One of the biggest mistakes made by any athlete is only training one body part.
They believe that only one body part is used to perform a certain athletic ability.
They train and train that body part and never understand why they do not make any progress.
For example, someone who wants to improve vertical jump ability may believe that the movement requires the body to descend into a ¼ squat position.
Therefore, they may believe they only have to perform squats while training. Furthermore, they may believe they do not have to do fully loaded squats with a full range of motion that goes past the required parallel.
The mistake becomes bigger from that point on. They train exclusively using a ¼ squat. However, they pile on a lot more weight than they would if they performed a full, deep squat because a ¼ squat can naturally handle more weight.
This is the biggest pitfall of any athlete while training. If you are using this train of thought you are never going to achieve the full potential height of your vertical jump capability.
The explosive vertical jump requires a body full of strength, not just legs. To get that strength, you need strength training.
The purpose of strength training is to improve the overall strength of all muscles involved in the motion. However, you would be surprised just how many muscles are involved with the movement.
You would also be surprised how training the whole body will make the muscles you need stronger and quicker.
In the example above, a full deep squat is a better way to strengthen all of the muscles involved in the vertical jump even though you may be able to handle more weight doing a ¼ squat.
The full squat activates all of the muscles in your legs, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. This builds strength. However, it also keeps the lower portion of your body developmentally balanced.
It also prevents knee injuries and muscle strains throughout your exercises to jump higher.
Simply doing a ¼ squat will not strengthen the muscles of your posterior chain, which are essential to giving your full leg and lower back the support and strength to explode.
It also puts an unusually high amount of strain on the knee tendons and joints. Essentially, you do not end us as strong or as injury-resistant as you would if you trained for a full squat.
There are times when a ¼ squat is useful to help increase a vertical jump. This happens only after you have established a base of strength and you are refining your development.
At that point, short periods of ¼ squats will be useful for strength advancement. This will help you push your jump another inch or so, but only after you have become strong and increased the jump by several inches.
This is only one example of how training your total body is more effective than training your specific muscle groups. The same goes for every part of your body.
Just you’re your lower body, training your total upper body will be far more effective than just getting your biceps and abs.
Do not skip any body part. If your training program spends time focused on body parts you do not feel are pertinent to the vertical jump, do not skip ahead or take them for granted.
Furthermore, if you find a vertical jump technique or training program that does not include full body training, it is not a quality program. If you find a total-body training program, you will have total body success.