Plyometric exercises are one of the most effective types of exercises you can perform to increase vertical leap. Plyometric exercises are designed to increase your reactive strength. Reactive strength is sort of like a spring. The more reactive strength you have, the faster you can react from one motion and do another motion.
The reason so many athletes use plyometric exercises is that they are a great way to connect force and explosive power. Essentially the drills are designed to tune and strengthen your leg muscles to be able to jump higher faster. They are relatively simple exercises and usually do not require any equipment, but they can give incredible results.
These are three plyometrics exercises that you should work on to increase your vertical leap. Make sure that you do all of these plyometric training exercises correctly.
1) Slalom Jumps - Start by standing with both feet on the same side of a line. Keep your feet together and jump to the other side of the line without touching it. Keep jumping back and forth for as long as you can.
Make sure that you jump as fast as you can while doing this plyometric exercise because you will see the most results in your vertical. You can measure the exercise by the amount of times you have jumped over the line, or you could keep jumping over a certain period of time. Either way works.
If you want to mix up this plyometrics exercise, then imagine that you are jumping over a basketball from side to side. Do not actually try to jump over a basketball because your legs might get tired and you could accidentally slip on the ball.
Another variation you could perform is jumping with one foot. Make sure you jump and land with the same foot on both sides of the line. So, if you jump with your right foot on one side of the line land on that same foot on the other side. Do this as fast as you can.
2) Squat-Thrust (Burpee) - This exercise is one of the most effective plyometric exercises. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down low enough so your hands can touch the floor on both sides of your legs.
Once you have gotten into that position kick your legs out behind you like a push-up. Then, bring your legs back in and jump as high as you can. Continue to repeat this exercise for as long as possible.
Make sure that you keep a good form throughout the exercise. When you are in push-up position make sure that your back is straight. When you bring your legs in and jump make sure you are jumping straight up with your arms swinging into the air.
This exercise increases the ability of your legs to react and jump sooner. It is great for basketball players who want to win more jump balls or grab more rebounds.
Move through all of the motions as fast as you can to increase your agility. Moving slowly will hardly help at all.
There is a great variation of the exercise that you can do. When you are in push-up position you might as well do a push-up. Not only are you strengthening your leg muscles, but you are also building some upper-body strength. Every little bit counts in basketball, so you should do everything you can to gain the upper edge over your opponents.
3) Low Box Depth Jump - All you need for this exercise is a box or platform that is around a foot off of the ground. Start by standing on the box with either your entire foot on the box or just your heels with your toes hanging off.
Step off of the box and immediately when you land jump as high as you can. If you want you can jump in front of a raised object like a basketball goal and try and reach for that whenever you jump.
If you have more than one box that is the same height as the first one you can try a variation of the exercise. Place one box and then place the next one between three and four feet ahead of the first box. Start the same as before and step off, but when you land and jump off of the ground, jump onto the next box. Turn around quickly and do the same thing to the first box.
If you are lucky enough to have more than just two boxes or raised platforms that are the same height then you can just continue the drill without having to turn around. Make sure you move quickly because this drill is a great way to build normal and reactive leg strength and tune your legs for speed.
Plyometric exercises have proven time and time again that it is possible to increase your vertical jump. Doing plyometric exercises is a must for anyone who is looking to dunk the basketball that cannot at the moment. Your workouts should always include some form of plyometrics. Plyometric leg exercises are supposed to be performed fast, so that means training slowly will get you nowhere.
It is recommended that you heavily integrate plyometrics into your daily workouts. All of the athletes that need to increase their vertical do plyometrics, so why wouldn’t you? You will never be able to reach your full jumping potential without doing plyometrics training exercises. Plyometrics and other types of exercises combined into the same workout can be an incredible combination and it is highly recommended that you use that combination.
The e-book Jump Manual is a great reference to find more plyometric training exercises that you can perform.
The author has helped basketball players increase their vertical by over 15 inches and trains professional and Olympic basketball players.
If you really want to increase your vertical leap then you need to do plyometric exercises and the best way to find the right ones to do is to read the Jump Manual.