Training The 7 Most Critical Vertical Jump Training Mistakes and Misconceptions (Part 2)

Published on March 6th, 2013 | by Joe Starks


The 7 Most Critical Vertical Jump Training Mistakes and Misconceptions (Part 2)

(This is a follow-up of my previous post “The 7 Most Vertical Jump Training Mistakes and Misconceptions (Part 1)”)

In my previous post, we’ve seen how dangerous misinformation can seriously hinder your vertical jump performance and discussed some major mistakes newbies and seasoned athletes frequently do when it comes to vertical training.

In this blog post, I am continuing the “Vertical Jump Training Mistakes and Misconceptions” series with some pestering problems that all serious athletes must avoid in order to max out their vertical performance.

Mistake #4: Not understanding how vertical jump works

You can’t expect to excel in vertical jumping without understanding how it works.

The vertical starts with a downward movement to lower your body in the priming position. From there, your ankles, knees and hips will need to extend simultaneously to propel you upwards.

While mid-air, you need to maintain your balance and keep going straight up, unnecessary muscle movements while mid-jump will reduce your maximum vertical height. This last bit is of paramount importance. Don’t be nervous, don’t flex mid-air, and don’t try to impress anyone with fancy arm and leg moves while jumping; all these will effectively reduce your maximum vertical height!

There are numerous good recourses to read more about the theoretical principles behind vertical jumping and I advise anyone who is serious about vertical to look into the physics behind jumping in detail.

Mistake #5: Focusing only on one training method

Countless exercises and methods exist that may or may not improve your vertical and there seems to be a different expert for each hyperspecialized training method. Thankfully, the reality is much less complicated than most gurus would have you believe.

All the myriads of vertical training approaches fall into three major groups of exercises, and you need all three to excel in vertical jumping.

These three major groups of exercises are:

  • Plyometric training
  • Jumping exercises
  • Weight lifting

All three training methods are effective on their own but only by striking a fine balance between all three can you achieve maximum vertical results. Plyometrics (as they are understood today and not the Soviet version) is considered a staple for increasing your maximum height. Plyo makes your muscles faster and more flexible.

However, speed and flexibility alone won’t make you a master in vertical; jumping exercises work to improve your balance and your jumping technique. As we’ve seen in my previous blog post, incorrect posture, unnecessary movements and insufficient balance can all have a negative impact on your maximum vertical height.

Finally, apart from speed, flexibility, balance and technique you also need power to perform your vertical. Your muscles must be able to physically move your body up, and for that reason you need weight lifting exercises.

So, in order to have all essential qualities for the perfect vertical jump you must mix all three training methods. If you don’t, you run a great risk of… hitting a muscle plateau, and this is what I will be examining in the third and final part of these series, so stay tuned!

As usual, if you have any questions, comments or just want to say “hi” you can always do so in the comments section below and don’t forget to sign up for Athlete Culture’s Jump Higher Series newsletter for more juicy vertical training tips!

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