PDA

View Full Version : 3 Keys To a Higher Jump - Newsletter Article!



Joe Black
04-21-2010, 07:19 AM
by Travis Bell - Superior Athletics (http://www.superior-athletics.com/)

Training the vertical jump is one of the most common requests I get from athletes when they first come into my gym. Usually it’s from basketball players and volleyball players but occasionally I’ll still get some college football players who have watched the combines and feel they have to have a 40” vertical to be able to be competitive in the next level.

Increasing your vertical jump has been pretty well marketed through special shoes, special training programs, different training implements and a plethora of other tools and programs that people “must have” to help them jump higher.

1. Squat

But really, does it have to be that difficult? Lets look at the basics. When an athlete goes into a jump, what’s the first thing they do? They squat down. Then they squat up, pushing off the ground using their posterior chain (NOT their calves) creating enough force and momentum so that their body is lifted off the ground and for a very short period of time says a big “screw you” to gravity.

For a long time it was just assumed that a person’s vertical was mostly genetic. Athletes like LeBron James were just born to jump higher than the rest of us. To a small extent that is still true today. However, the majority of athletes have the genetic ability to jump higher than they think they can.

It all goes back to creating the necessary amount of force to lift your body off the ground in a quick motion. At Superior Athletics we incorporate box squats into our training rotation. These put the athlete in a much similar position as when they are jumping and forces them to reverse that motion with added weight on their back. Dynamic Effort squats are used in an effort to train the stretch reflex, or the motion that the body goes through when it reverses the downward force into an upward force. DE squats also train the fast twitch fibers.

Maximum Effort squats are used to help the athlete develop more power/strength. The stronger the hamstrings, glutes, hips and lower back are, the more power the athlete will be able to produce coming off the floor. Various squats are used. We will often use different combinations of bands, box heights, chains and different bars. We keep track of PR’s of each setup and choose each specific setup (box height, band tension and bar used) based upon the athletes specific weaknesses. Lifters with more hamstring and glute weaknesses will squat to a lower box while lifters with a hip weaknesses will squat ultra wide on a parallel box.

2. Posterior Chain Accessory Work

Accessory work is imperative. While squatting will cover just about all your bases, athletes can easily target specific muscles with some key accessory movements.

The first being glute ham raises. I’ve done a lot of hamstring work in the past and nothing wrecks your hamstrings like the GHR. Once your athletes get the hang of the movement, you can challenge them even further by adding in some band tension and even having them hold onto 10 and 25lb plates while doing them.

Another excellent movement is the Reverse Hyper TM made by Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. The spinal erectors are specifically targeted with the Reverse Hyper in a very specific way. Some athletes have seen marked improvements even when the only change was adding in the Reverse Hyper. Often we will use it for 4 sets of 15 reps on DE day and 4-5 sets of 10 reps on ME day.

3. Box Jump

And then there is box jumps. The must have staple of every program that helps increase your vertical jump. Many athletes have used boxes for jumping before but haven’t seen much improvement in their vertical jump, which is often because they just do free standing jumps over and over again and never change.

When using box jumps, it’s really important to make sure you are changing it up and using a large variety box jumps so that your body does not become stagnant in your program. Remember, many things work, but nothing works forever.

We will rotate between seated box jumps (jumping on a box from a seated position) seated box jumps while holding dumbbells, seated box jumps while wear a weight vest, standing box jumps (both with dumbbells and weight vest) and kneeling box jumps (jumping onto a box from a kneeling position). Each time we do box jumps, we use two different types of box jumps. We rotate between using heavier weights and lower boxes, to lighter weight and higher boxes.

Box jumps are mainly used to help with explosiveness in the posterior chain, but for those desiring to increase their vertical jump, it can prove to be a bit task specific. Similar to how using different squat and bench variations helps increase bench and squat numbers, training different box jump variations will help increase vertical jump height.

QZEl3-H4gE4

Box Jumps at Superior Athletics Training Facility

So don’t say you can’t jump! Increase your power and explosiveness and you may be surprised how high you can leap.

This exclusive article (and others) can be found in the latest Wannabebig Serious About Muscle Newsletter - April 21st, 2010 (http://www.wannabebig.com/newsletter/042110.html)

You can sign up here - Wannabebig Newsletter Sign Up (http://www.wannabebig.com/wannabebig-newsletter/)

tnathletics2b
04-21-2010, 07:40 AM
Good thoughts and thanks for the article!

Krazor
04-21-2010, 01:21 PM
There is alot wrong or missing about this article. How can you not mention plyometrics once? No plyometric exercises in the article or the difference between a strength jumper and a reactive jumper? No mentions of the fact that the stretchiness of tendons actually increases vertical jump and why, and how you can improve it with plyometrics?

You also didn't really talk much about the difference between slow twitch muscle fibers and fast twitch muscle fibers, and how you need to improve both for jumping. No mention of the central nervous system and how it limits you from using your full potential, and that it can be trained to unlock more strength and explosiveness. You didn't include any fast twitch muscle work except the box jump. cmon, you seem to only know or think that jumping is a strength based activity.

Basically there's 3 things you need to do to improve your vertical.

First you need to improve reactiveness, or the ability of your tendons to stretch on the downward stride right before you leap off the ground to sling shot you up like rubber bands, by doing plyometrics, depth jumps, jump rope, rhythmic jump squats ect ect,.

Second you need to improve your explosiveness, or your ability to put in maximal force in the shortest amount of time, you do this by training your fast twitch muscles and central nervous system, exercises like 20-30 meter sprints, shock jumps, and 50-60% of 1rm exploding squats, box jumps will do.

For the reactiveness and explosiveness exercises its all about keeping reps low but making the most out of each one, exploding as hard as you can like your going to jump threw the roof or toss the weights up in the air.

The third and final thing that needs work is simply strength training, training your slow twitch muscle fibers to have maximal strength, exercises are squats dead lifts ect ect....



There are a few really good books you can buy if you want more info and a proper routine. Like vertical jump bible and the jump manual, both are for sale over the internet ebook style.

ThomasG
04-21-2010, 02:07 PM
There is alot wrong or missing about this article. How can you not mention plyometrics once? No plyometric exercises in the article or the difference between a strength jumper and a reactive jumper? No mentions of the fact that the stretchiness of tendons actually increases vertical jump and why, and how you can improve it with plyometrics?

You also didn't really talk much about the difference between slow twitch muscle fibers and fast twitch muscle fibers, and how you need to improve both for jumping. No mention of the central nervous system and how it limits you from using your full potential, and that it can be trained to unlock more strength and explosiveness. You didn't include any fast twitch muscle work except the box jump. cmon, you seem to only know or think that jumping is a strength based activity.

Basically there's 3 things you need to do to improve your vertical.

First you need to improve reactiveness, or the ability of your tendons to stretch on the downward stride right before you leap off the ground to sling shot you up like rubber bands, by doing plyometrics, depth jumps, jump rope, rhythmic jump squats ect ect,.

Second you need to improve your explosiveness, or your ability to put in maximal force in the shortest amount of time, you do this by training your fast twitch muscles and central nervous system, exercises like 20-30 meter sprints, shock jumps, and 50-60% of 1rm exploding squats, box jumps will do.

For the reactiveness and explosiveness exercises its all about keeping reps low but making the most out of each one, exploding as hard as you can like your going to jump threw the roof or toss the weights up in the air.

The third and final thing that needs work is simply strength training, training your slow twitch muscle fibers to have maximal strength, exercises are squats dead lifts ect ect....



There are a few really good books you can buy if you want more info and a proper routine. Like vertical jump bible and the jump manual, both are for sale over the internet ebook style.

Obviously this was a short context article. And from reading your post I don't think you know what DE and ME squats are, or what a plyometric exercise is.

Krazor
04-21-2010, 02:19 PM
Obviously this was a short context article. And from reading your post I don't think you know what DE and ME squats are, or what a plyometric exercise is.

your right, i have no idea what a plyometric exercise is /endsarcasim



No discussion on vertical jump training would be complete without a section on
plyometrics. Before we get into discussing various plyometric drills and how they work
I’d like to first address their history. Plyometrics is the term now applied to exercises
that have their roots in Soviet training methods. This method was originally known as
“shock” training and was invented by Yuri Verkhoshansky in the Soviet Union. Interest
in this jump training increased during the early 1970s as East European athletes emerged
as powers on the world sport scene. As the Eastern bloc countries began to produce
superior athletes in such sports as track and field, gymnastics, and weight lifting, the
mystique of their success began to center on their training methods, which consisted of
plyometric training.

The actual term “Plyometrics” was first coined in 1975 by Fred Wilt, an American track
and field coach. Based on Latin origins, plyo + metrics are interpreted to mean
“measurable increases”. These seemingly exotic exercises were thought to be responsible
for the rapid competitiveness and growing superiority of Eastern Europeans in track and
field events. Although thought to be secretive and exotic, originally plyometrics consisted
of only 2 rather simple exercises, - “depth” jumps and “shock” jumps. A depth jump
entails jumping or stepping off of a bench or object and immediately jumping up as high
as possible at ground contact. A shock jump is pure energy absorption training and
consists of jumping off of a very high object and simply landing and absorbing the
impact. After plyometrics were given their now common name, coaches began to lump
all types of hopping, jumping, skipping, and bounding drills in with the original
plyometrics.

Plyometrics rapidly became known to coaches and athletes as exercises or drills aimed at
linking strength with speed of movement to produce power. They became essential to
athletes who jumped, lifted, or threw. During the late 1970s and into the '80s, those in
other sports also began to see the applicability of these concepts to their own movement
activities. Throughout the 1980s, coaches in sports such as volleyball, football, and
weight lifting began to use plyometric exercises and drills to enhance their training
programs.

Plyometric drills are utilized to bridge the gap between force and explosive power and
increase reactive strength. Reactive strength fits in nicely with power development. It is
also known as plyometric strength, reversal strength, and elastic strength.
You can think of a reactive movement as a “spring-like” movementt. The drills are
performed to develop force by a quick loaded eccentric, or negative contraction. This
contraction causes a stretching of the tendons and also increases muscle recruitment.
Basically the muscle cells lock up as the tendons stretch. The body stabilizes this
negative force, stores this force, and then “releases” this force. The reflex action brought
on by the quick stretch allows you to put out a stronger than normal muscular contraction
in the opposing direction. Pick up a ball, any ball, and throw it. Now pay attention to
what you naturally did without thinking about it. Did you bring your arm back behind
your head and pause and then throw it? I would hope not! Chances are you quickly drew
your arm back and let it fly. That is a plyometric movement! The quick rearing back of
your arm quickly stretched the tendons in your shoulders and built up energy, which
allowed you throw harder. Would you have thrown as hard if you brought your arm all
the way back, paused for 3-seconds and then released the ball? Definitely Not!

Astreocclu
04-21-2010, 02:50 PM
While i agree with you on that he should incorperate more stretching, name hip flexor stretching, your completly wrong on other parts. The most important thing to a higher jump is your relative body strength, if you can squat twice your own body weight, you probably have a rpetty decent vertical. Like llouie simmons says, take a jumper and a weightlifter, and for the first couple of years the weightlifter will out jump the jumper. And whats with your second post, a copy paste?

Joe Black
04-21-2010, 03:00 PM
Oh my, where to start.....

I'll let Travis address your points, but if you're going to be critical of an article at least do so in your own words rather than directly copy and paste your arguement from another article on another website! You've pretty much just rendered anything you say from here on as obselete by doing so.

But, at least you didn't just copy and paste from one source. You actually used several sources and tried to join them - nice job lol

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kelly7.htm
http://www.volleycountry.com/volleyball-training/basics-of-plyometrics.html

You may very well be knowledgeable on this subject, but you haven't really approached this very well.

NickAus
04-21-2010, 06:55 PM
I liked the article.............thanks!

Krazor
04-21-2010, 07:55 PM
While i agree with you on that he should incorperate more stretching, name hip flexor stretching, your completly wrong on other parts. The most important thing to a higher jump is your relative body strength, if you can squat twice your own body weight, you probably have a rpetty decent vertical. Like llouie simmons says, take a jumper and a weightlifter, and for the first couple of years the weightlifter will out jump the jumper. And whats with your second post, a copy paste?


Oh my, where to start.....

I'll let Travis address your points, but if you're going to be critical of an article at least do so in your own words rather than directly copy and paste your arguement from another article on another website! You've pretty much just rendered anything you say from here on as obselete by doing so.

But, at least you didn't just copy and paste from one source. You actually used several sources and tried to join them - nice job lol

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kelly7.htm
http://www.volleycountry.com/volleyball-training/basics-of-plyometrics.html

You may very well be knowledgeable on this subject, but you haven't really approached this very well.

First of all im not trying to make anyone look bad here.

second no brute strength is not always the best way to improve your vertical. What if you can already squat 1.5-2x your weight? Then you will benefit more from plyometrics and explosiveness training to get higher.

Third, you didn't even get right where I took that info. Its called a book. Those sites you linked actually stole those lines and posted them as there own. I however thought it was obvious that I had done so but to be more clear, those quotes are from the Vertical jump bible a book i bought and read as research. A few months back. Something that seems to be missing from the article is well, pretty much everything in the book, and that book is rated #1 and/or #2 depending on who you ask. And is based 100% on science.

Again im not trying to make enemies or anything im just informing people that that article is very misleading to the facts, by not including them altogether. It's obvious this article was written by a power lifter who knows a lot about maximal strength but not much about what it takes to jump high, strength being only 1 part of many facets to it.

If you think im full of it then thats your loss i dare you to read the vertical jump bible or the jump manual and then disagree with me. You will know way more accurate information about how muscles work and what it takes to jump high than from this article.


I'd also like to say I love this website it's helped me a lot and all your other articles are great. :)

Astreocclu
04-21-2010, 08:22 PM
Travis bell trains at Westside, one of the best gyms in the nation. Some of those guys i understand have pretty damn good box jumps/vertical jumps. considering they practice jumping or dynamic squating every week as far as i know, since the reverse is true, te faster you explode the more you can lift....anyway...You know what alot of athletes lack? A good squat. Relative body strength is the foundation for all other athletic abilities, and most people lack it. I dont know what this vertical jump bible is , but i can almost gurantee i would rather get trained at somewhere liek westside that uses powerlifting principles, if a vertical jump is your aim, im sure louie simmons could make it happen, he is a legend.

Your acting like he is ignoring explosive movements all together, its quite obviousy thats what hte box jumps are for.

Krazor
04-21-2010, 08:42 PM
Travis bell trains at Westside, one of the best gyms in the nation. Some of those guys i understand have pretty damn good box jumps/vertical jumps. considering they practice jumping or dynamic squating every week as far as i know, since the reverse is true, te faster you explode the more you can lift....anyway...You know what alot of athletes lack? A good squat. Relative body strength is the foundation for all other athletic abilities, and most people lack it. I dont know what this vertical jump bible is , but i can almost gurantee i would rather get trained at somewhere liek westside that uses powerlifting principles, if a vertical jump is your aim, im sure louie simmons could make it happen, he is a legend.

Your acting like he is ignoring explosive movements all together, its quite obviousy thats what hte box jumps are for.

That's not going to be enough squats are not the end all be all of jumping high, and doing squats and box jumps alone isn't even close to enough, and won't help you much at all depending on your strengths and weaknesses, or it could help you a lot. This article doesn't even mention that your strength could not be the limiting factor in your jump and if it isn't then you should go an entirely different way in your training. You should however always do squats, but it's not always what you should focus on.

I'm not going to try to explain it any better cause i prolly will muck it up but if your reading this thread you should know that the article is incorrect in many areas. You should read one of the books I mentioned and maybe see how lifting heavier isn't always what you need to focus on to improve athletic performance and especially vertical jump.

If you can explain to me why the kangaroo can jump so high and often without doing squats or being exceptionally strong, accurately, I will leave this thread alone.

Travis Bell
04-21-2010, 08:55 PM
Ah, dang, I've been proven wrong by BB.com!! I fail lol.

In all seriousness though Krazor, you should really do some additional reading on what DE squats are. DE stands for dynamic effort. They are also known as speed squats. One of their benefits is to also increase explosiveness.

As others have mentioned, box jumps are also included for additional explosiveness training.

However the core of our program is to train of increased force production, or strength. You may disagree, (and I'll add that's the popular viewpoint ....this week at least lol) and that is your perrogative.

I'm comming from a perspective of making athletes better all the way around. If a football player jumps higher, but loses bodyweight and gets weaker because all he did last summer is work on his vertical, then he wasted his time. For an athlete to properly train their vertical, but still improve in strength, speed, size and injury prevention, they need to be well balanced.

That was really one of the main points of the article. Things need to be kept simple. You don't need 9,000 different types of jumps to help you increase your vertical. Too many kids focus on just that one aspect of their game, when the same goal can be accomplished while still incorporating other aspects of strength improvement.

So you see? My article is in fact not misleading. It's a simplified approach. There is a reason I don't include stuff like what you adhere to so vehemently.

Oddly enough I had one college athlete who used the book that you mentioned prior to comming to my gym. He was about 6' 170lbs (basketball player) and myself at 5'9" 255lbs could out jump him. Within 2 months of dropping those complicated and unnecessary extras from his program, we put 45lbs on his squat, knocked .2 off his 40yd time and he out jumped me by 3" (in the ensuing months he out jumped me by quite a bit lol)

*on a side note of course we stretch, at the end of training.....some things really should go without saying

Travis Bell
04-21-2010, 08:56 PM
If you can explain to me why the kangaroo can jump so high and often without doing squats or being exceptionally strong, accurately, I will leave this thread alone.

I don't train kangaroos, so maybe that's where you're misunderstanding things :)

Krazor
04-21-2010, 09:05 PM
If the article is about increasing your vertical jump and you fail to mention plyometrics you have indeed failed. Btw that bb.com article is the Free version that doesn't even get into what the book gets into.

And your example is good, cause it showcases what both me and the article agree on that someone who is skinny and his weakness is leg strength would be best served to increase squat like the article says, im saying, that for an example after this guy gets strong legs like 1.5-2x body weight squats that his legs would be strong enough and should change to a program that focuses on plyometric and explosiveness, but since everyone is different and has different strengths and weaknesses this article is not correct for a lot of people.

Travis Bell
04-21-2010, 09:10 PM
LOL I'll say this just one more time as you seem to be missing the point, but go read up on dynamic squatting and things will make more sense to you

Again - box jumps are indeed a form of plyometric training

And finally - I could run countless examples of why this works, even with guys who squat 2x's their bodyweight, because I actually do this in the gym every day with athletes, however I feel to someone like yourself the point would be lost

You keep missing a large amount of points both within the article and my attempt to explain things to you, alas I suppose life will go on :) Best of luck in your jumping

Krazor
04-21-2010, 09:10 PM
I don't train kangaroos, so maybe that's where you're misunderstanding things :)

That's funny cause they have the perfect type of jump style that would benefit from your training, but also prove my point..

since they have extremely elastic Achilles tendon (plyometric), from adaptation they basicly use there tendon as a rubber band to bounce themselves effortlessly.

wikipedia:

They store elastic strain energy in the tendons of their large hind legs, providing most of the energy required for each hop by the spring action of the tendons rather than by any muscular effort. This is true in all animal species which have muscles connected to their skeleton through elastic elements such as tendons, but the effect is more pronounced in kangaroos.

Krazor
04-21-2010, 09:12 PM
LOL I'll say this just one more time as you seem to be missing the point, but go read up on dynamic squatting and things will make more sense to you

Again - box jumps are indeed a form of plyometric training

And finally - I could run countless examples of why this works, even with guys who squat 2x's their bodyweight, because I actually do this in the gym every day with athletes, however I feel to someone like yourself the point would be lost

You keep missing a large amount of points both within the article and my attempt to explain things to you, alas I suppose life will go on :) Best of luck in your jumping

I give up. Same to you.

KoSh
04-21-2010, 09:13 PM
Or kangaroos, apparently.

Travis explained that the article was based on keeping all aspects of your strength up while increasing your vertical. It's obviously NOT a vertical only program.

No article is ever going to be correct for everyone. He's posting this on a website where most of us want to continually get bigger and stronger, but may want to see if we can accomplish side goals on the way.

xtian
04-21-2010, 09:53 PM
Thank you for this article.

Travis Bell
04-22-2010, 09:42 AM
Or kangaroos, apparently.

Travis explained that the article was based on keeping all aspects of your strength up while increasing your vertical. It's obviously NOT a vertical only program.

No article is ever going to be correct for everyone. He's posting this on a website where most of us want to continually get bigger and stronger, but may want to see if we can accomplish side goals on the way.

Exactly. Glad to see the article was understood by some :)


Thank you for this article.

You're welcome! Glad you liked it.

tnathletics2b
04-22-2010, 11:08 AM
Haha kangaroos and open source Wikipedia to prove a jumping point! LOL!

cant hit bombz
04-22-2010, 12:39 PM
I don't train kangaroos, so maybe that's where you're misunderstanding things :)

haha, I have to say this has got to be one of the best replies I've ever read.

Thank you for the article Travis....I demand you write a new one every week....hahaha

Travis Bell
04-25-2010, 03:05 PM
Really glad you guys like the article.

I do intend on regularly getting articles out to the WBB newsletter. I really have a lot of fun training my athletes and thanks to Louie, I've had extremely good success with them so I'm more than happy to share what I learn in the gym.

Mike G
04-26-2010, 07:34 PM
Good read, I'm very disappointed you didn't talk about training kangaroos, that would be a great article.