How to increase your vertical!

Introduction

I don’t think it needs to be said, but I’ll say it anyway. Increasing your overall vertical output has so many benefits I can’t even begin to explain to you. The ability achieve a higher jump can help out with mastering your flips, increase the performance of your vaults, and strengthen your legs to take the impact we face in training. Basically, freerunning involves a lot of leaping so naturally, being able to jump further and higher is a key component to making your overall freerunning experience easier.

Why can’t can’t I jump higher?!

Basically to increase your jump will require a couple of key elements. First you must know what makes up your vertical requires a huge amount of strength generated over a short amount of time. This creates power.

POWER = STRENGTH X SPEED

This tells us two thing right away. You either need to be stronger or increase the speed in which you generate that power. Sometimes it may be a combination of both however in freerunning we do a lot of jumping and naturally gain the speed required to jump higher sufficiently. I would first start with strength and the most efficient way to increase your overall strength is through both squats and dead-lifts. Those two exercises are documented everywhere you search on the internet for jump programs and workouts. Although there’s is a lot more that will work as well there is nothing better than getting under the barbell and lifting. I can personally say it has helped me tremendously and I’m a huge advocate to lifting weights in order to  increase athletic performance. I encourage you to YouTube videos on increasing power specifically from some of my favorites: Overtime Fitness, Omarlsuf, and Candito Training HQ.

Strength

Strength, in short is the basic foundation. In many cases, it should be the first thing you should increase to jump higher. Think about it, if a person can squat 100 pound for their max and another person can squat a solid 300 pounds who do you think has a greater vertical? The 300 squat guy can generate more power than the other so ideally it’ll be him. Now given there are few cases where a person that can’t squat much has an insane vert, but that’s usually attributed to how quickly they can fire off those muscles and their body mass tend to be pretty small. However for the rest of us… It’s time to hit the weights.

Here are a list of some exercises that’ll aid you in gaining strength needed to jump higher.

  • Back Squat
  • Split Squat
  • Deadlifts
  • Good Mornings
  • 1/2 Deadlifts
  • Glute Ham Raise

Now there are plenty more you can do, but from personal experience I can vouch for these exercises. I’d highly suggest researching deeper into this if you wish I’d also check out Prilepin’s Table for the basic programming of getting stronger.

Speed

Once you’ve accumulated more strength in your legs in order to jump higher you’ll need to access that strenght in the shortest time possible. This is how you create more power and again, more power = higher vertical. There are very few instances where you’ll actually need to train speed to increase you jump as Parkour and Freerunning in itself pushes your speed in leaping constantly. However there are a select few that can squat huge amounts of weight but can seem to translate that well into jumping. This is due to inactivity of type 2 muscle twitch fibers which is directly attributed to gaining more speed and thus more power. Now I’ll list a couple of exercises that will help push your muscles in the right direction to gain speed. Although you should research on your own to find more exercises that may help you better.

  • Box Jumps
  • Standing Broad Jumps
  • Jump Squats
  • Lunge Jumping
  • Depth Jumps
  • Cleans/Snatch variations

Of course this list can go on for a while but I hope you utilize this knowledge as a first step in increasing your jumping power. Again this isn’t the only way to increase your vert, but it’s something to think about and maybe apply into your conditioning.

 

I’m currently working on a program that’ll aim to target what I stated above. Look out for that 🙂

Train hard, be safe. -D’Ondrai Jones