903, "A vertical jump testing device comprising a plurality of vertically arranged measuring elements each pivotally mounted..." are also common. These devices are used at the highest levels of collegiate and professional performance testing. They are composed of several (roughly 70) 14-inch prongs placed 0.5 inches apart vertically. An athlete will then leap vertically (no running start or step) and make contact with the retractable prongs to mark their leaping ability. This device is used each year at the NFL scouting combine.