The game of basketball is loved by many all over the world. There are hardly any people who are not familiar with the game and most male students would at least have played the game once in their life. The truth is there are many people who are fond with the game of basketball, whether they are playing the game, or simply fans of the game. This is because the game is fun, exciting, and demanding as it requires players to be in perfect shape and form in order to excel. The game actually requires a lot of skills, whether it is shooting, dribbling, passing, defending, or rebounding. All of these skills can be self taught or can be trained in order to avoid developing bad mannerisms. Aside from these skills, one of the important aspects that every players needs to train for would be jumping as jumping is often a great advantage in the game. If you are able to jump higher than your opponent who has the same height as you do, then you are likely able to acquire more rebound or be able to receive a higher pass. The truth is there is more to jumping than meets the eye. In order to be able to jump higher, you need to train hard. Training with weights may work, but it is overall insufficient. It is important to do exercises so you will be able to develop joint flexibility, balance, tendon strength, muscular strength, and power in order to acquire an explosive jump that will help you jump higher. This makes it necessary to include jumping exercises in your basketball practice regimen so you can strengthen these areas.
One of the exercises that you should include in your training regimen would by plyometrics as this will help to build your power, speed, coordination, and agility. These exercises are best combined with strength training exercises such as leg squats to help improve your vertical jump. Plyometric exercises are considered as one of the best ways in gaining the explosive power needed to increase your jump. This is mostly because plyometrics is an exercise that continuously and repetitively stretches and contracts your muscle in quick succession in order to increase muscle power. The list below shows some of the best plyometric exercises:
- Two Foot Ankle Hop – this plyometric exercise is done by placing both feet together and using only the calves and ankles to hop up and down while trying to propel yourself back up each time you land.
- Box to Box Jumps – this plyometric exercise require two boxes that are able to support your weight. Place the boxes three feet apart. Stand on one box and try to jump into the middle with no box, then jump onto the other box. Repeat this step but this time jumping at the other box. Make sure to explode when jumping off the ground towards the box. The difficulty with this exercise lies on height of the boxes you have.
- Rim Jumps – this plyometric exercise is accomplished by standing below the rim of the hoop and jumping up to reach the rim alternating the hands trying to reach the rim. Each time you land, try to jump as high as you can. Make sure to concentrate on jumping and explode off the ground each time you land.
Performing squat exercises are also another way of helping to increase your vertical jump. This is mostly because squat exercises helps to strengthen your leg muscles which can be beneficial in giving you that added boost when jumping. In fact, when squat exercises are combined with plyometric exercises, you basically cover every aspect needed to help you with your jumping prowess. In addition, squats are helpful when performing jumps because it exercises the extension of the ankle, hip, and knee. The list below shows some of the best squat exercises:
- Basic Squat – this squat exercise is performed with the legs hip-width apart while bending the knees as if you were sitting down. Keep your back straight at all times and keep the knees above the feet. As much as possible, bend until your thighs are parallel to the ground and slowly rise up. Repeat the exercise with several sets.
- Paused Jump Squat – this squat exercise is very similar to the basic squat. However, instead of slowly rising when the thighs are parallel to the floor, you pause in that position for at least 5 seconds and then forcefully explode upwards by jumping through the balls of your feet.
- Olympic Squat – this squat exercise is accomplished using a squat weight rack, a spotter, and a beginner weight of around 25 to 45 pounds. Place the weight bar behind your head and rested somewhat on the trapezoid muscles. Squat down, similar to the basic squat, make sure your back is straight with thighs parallel and shins vertical to the floor. Elevate yourself to the startup position and repeat the exercise with several sets.
The dorsiflexion is a muscle located in the ankle and is a muscle used mainly for jumping. Performing dorsiflexion exercises helps to strengthen this muscle. The dorsiflexion exercise can be accomplished by holding onto something stable, feet flat on the floor, and slowly rocking back onto your heels until your toes are elevated in the air. Maintain this position for around 10 seconds and slowly rock back to your starting position.
The jump rope exercise actually uses many of the major muscle groups of the human body. If you are aiming to improve your vertical jump, then you would need to do some jump rope moves that targets and strengthens the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and the gluteus muscles. By jumping rope on your toes, your calf muscles will be more strengthened, and this will result to the improvement of your vertical leap. If you are just starting out on improving your vertical leap, then you can just jump rope for a good few to several minutes on your toes before you undergo a much more strenuous vertical leap exercise.