There are so many plyometrics out there, it can sometime’s be overwhelming and difficult to piece together which ones you should be doing and which ones are effective. I’m going to lay out for you 5 of the best plyometric exercises for increasing your vertical jump.
1. Depth Jumps
The starting position is on the top of a plyo box. Drop off of the box and as soon as you touch the ground, jump as high as possible, land in an athletic stance, and hold your landing for 3 seconds. You want to make sure that your amortization phase is as fast as possible – meaning the time between when you land from dropping off of the box and your jump. If you’re a more advanced athlete, you can try doing a tuck jump when you do your jump. Depth jumps are a great tool to help build your vertical jump as they train your reactiveness and your ability to absorb landings.
2. Lateral Ski Jumps From A Squatted Position
Starting in a squatted position, explode up and jump as high and as far laterally as possible, landing in the squatted position you started in. Alternate directions every repetition – so after your first jump, gather yourself, and jump back in the direction you came from. These are a great exercise for building explosive strength, especially for basketball players who are constantly moving laterally.
3. Broad Jumps
Broad jumps, or standing long jumps, are an extremely popular exercise when it comes to recruiting fast twitch muscle fibers and building explosive strength. Standing with you feet at shoulder width and your hands above your head, swing your arms back and descend down aggressively. Just as aggressively, ascend into your jump – swinging your arms back up, exploding through your hips, and achieving triple extension – jump as far forward as possible while still being able to properly land.
Bounding is running with leaping strides. A great place to do bounding is at a track or an open field with lots of room. With bounding you will really want to emphasize your knee drive and your arm swing. Here is a good example from YouTube:
5. Box Jumps
Box jumps are probably the most iconic exercise when it comes to vertical jump training. But to get the most out of your box jump you want to make sure you are doing them correctly – quality is always the biggest key to anything.
– Start with your feet at shoulder width, standing in front of a plyo box.
– With your hands above your head, swing your arms back while aggressively descending into your jump
– Explosively ascend into your jump by swinging your arms up, exploding through your hips, and using triple extension.
– Land as softly and as controlled as possible, in a partial squat position (NOT a full squat).
– Step down from the box (DON’T jump – this puts your body at unnecessary risk to getting injured).
*Note – Don’t use box jumps to train conditioning. If your goal is to jump higher, then use them as an explosive exercise, not cardio.
Just to recap, here are 5 of the best plyometric exercises when it comes to adding inches to your vertical jump: Depth Jumps, Lateral Ski Jumps From A Squatted Position, Broad Jumps, Bounding, and Box Jumps. Although, as great as all of these exercises are, if you want to get the best out of your jumping ability you need to make sure you’re getting adequate rest, proper nutrition and follow a structured routine that makes sure you are not over training and using every exercise properly.