Being committed to a vertical training program is only half of the story. If you find yourself working hard but noticing minimal to no results, you may be making some of the following mistakes. Unfortunately, many of the mistakes listed are very common among athletes who are trying to improve their vertical leap, so make sure to keep them in mind throughout your training.
Mistake #1: Not training all Muscles
There is no one muscle that makes you leap higher. The act of jumping requires your hamstrings, calves, glute, quads, abs, and back muscles all to work in cooperation.
If you are focusing on some of these muscle groups and neglecting others, your vertical leaping ability may not improve as much as you’d hoped for.
Mistake #2: Over Concentration on Building Strength
Numerous athletes do long weight training sessions,and then seem to think that doing extra work on this will assist them even further. No it won’t.
Your workout time is valuable, so make sure you are keeping your primary objective in mind. If you are looking to improve your vertical leap, focus on the exercises that will help you achieve this. These exercises are different than the exercises you would do if you were looking to improve your leg-press, for example. In the act of leaping, explosiveness is just as important as lower-body strength. This means you have to Overtrain only if you don’t want to gain!
Mistake #3: Going overboard with plyometrics
Plyometrics describes a subset of exercises that are specifically focused on adding force to your vertical leap. These types of exercises include depth jumps, lateral jumps, tuck jumps and more.
If you search for “Plyometrics” on the internet, you will usually find a website offering a secret training program that will yield crazy results in 4 weeks.
This isn’t to say that plyometrics isn’t beneficial in a vertical leaping program. However, as with Mistake #2, too much of a focus on these types of exercises can stress certain tendons and joints. Make sure you use these exercises in moderation within a well-rounded training routine.
Mistake #4: Literally killing your Muscles with too Many Reps
This can be the reason you get lower every time you measure your vertical jump! If you’re looking to build your endurance, go ahead and perform a larger number of reps. It’s a great way to do that. However, if you want to improve your leaping ability, completing too many reps can actually be detrimental.
As stated before, leaping is more about speed and explosiveness. Wearing out your muscles with hundred reps of depth-jump, will not help your vertical performance, and with mega reps sessions what you actually will see, is gettign lower.
Mistake #5: Not Getting Enough Rest
Enough rest is as important as training and is neglected in epidemic proportion with athletes. Don’t forget that all your gains actually happens when you are asleep. When you do an intense workout you actually tear down your muscles and without enough rest, you don’t give your body the time it needs to to recover.
Still not convinced? Here a recent paper that reviewed effects of sleep loss on exercise performance.
Wearing out your body without getting enough rest, can cancel out all the good that you are doing by exercising regularly.
With the lifestyles that people lead today, it’s often hard to get a full night’s sleep. If you’re able to get more sleep or even take a nap, the effects of your training will have a greater impact. So, leave your Snapchat alone and grab some zzz’s. Your body and jump training will thank you.
Mistake #6: Not Sticking with the Program long enough
If you’re constantly chasing “the next big thing”, you aren’t giving your training program enough time to show results. It’s one thing to vary the exercises in your workout, but it’s another thing to give up on one program altogether in favor or another that promises you will double your vertical in thirty days.
Before you start training, do your research and come up with a program that will help you reach your goals. Then commit to the program and stick with it. If you work hard, you will definitely start to notice results.
Mistake #7: Ignoring Your Core
So you have done the a lot of research and think that jumping is just about the legs. Right? Wrong!
We’ve already talked about all of the muscles that you use when you are jumping. weak abdominal muscles mean they can’t stabilize your body and provide a complete protection for your vertebra when you jump, which limit your lower body’s ability to use all the power it has to jump higher.
The legs are important, but having a strong core will help you maintain balance and also increase your explosiveness and, more importantly, save you from injuries during you jump training.
Some awesome exercises to put an end to your core weakness: