How to Add Inches to Your Vertical Jump by Tony Reynolds

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Reprinted with permission from www.sportspecific.com

At first glance, jumping appears relatively simple, and I suppose that if you take it in its most primal form, it may be. However, when we analyze jumping while it is interlaced with other athletic skills, it becomes an extremely complex set of motor skills.

As with the design of any training plan, you need to analyze the target activity. I feel that first, you must decide the characteristics of the jump before you formulate a game plan. For instance, is the jump for pure vertical height, is there a lateral component, is the jump solely linear, is there a rotational component to the jump, and is the jump for distance rather than height.

Next, we should consider the steps leading up to the jump. Is there a one, two, three or more step approach, is there an outside stimulus that dictates a goal for the jump, is the pre-movement purely linear, lateral, or multidirectional. Does the individual typically have time to utilize a full preparation phase for the jump?

Finally, what are the characteristics of the landing? Does the athlete land primarily unilaterally or bilaterally, does the landing lead directly into another movement skill such as cutting or jumping, does the athlete have to react to an outside stimulus upon landing?

Once you have figured out which components dominate your sport, you need to choose exercises that will efficiently help you reach your goals. Typically, these exercises are multi-joint activities that include speed, power, flexibility, balance, coordination, and multi-directional control. Always remember that activities that utilize several of these components are going to have a stronger carry over and will help you achieve your goals more efficiently.

Ultimately, we need to remember that the goal of training should be to reprogram the brain and body in a positive manner. You should utilize activities that reinforce the components of jumping in the hopes of creating a subconscious orchestration of efficient movements that can be called upon under pressure.

The following is a four-week peaking phase from my Vertical Jump Training Manual. In the previous weeks, time was spent developing all of the skills needed to improve multi-skill oriented jumping. Each phase develops base skills from which the next phase can build. The final peaking phase is geared more toward true vertical achievement, allowing the other components to be addressed during the warm-up activities.


  



  


  


  


  


  

Tony Reynolds is a frequent contributor to SportSpecific.com and the author of The Vertical Jump Training Manual.


Submitted by DMorgan on Fri, 04/14/2006 - 10:53pm.

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