Before we get into what exercises you need to do in order to increase your vertical jump and jump higher, it’s essential for you to know exactly what muscles are used for jumping.
Many people think that there must be some kind of secret to jump higher and get the kind of air and hang time the big NBA players get, but you know what?, there is no secret to jumping higher at all, all you need to do is target the right muscles in your workout routines, it’s that simple.
So what muscles are used for jumping so you can increase your vertical jump?
The specific leg muscles used for jumping are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal, and the calves. If you target these main leg muscle groups, you will increase your vertical jump in no time.
Let’s go over some leg workouts you can do to jump higher that target these muscle groups mentioned.
Quadriceps Strengthening Exercises
Leg Squats: Leg Squats are one of the simplest, most basic quadriceps strengthening exercises you can do. You keep your feet about shoulder width apart, bend your legs at the knees and go down smoothly and come back up. Very simple yet a very effective quad strengthening exercise. If you want to increase the intensity of this exercise, you can simply hold some weights to add more resistance.
Walking Lunges: I really hate these, and I’m sure I’m not alone on this one, but walking lunges are one of the best quadriceps strengthening exercises. To do these, you simply bring one leg forward in a walking motion, then bring your opposite leg down towards the floor keeping your knee about 1″ from the ground. Go back up and repeat with the opposite leg again.
Hamstrings Strengthening Exercises
Stability Ball Leg Curl Exercise: This one is done by simply placing the stability ball under your legs between your knees and feet trying to keep the stability ball as from away your hips as possible. Slowly raise your hips off the floor as you push down onto the stability ball straitening out your legs until your body is at a 30 degree angle with the floor. Hold this position for a count of five, then pull your legs back into your butt keeping your hips off the floor.
Elastic Band Kickbacks: Use an elastic exercise band. Keep your right leg straight. Kick your left heel back. Hold the left leg at this position for a count of five. Move the left leg to the initial position. Both the legs must be straight throughout the exercise. Repeat with your other leg.
Gluteal strengthening exercises
Bridging Exercise: Begin this gluteal strengthening exercise lying on your back flat on the floor with your legs bent at your knees. Slowly lift your butt until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. Tighten your butt muscles and hold for a count of five, then slowly lower your butt back down again.
Lying Hip Extensions: Begin this gluteal strengthening exercise by lying flat on the floor on your stomach. Keeping your legs straight, slowly lift your leg as high as you can. Tightening your butt muscles and hold for a count of five. Slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat.
Calves Strengthening Exercises
Calf Raises: To do this calf strengthening exercise, start by standing at a bench or chair so it’s easier for you to keep your balance. Place your feet about shoulder width apart. Slowly move up onto your toes, raising your heels as far as possible and tighten up your calf muscles. Then slowly lower back down. You can also do this one while standing on one of your stair steps to get more range of motion. To make this exercise even harder, you can do one legged calf raises.
If you incorporate these leg exercises to increase your vertical jump into your own workout routine, you will build stronger jumping muscles and be able to jump higher. Remember to always do any kind of workouts in moderation so you don’t hurt yourself.
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