Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Improving Force and Increasing Strength for your Vertical Jump


For our purposes, the basic barbell squat, theking of all exercises, is the exercise of choice.  The barbell squat trains nearly all the muscles involved in the vertical jump and strength derived from the squat translates very well into increasing the Force part of the power equation.  In fact, some studies have demonstrated one’s relative strength in the squat, or strength per pound of bodyweight, is the single biggest determinant in the vertical jump! (Chu)

Another exercise we’ll use heavily in one form or another is the deadlift.  The deadlift works the muscles of the posterior chain (hips, hamstrings, and lower back) like no other. These muscles are not only very important for power production but also tend to be the weak link in the chain for many athletes.  Youve probably heard that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  The prime muscle contributors to the vertical jump are the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and lower back.  Even if your quadriceps are very strong if your posterior chain, or to put it more eloquently, your backside, is weak; - your performance will be severely limited.  By strengthening both the squat and the deadlift we can ensure that ALL the muscles involved in getting you off the ground are strengthened optimally.


Commission, National Strength Conditioning Association. Certification. Exercise Technique Manual For Resistance Training. Human Kinetics Publishers, 2008. Print.
Baechle, T. R., R. W. Earle, and R. W. Earle. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 3rd. 3. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 2008. Print.

Chu, Donald A. Jumping Into Plyometrics. Human Kinetics Publishers, 1998. Print.