Knowing the group of muscles responsible for your vertical jump is essential because this would give you a clear idea of what forms of exercises you need to execute. Vertical jumping looks like it is done solely using the legs, but it is actually not. A strong jump needs the whole body. This is where the jumping muscles of your body come very beneficial. They provide you with the utmost power and strength needed to reach higher leaps and be a threat to your opponent.
What are these muscles we are talking about?
Considered as the most powerful muscles used in the jumping mechanics. Hamstrings are the muscles at the back of your thighs. These play an integral part in the stability and balance too, as the body is projected skyward. Your hips are strengthened and your knees are bent as you move forward.
The most explosive muscles when it comes to jumping, hence, its function is highly much-admired. Without these, you’d have difficulty increasing the height of your vertical jump. Calves can be worked out by toe raises and jumping rope.
The muscles in front of the thighs. Quads involve four muscles, each get built up everytime you extend your knees.
Responsible for preventing slumping body as you attempt to jump.
Should maintain their position, specifically the lower back, as the body tends to bend over and project uphill. Your back muscles should be robust enough to arch towards the sky and get your supreme hop.
Shoulders and Arms
Some overlook, but your shoulders and arms also contribute to your overall jump. They distribute a bit more force going against gravity. Besides, they could be able to make additional room between you and the ground.
Hip extenders and flexors
Work with your hamstrings and quads to allow your legs to move back and forward. The muscles in the hip rotator stabilize your hip joint and also contribute to an excellent form of running.
Many might not be completely aware, but the buttocks make every athlete’s jumping ability more awesome. The muscles in your butt act as a pivot point among the upper and lower bodies. If they are stronger, expect to achieve a quicker jump in a snap.
Serve as a counterbalancing measure for stabilizing the knee flexors as you take off. This muscle is located on the shin and offers a gust of power and quickness as athletes jump forward. Not only it will increase vertical, but will also reduce the potential risk of shin splints.
Your inner thighs. These muscles are responsible for drawing the legs together in order to regulate leg swinging while you do the run or walk. Your stride is stabilized too.
Gastrocnemius and Soleus
The gastrocnemius refers to the outer calf while the soleus refers to the inner calf. They both function as soon as you toes point downhill. The more you run upward, the more they function.
Hopping takes place in three phases.
- Preparatory phase – the gastrocnemius (muscles in the soleus plantarflexor) or the ankle plantarflexors tense to be ready for launching.
- Launch phase – the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and hip extensor combine. This allows your body to launch in the air.
- Landing phase – all the muscles embrace effect and enable the body to go back to a resting position.
Your vertical jump workouts must aim at strengthening all of these muscles. That way, you are not missing important angles and gain more inches in your vertical height. Another suggestion from experts is that athletes need to strengthen their abdominal muscles in order to generate a more powerful and stronger jump.
Make sure to target all the muscles mentioned earlier when working out. Doing so will definitely stabilize your jumping abilities and boost your strength.
Calf raises is one excellent exercise ideal for strengthening your calves. You can do calf raises with or without dumbbells, a barbell, or your body weight. Working this muscle doesn’t require lots of weight, only repetitions. Calf stretches are good as well. They prolong and cool down your muscles after a strenuous exercise.
Plyometric training also contributes to your speed, power, an explosiveness when jumping. Its responsibility is to build your strength quickly and allow you to move efficiently. You may wonder how long it would take you to see results when you start training. Beginners could see tangible results in less than a week. While highly advanced athletes may take them up to 6 or 8 weeks before seeing results.
Moreover, Olympic lifts prove to be a good addition to your daily routine. This is the secret of Olympic lifters for having explosive and strong jump all the time. Similar to explosive oriented movements (e.g. jump squats and plyometrics), Olympic lifts help the athletes display their strength fast. While there is nothing special about this exercise, it could do a lot in your jumping prowess.
Pay attention to your nutrition
This also matters a lot. Most good athletes consume rich amounts of food. A considerable portion of that food is commonly made up of items that are not necessarily concluded very clean. For ultimate jumping performance, basic macronutrients are what your body needs. Carbohydrates and protein are the best sources.
When it comes to neural recovery and proper muscular repair, eating enough calories, getting proper sleep, and having a long rest in between workouts is crucial. A few other things could also be done such as using ice baths, saunas, and contrast showers as they can help improve your recovery to a small extent. Experts usually recommend seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
As you see, gaining more vertical leap inches is not that hard as you initially think. To ensure you are really doing it the right way, ask a professional help. They could guide you through your process of increasing your vertical for a more better performance – from exercises and workouts needed to be executed from various tips and techniques you should apply.