Anyone who has ever trained before knows the importance of warming up before they begin their activity. A proper warm up helps to increase performance, decrease injuries, and perfect movement patterns. Training to improve your vertical jump is no different. By incorporating a jumping specific warm up, into a traditional warm up routine, an athlete can expect to improve their jump height, while also limiting the likelihood of an injury.
Step 1 – Raise Heart Rate:
Increasing the heart rate for 5-15 minutes prior to jumping allows the body and mind to prepare for activity. This can be accomplished by first going through a thorough dynamic warm up routine or any other cardiovascular type activity.
Step 2 – Perfect Movement Pattern:
Jumping, just like any other movement pattern, requires rehearsing to perfect technique. Using a mirror, an athlete should practice getting into a strong jumping position. The mirror will point out any technique flaws like a rounded back or knees that cave in.
Step 3 – Activate Muscles:
By activating the jumping muscles of the body, the athlete primes themselves to be more explosive when they begin their jump training. There are many ways to do this, but performing paused jump squats are a personal favorite.
Step 4 – Build Inter-Muscular Coordination:
The final step is to train the body to move fluid by contracting and relaxing the muscles rapidly. This is important to build the rubber band like effect seen in all great jumpers. To do this, simply perform 5-10 squats as rapidly as possible, without losing technique and locking out the knees.