Use this guide to help you design your very own plyometric workout routine designed to increase vertical jump. Use all of this advice, but remember that you can change the routine around as much as you need to fit your specific needs.
Remember, that you can do more than just one routine per workout and these routines are supposed to be combined with other routines to fit your needs.
Plyometric exercises are designed to connect force and explosive power. In other words, increasing the ability of your muscles to become stronger and move faster. Plyometrics are simple exercises that almost never require extra equipment. Athletes around the world use them because of their simple yet extremely effective methods to increase vertical jump.
Having routines for your workout is what makes the workout unique for you. There are a few major types of routines you can perform. Determine what type of routine you want to do, and do exercises in that type of routine. Here is a list of the major routines, their purposes, and their exercises:
1) Low Intensity Plyometrics - These exercises are less intense than other plyometric training drills and are usually performed as warm-ups. They are great exercises to start off with as a beginner, but should still be done by anyone regardless of experience. You should not become very fatigued after this exercise routine because it is supposed to be harder than a normal warm-up, but it still is not supposed to be very intense. An example of a low intensity plyometric exercise is the box drill (also known as “4 star drill) where you jump around in a square shape. Here are some other low intensity exercises:
- Ankle Bounce
- Slalom Jumps
- Box or “4-star” drill
2) General Jump Plyometrics - These exercises are moderate intensity and consist of average exercises without many major changes. The exercises classified in this routine are usually supposed to be performed with a high amount of repetitions. Everyone should do these exercises, but they should be the hardest routine that a beginner performs. Once you have become experienced at these plyometric routines first, then you can move on. An example of a general jump plyometric exercise is squat jumps where you squat down and jump as high as you can. It is a generic exercise that can be mixed up into many different forms. Here are some other general jump exercises:
- Squat Jumps
- Paused Squat Jumps
- Consecutive Broad Jumps
- Leapfrog Jumps
3) Power Development Plyometrics - These workouts usually involve using a lot of power when going from a paused or stopped position into movement. Power development plyometric exercises are designed to use as much power as possible and transfer into motion as quickly as possible. These drills are usually very intense and you should be fatigued afterwards. Only people that are experienced at plyometrics should start this routine or any routine below. An example is the standing broad jump where you go from a crouched position to exploding forwards. Here are some other power development exercises:
- Standing Broad Jump
- On-box jump
- Box Squat Jump
4) Full Extension Plyometrics - These exercises usually include full range movement with your muscles extending as far as they can. Full range strength is important for athletes. These exercises are great for improving acceleration and agility as well as improving your vertical leap because they usually strengthen your hips and hamstrings. An example of full extension exercises is rhythmic squat jump because it requires you to extend your body to its full range. Here are some other full extension exercises:
- Rhythmic jump squat
- Low squat ankle jump
- any other exercise where you fully extend your muscles
5) Short Range Plyometrics - These exercises are the opposite of full extension except that you are supposed to perform both with full intensity. These exercises involve as little ground contact as possible. Short-range exercises focus mainly on speed and less muscle extension. A great example of short-range exercises is sprinting because it requires speed and less contact with the ground. Here are some other short range exercises:
- Power skipping
- 3 steps + jump as high as possible
To design your own plyometric workouts you need to decide what aspect of your vertical that you want to improve. For example, you can jump really high but you are a slow jumper and take too long to get that high. This should be your workout routine:
- Low intensity plyometrics workout to warm up
- Short Range plyometrics to improve jumping speed
- Low intensity plyometrics workouts or general jump plyometrics to cool down
If you are quick to jump up, but cannot jump very high, then this should be your workout routine:
- Low intensity plyometrics to warm up
- Power Development Plyometrics to improve jump height
- Low intensity plyometrics or general jump plyometrics to cool down
Maybe you are average at both jumping speed and height. Then follow this workout:
- Low intensity to warm up
- General jump to work everything
- Full extension to improve jumping ability and also agility
- Low intensity to cool down
You can do more than the suggested routines in a workout, or you could do less. It depends on you. If you have just done the three from an example and still are not tired, then add another one. Or if you are too tired after the second exercise, then you can stop there. It all depends on how you feel after each exercise. Always work your hardest though, or else you will never be able to increase vertical jump.
Make sure that you do not do the same combination of routines every day because then you will become weak in other areas. You can do a certain combination more frequently than others because that is where you need work, but you still need to mix things up a little bit.
Also, plyometric workouts fatigue the nervous system quite a bit. The nervous system usually takes five times longer to recover than your muscles. So, make sure to never use plyometrics as endurance training.
The e-book Jump Manual is the place to find more plyometric exercises that you can fit into your routine.
The author is a trainer of countless professional basketball players and has helped increase their vertical by huge amounts. He has trained professional and Olympic basketball players.
If you really want to increase your vertical then you need to read the Jump Manual.