The vertical jump is perhaps the single most important attribute of any athlete. In the world of sports, from basketball, to track, and even to wrestling, this is the quintessential test of athletic ability.
No matter the sport, the vertical jump is used to measure the athlete’s ability to efficiently and explosively use strength.
This essential skill makes most athletes desperate to improve their ability. This has led to a rise in the popularity of programs and products promising to deliver amazing results.
There are many different options out there, some offering almost “miracle” results that you will never actually see.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for the average person to determine which vertical jump program is best. Before you waste months or even years on the wrong program, you must learn how to evaluate your progress.
This will help you change and adapt, or even start all over, quickly and efficiently until you find the program that is right for you.
If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Is
There is too much misinformation out there about what will deliver results and what will not. It is easy to fall for a gimmick, spending hundreds of dollars, and never seeing the results you want.
The best way to steer clear of this pitfall, always make sure you trust your instincts and use common sense.
First, do not fall for a product that claims you only have to use the product, and make no other changes, to increase vertical jump. You know this is not realistic.
If you did not have to change anything, just take a pill or try a new shoe, then everyone would have an amazing vertical leap.
Next, avoid anything that sounds unsafe. If it does not make sense to you, do not do it. The vertical jump puts a lot of strain on your joints and tendons.
If you are doing it wrong or compromising your body in any other way, you could be risking permanent damage.
Finally, do not fall for the exception and ask around. There is always going to be one person with unique genes or ability that will see some amazing results that no one else does.
This is the exception and not the rule. This is why you need to talk to a lot of real people who have used that method.
If something worked for more than 75% of the people you talk to, you may have the same results. Otherwise, try something else.
Measure Your Results
The only true test of your progress is to measure your results. You should always know what your current vertical jump ability is and how well you are progressing.
While there are a lot of different techniques to do this, the simplest is actually the best.
Stand next to a wall that you will be able to reuse for marking. Stretch your arm and hand as high as you can up the wall while staying flat footed.
Do this several times and use tape to mark the highest point on the wall you were able to touch.
Next, cover your fingertips lightly with a colored chalk. Stand in the same place as before. This time, however, jump as high as you can to touch the wall.
You should see a mark on the wall where your chalk-covered fingers touched. You should repeat the jump several times.
Once you have determined the highest reach, mark that with another piece of tape. The distance between the two marks is your current vertical jump.
Using Your Results
Chances are you have been making some changes to improve your health and fitness. By doing this, you will probably see a gain of a half or whole inch. This happened because you gained strength, not because a miracle product worked.
A quality program to get a higher vertical jump should deliver more than an extra inch. Plyometrics, the most effective training technique, can deliver results of more than four inches.
If you do not see these kinds of results with your current program, it is time to move on to something more effective.