Jumping is a skill that is required in games like basketball, netball, and volleyball. For some athletes, this skill is a gift from nature but others have to practice this skill. To be able to jump high it is very necessary to train regularly. Many people ask this question if stretching helps you to increase your jump.
To increase your jump, there are 4 basic components that you need to have such as power, strength, flexibility, and mobility. Stretching does help you to jump higher as it improves flexibility in your body. You may have noticed that athletes who participate in basketball, volleyball or netball have flexible bodies. This is one of the major reasons why they jump high.
Flexibility helps to increase your jump but all other components should not be neglected as they play an equal role in making you jump high. If any of the components are missing from your training, you will not be able to increase your jump. If you do not work on building your strength, you will not able to lift your body during the jump.
Let us not be problem-focused, because life is all about being solution-focused. What are some good stretching to jump higher? Before that, let us understand the benefits of stretching. Keep reading!
Benefits of stretching
Stretching does not only help you to jump but gives multiple other benefits as well. There are many health benefits associated with stretching. Some of these benefits are:
Improves range of motion
Stretching enables your muscles to coordinate with each other easily. It also improves mobility among your joints.
Reduce the chances of injury
Stretching helps you to prevent injury due to improved coordination among muscles.
Helps to release your tension
Stretching releases tension from your muscles and helps to loosen them up after an intense workout. It reduces stiffness from your muscles which help to avoid pain and aches.
Stretching helps your body to be in shape and body balance is maintained as well.
Circulation of blood
Blood supplies oxygen to the muscles and after an intensive workout, muscles are in desperate need of oxygen. By stretching you can improve the circulation of blood in your body. It helps your muscles to relax.
Types of stretching
Stretching not only improve flexibility in your body but also helps your muscles to coordinate with each other. Stretching also enables your muscles to have an increased range of motion which helps to prevent injury. There are mainly two types of stretching which are performed before and after the workout respectively.
Static stretching is usually performed after the workout to relax your muscles. It helps your muscles to lose tightness among them after a heavy workout. Static stretching also improves your muscles’ recovery time which will serve as a cure to pain and soreness. One of the common stretching exercises which are recommended after a workout is glute stretch, quad stretch, and groin stretch.
Dynamic stretching is usually performed before a workout to warm up your muscles. According to various studies, it is found that athletes who performed dynamic stretching jump higher as compared to the one who perform static stretching. There are various exercises that you should perform before the workout such as leg swings, squats, lunges. These workouts are not bodyweight exercises and do not require weights, cables, or ropes.
Exercises for stretching
Before performing stretching exercises you need to know about the basic principles of it. Stretching targets specific muscles of your body. You should know which muscles will be targeted.
If you are focusing on stretching to increase your jump you need to perform those exercises which mainly target your lower body. This is because your lower body contributes around 80% in the jump. If your lower body lacks strength, flexibility, and power then higher jumps will become difficult to achieve.
There are various exercises that you can perform to increase the flexibility of your body. These exercises can be performed at home. Going to a gym is not mandatory. One of the main exercises which are recommended to increase your performance is seated hamstring stretch, seated cross stretch, stair calf stretch. Following are the exercises which should be performed to improve flexibility in your body:
Seated hamstring stretch
The hamstring is one of the major muscles in your leg which is prone to injury. Your hamstring should not only be strong but it should be flexible as well. Tightness in hamstring after a workout is going to cause pain and soreness. A week hamstring will not only hurt your knee and joint but it will also affect your back as well. This exercise has many varieties but this is the more effective one. It is usually performed in the sitting position where one of your legs is bent while the other one is stretched outward. You now need to extend both of your arms in the direction of the leg to stretch your hamstrings. This is the basic exercise but you can add more varieties to it to make it more effective.
Seated cross stretch
Just like hamstrings the glutes also play a major role in increasing your jump. This exercise is usually performed with the help of some support from a chair or table. You need to bend your knees and hold yourself with the help of support. Take one foot on to another leg and start sitting towards the floor. You will feel stretch in your glutes while performing the exercise.
Higher jumping skill is majorly supported by the calves. It helps to absorb pressure during the jump and helps to maintain your balance. The calf is one the biggest muscle in legs and it is usually hard to strengthen it. To perform calf stretch you first need to find a step and then place the top of your foot onto it in such a way that your ankle remains in the air. Now slightly lean your foot downwards to stretch your calf.
The Final Verdict
To increase your jump, it is extremely important to perform each exercise properly. Stretching helps to improve flexibility but you should know which muscle you need to target and then perform it accordingly. For beginners, it is very necessary to perform these exercises in the supervision of a trainer before they counter some serious injury.