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Height is all what matters for basketball players. Where height and wingspan can never be neglected, basketball players need to work on increasing the vertical jumps. An increased jump greatly affects their performance. This is something important and can only be achieved through exercises on a daily basis.
Training can only increase the strength but not give birth to strength in you. You need to have that ability in order to enhance it. People have a misconception that vertical jumps are same as jumping in a basketball court. In reality, these are two different things.
A vertical jump or leap is simply an ability which is identifiable in majority of the people. Anyone in a standing position can jump straight up. There is no direction involved. This is an ability that is present in most of the people.
Jumping in basketball is an advanced version of vertical leaps. The player jumps vertically in a certain direction with some force. This is not ability but ability is trained and enhanced.
This basic difference should be known before moving to any exercise.
The question is – How to jump higher in basketball? We shall find that out in this helpful post.
One footed jump or two footed jump; which one is better?
Once you know the difference between vertical jump and basketball jumping, you can train yourself for one footed jumps and two footed jumps. But the question is which of the two is better? The answer is both of them are important for a basketball player. If you have analyzed yourself in different parameters like weight, age, techniques etc. you can decide if you need training for both or just one.
Two footed jumps are witnessed in players defending the basket whereas the one footed jump is a technique used by players rushing towards the basket. One way or the other, you need to be good at both the jumps.
Know your vertical jump first:
You need to know how high you can jump in basketball. Knowing where you stand right now will help you work at a better and faster pace. To measure the jump, you can follow these simple steps:
- First, call a friend to assist you.
- Now choose a room that has a high roof so that you do not touch it while jumping.
- Mark a point from your head by standing still.
- Now jump and you friend will mark the point you reach on the wall.
- Take at least three measurements to get a clearer picture.
- Now you can calculate the length of your jump on average.
Once you know how high you can jump, it will be easier for you to target a maximum. Working out for it will be more encouraging than you can think.
Which body parts help in higher jumps?
Your entire body is never a part of jumping. To be precise, your lower body is responsible for the jumps but how do the parts contribute is a big question. Here is a brief discussion about the lower body parts. Once you know the function, you can decide strengthening exercises on your own as well.
Lower back and the core
The stability required while jumping and afterwards, is maintained by the core along with lower back. You might not find it important but it definitely is. Every trainer is seen talking about it. if the core and lower back are strong, you can jump higher and weight of the body would not matter. Some athletes fail to jump higher because their lower back and core is not strong enough to tolerate the weight of the thighs.
Hamstrings and glutes
These muscles are responsible for bearing pressure while knees work. Some athletes either do not pay attention to train them or they are habitual of sitting idle. These antagonist muscles become tight thus the jump is never high enough. A higher jump is possible if these muscles are trained at the best.
Thigh and calf muscles are connected by the knees. Therefore, the knees need a lot of strength too. The knees should be strong enough to bear the weight and pressure from both muscles. Stronger knees will support the calves and thighs to jump higher.
It sounds surprising but you need to strengthen one leg for higher vertical jumps in basketball. Training both legs is quiet common but the fact is you land on one foot after jumping. Working on one leg improves the strength and coordination. Both these are major contributors to higher vertical jumps.
Exercises for better jumps in basketball
Now that you are fully aware of the body parts to be trained, you should also know the exercises for them. Jumping higher in basketball needs strength. Gaining that strength needs some specific exercises and those can be.
The set of exercises in plyometric includes jumping, hops, and bounding movements. Jumping off the box and back onto it will help in the increasing the jump too.
Depending on the type of squat you choose, it will increase the strength as well as power. Your entire lower body is in action therefore strength is obvious to gain.
The movement in this exercise strengthens the core and your legs. If you have some weight and sufficient space to walk, you are good to go.
Single leg squats
This exercise does not need any equipment and can be performed anywhere. You get stronger hamstrings, glutes, and calves with this exercise.
Some simple tips
Here are some simple tips to keep in mind while working on your jumps:
- Be consistent with the exercises.
- Do not stress yourself out.
- Beginners should have a professional to guide.
- A healthy diet will be a plus.
- Keep practicing because “practice makes a man perfect.”
- A little pain is okay but consult a doctor if you cannot bear it.
The final verdict
There is a slight difference between vertical jumps and jumping in basketball. Once you know the difference, you can easily make you jumps better. Make sure you perform the exercises well and consistently. It takes time but the results will be amazing.