If you’re looking to increase your jumping power, you may want to include these exercises in your training regimen:
1. Box jumps – use a stable box or step for this exercise. You can jump forward or backwards on or off the box. This is a Plyometric exercise, so you should be able to perform the transitions (from the ground to the box, and vice versa) as quick as you can whilst maintaining safety. Start by using at least a 12-inch box for 6 repetitions of 4 sets, then increasing the height of the box as you improve. Land with bent knees to absorb the shock of the jump.
2. Tuck jumps – this body weight exercise also has a plyometric component as long as you do the repetitions fast. Begin at a standing position then jump as high as you can whilst pulling your knees to your chest. Try 4 continuous repetitions with quick transitions between the jumps.
3. Lunge to jump – start from a long forward lunge position with your knees bent, then jump up as high as you can and land in the same stance.
4. Split squats – this is a more challenging exercise than the lunge to jump. Begin and execute in the same way but switch your legs (if you start with your right foot forward and left foot at the back, land with your left foot forward and your right foot at the back) as you land on your stance with slightly bent knees.
5. Back extensions – You use your big spinal muscles, the erector spinae, to ‘pull’ your trunk up as you extend your body when you jump. You can do back extensions lying on the mat, or on a machine.
6. Flexibility – I have encountered a lot of basketball players who desire to jump high, but neglect this very important aspect! Tight muscles will keep you from stretching your body up in the air adding height to your jump. Stretch your hip flexors, low back, and shoulders to maximize your jumps.
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