How to Increase Your Vertical Jump For Football – Power Tips
If you’re a football player, few training questions get as much attention as how to increase your vertical jump. It’s is a key measure of explosiveness. That’s why it’s one of the metrics used by the NFL at their annual combine to evaluate potential NFL football players. Increasing your vertical jump pays huge dividends on the football field as well. It’s true even if you’re not a wide receiver, linebacker, or DB. Here are some power tips that can add inches to your precious vert, so you’ll make more plays next season.
Overlooked Vertical Jump Benefits For Football Players
One thing to remember about vertical; boosting it doesn’t only allow you to get up to grab passes as both an offensive player and defender. It also allows linebackers and D linemen to elevate and increase their chances of tipping passes at the line of scrimmage. It doesn’t stop there, either.
Because increasing your vertical jump requires not just improving technique, but increasing explosive power, any performance related to that will improve too. This includes your first few steps sprinting, and firing off the line of scrimmage as a lineman.
Tips to Increase Your Vertical Jump
Vertical Jump Tip 1: Speedy Descent Equals Higher Ascent
When preparing for your jump, you’ll descend in preparation to recoil and explode up. The descent is an often overlooked phase of the vertical jump that can pay big dividends with just a little attention. Make sure you move your arms downward on the contraction phase, letting them help pull you down more rapidly. If you descend faster, you’ll rebound faster, meaning you’ll also jump higher. Try it!
Vertical Jump Tip 2: Stretch Hip Flexors Before Jumping
Although static stretching before explosive movements can hurt performance, the opposite is true regarding your hip flexors and vertical jump testing. Stretching lengthens them and impedes their ability to resist your jump. The result? More vertical!
Vertical Jump Tip 3: Strengthen Your “Posterior Chain”
The hamstrings, glutes, and erector spinae muscles comprise the so-called posterior chain. Adding strength here is demonstrated to increase an athlete’s vertical jump. Significantly boosting hamstring and glute strength means deep squatting; no more of those wimpy parallel or quarter squats!
Vertical Jump Tip 4: Include Both Unilateral and Bilateral Plyometrics When Training for Vertical
In a 2011 university study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, results showed that power and jumping ability was increased most effectively by using both unilateral (single sided exercises) and bilateral (both legs working together) plyometric exercises. Researchers recommend combining both, since unilaterals produce faster results, and bilaterals delivered longer lasting ones.
Vertical Jump Tip 5: Train Shoulder Abductor Muscles
Train shoulders to jump higher? Yeah, sure, you betcha! Arm swing is an integral part of maximizing vertical. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Biomechanics found that proper arm swing could increase vertical jump by up to 28%. Shoulder abductor exercises let you more powerfully rotate the shoulders and more drive in the shoulder swing. Result, more sky high!
These exercises include front dumbbell raises and bent arm overhead lateral raises.
Simple Vertical Jump Boosting Exercises
Here are 3 exercises proven to boost lower body power and vertical jump.
Jump up from a 8-12” high box. Land with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart on the ground in front of you. After landing, let the force of your body compress your legs until your thighs are past horizontal. Immediately explode up and jump as high as possible. Do 8 of these, then rest for 90 seconds – 2 minutes. Do three sets.
This is fantastic for increasing strength, and addressing strength imbalances, because you use one leg at a time. According to recent research, leg-leg strength imbalances are a key injury cause. As with all explosive movements, use and down slow/ up fast protocol to maximize explosive development.
For years trainers taught parallel squats, but more recently deep squats have begun to take over. They’ve been shown more effective in many cases, especially for driving strength in the glutes and hamstrings needed to increase an athlete’s vertical jump. In addition to their vertical jump increasing properties, they have major advantages for football players in all positions, from lineman to DBs.
Just remember this key trainer saying “Ass to grass” if you’re ever at a loss as to how far to go down.
Mix Up Your Squats, Too
Recent research has shown that deep squats are most effective for the first 24-36 months after an athlete has begun lifting. After that, it’s best to add in some partial squats. Why? They let you use more weight, and train the higher portion of the motion range, where most jumping motion typically happens. Good stuff!
The vertical jump is a key measure of athleticism, and translates to overall athletic performance potential. Increasing it also boosts an athlete’s ability to make plays on the football field. Not only will more vertical help with catches, PKDs, and INTs, the increased athletic performance gained through vertical jump training will make you a better overall football player.
The Next Vertical Level
The Jump Manual is a complete vertical jump program that’s been proven to add up to 10” of vertical to your jump in 12 weeks or less. It’s been used by over 70,000 athletes with rave results, and seen in publications such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and Men’s Health.
Click here now to see a video on how it helps you jump higher.