Vertical jumps show how high you can get your body in the air from a standstill. They require total body fitness, and some muscles that are utilized may be surprising. It is important to build muscle mass in all muscles used in vertical jumps to increase height.
Your hips bend and extend during the initial squat and the jump. Within your hips are two important muscles that are highly important for successful vertical jumps; the gluteus maximus and the hamstrings.
The gluteus maximus is located in the buttocks and is connected to the tailbone. As one of the strongest muscles in the body, it is an important muscle for the ability to move the hip and thigh.
The glutes are essentially the most important muscle for vertical jumps. When performing a vertical jump, your glutes help you bend down into a squat. The stronger your glutes are, the more power there will be behind the explosive jump you need to achieve a high vertical jump.
There are several exercises to improve your glutes. The most efficient and popular exercise is the deep squat. However, it is important to include various exercises to take your glutes to their full potential. Other exercises include hip thrusts, glute bridges, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts. All of these exercises will be even more efficient when you add weights to them. Weights will allow you to build up the muscle, making it more powerful for the jump.
The hamstrings are the large muscles on the back of the leg, located between the glutes and the back of the knees. They play an important role in walking, jumping, and controlling movement of the body. Building up more muscle mass in the hamstrings will increase height in a vertical jump.
The deadlift is a highly efficient exercise for increasing the hamstring’s muscle mass. They force the hamstring to take part in lifting the weight back up. One-legged and stiff-legged deadlifts are great variations to continue to increase muscle strength. Other exercises include high donkey kicks, leg curls, and squat jumps.
Knee Extensors (Quadriceps)
Quadriceps are responsible for the functions of the knees, which play an extremely important role in vertical jumps. In order to achieve a high jump, the knees must bend and then extend. They also protect your body from adverse effects of landing; bending your knees as you land allows your body to catch up to the fall from the jump.
The vastus medialis is part of the quadriceps and is located in the thigh that connects to the knee. This muscle is extremely important for knee extension, which is used during the vertical jump.
There are many options for building up the vastus medialis muscle. Deep lunges and step-ups are extremely efficient exercises. They are even more effective when weights are added. Other exercises are the leg press and leg extensions.
This is the most powerful muscle of the quadriceps and is located on the outer side of the thigh. It provides strength and stability to the leg, as well as more power to vertical jumps.
Due to the power this muscle provides, utilizing exercises that target it are important to achieving a high vertical jump. The most efficient exercise is the squat, and adding weights will build the muscle mass even more. In order to target the vastus lateralis effectively, it is important to have perfect form during the squat. The knees should bend straight over the feet and never bow inwards or outwards.
The vastus intermedius is located on the front, upper portion of the leg. Similar to the rest of the quadriceps muscles, the best exercises for building this muscle are squats and knee extensions. However, cycling and walking up stairs will also help increase muscle mass in this area.
The ankle plantarflexors are the lowest part of the body that are important to vertical jumps. They include the calf muscles, which are generally the last muscles to be working to push your body into the air.
The gastrocnemius is the large part of the calf on the back of the leg. It runs from the knee to the heel and plays a role in both the ankle and knee joints. It is involved in the quickness of the legs, allowing the joints to move faster when running or jumping.
This muscle lies underneath the gastrocnemius. Because it is not seen from the outside of the body, it may be forgotten at times, but it is an important muscle to the calf. A very powerful muscle, it is involved in standing and walking. It also supports the functions of the gastrocnemius.
When exercising the calves properly, both the gastrocnemius and soleus will benefit at the same time. The two most efficient calf exercises are calf pressing and calf raising. Calf pressing will be more effective when more resistance is added, while calf raising is more effective when more weight is added. It is important to build the muscles more by adding more resistance and weight.
Shoulders are used during the vertical jump during the forceful arm-swing. Shoulder muscles are often ignored when training for vertical jumps, but they can account for up to 15% of the height in the jump. The specific muscles involved are the deltoid, supraspinatus, and pectoralis major.
The deltoid muscle is the rounded contour of the shoulder. It is primarily responsible for raising the arm. Important exercises to build muscle mass in the deltoids are the standing dumbbell press and the reverse fly.
The supraspinatus is located in the upper back, on top of the shoulder blade. It is another important muscle in arm functioning. An exercise to strengthen this muscle is called the “empty can” exercise, in which you hold your arm out to the side and simulate emptying a can.
The pectoralis major is located in the front of the shoulder, on the upper chest. It is responsible for the movement of the shoulder joint. The most-used exercise to increase strength in the pectoralis major is push-ups. Other exercises are the inclined fly, inclined bench press, dips, and dumbbell pull-over.
Abdominals are perhaps the most surprising muscle used in the vertical jump, but they are important in overall body strength. The most important of the abdominals is the transverse abdominis, which is the deepest abdominal muscle. It provides stability to the body, which is a priority during the vertical jump.
Exercises to increase strength in the transverse abdominis are the plank, abdominal hollowing, supine leg extension, glute bridge, and quadruped lifts.