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Improve Your Vertical Jump
Many of our athletes at Fitness Quest 10 & Todd Durkin Enterprises are training to improve their vertical jump for a variety of sports. Below is a checklist of skills we use to ensure our athletes are successful.
The following question was answered by Brett Klika, CSCS, Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10.


How can I improve my vertical jump?
Many of our athletes at Fitness Quest 10 & Todd Durkin Enterprises are training to improve their vertical jump for a variety of sports. Below is a checklist of skills we use to ensure our athletes are successful.

Work on you jumping posture
Correct posture when you set up to jump allows the proper muscles to fire in the proper sequence, maximizing your jump height. Head up, shoulder blades pinched back, arms in front of body above shoulders, hips back, shoulders over the knees, knees over the balls of the feet.

Strength training
Vertical jump is a skill of recruiting as much muscle as you can, in the shortest time possible. Proper strength training for the entire body helps establish a strong foundation, and improve your body’s ability to recruit large amounts of muscle in a short amount of time. A strength training routine should incorporate all muscle of the body.

Plyometric Training
Plyometrics train your muscles to store and release energy quickly. For any movement, such as a vertical jump, there is a counter movement, and then the actual movement.  Before you jump, you lower your body quickly in order to store energy for when you move upward to leave the ground. The better trained your muscles are to store energy on your way down, and release it on your way up, the higher you will be able to jump. It’s much like bouncing a rubber ball. To get the maximum height out of bouncing the ball, you want to throw it to the ground as hard as you can. Depending on how the ball is made, it will take the energy from being thrown to the ground, and return it when it bounces upward.

Practicing proper landing
This should be an obvious part of any vertical jump training program, however, it is often one of the most neglected. All too often plyometrics are performed focusing merely on the take-off portion of the jump, neglecting what happens after that. Remember, the vertical jump has the downward movement before the upward movement. Learning to absorb your landing, coming down to the ground in the same position from which you left it, is vital in training the body to store that counter-movement energy, and prevent injury from the shock of the body violently hitting the ground. Make this a priority in your vertical jump training!
 
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