In a recent article I talked about how you can increase your vertical jump using weighted trap bar jump squats. However not everyone has access to a trap bar. If that is you does that mean you can't get the benefits that weighted jump squats provide? Hell no! There are in fact plenty of ways you can perform weighted jump squats without a trap bar.
In this article I am going to take a quick look at benefits of jump squats and then go over the pros and cons of some of the different ways of performing them.
There are a lot of reasons to love weighted jump squats if you
want to jump
higher. Here are the more common ones
1) They produce very high power outputs
2) Unlike Olympic lifts there is a very short learning curve. If you can jump, you can pretty much do weighted jump squats
3) Unlike the Olympic lifts there is a bunch of ways to do them so you don't need much in the way of specialist equipment (Olympic lifts generally require bumper plates and a lifting platform, not that common in most people's home gyms. or even too many commercial gyms)
4) Unlike Olympic lifts, you don't need to dump the weights at the top so much so you can pretty much do them anywhere
5) Unlike Olympic lifts that closely mimic a jumping motion, weighted jump squats ARE a jumping motion
6) All of the above points are nice and dandy, but the best one is that weighted jump squats are flat out one of the best things you can do to increase your vertical jump
While I don't like to prescribe specific training parameters in my articles because everyone is different, there are a few general guidelines that you can follow when it comes to using weighted jump squats in your program.
First, keep the reps low per set. I don't like to go over 5 reps with most jumping drills because you start to lose quality and intensity. This applies even more so with weighted jumps. The extra load forces you to work a little bit harder and as such your focus and effort tends to drop off a bit quicker.
Second, don't go too heavy. This is a common mistake,
especially where weights are involved. Jumping is about
speed-strength and as you saw from my video of the trap
bar jump squat in the maximum
power training you don't need to use particularly
heavy loads. Here I have a some guidelines I like to use.
For weighted jumping drills that involve you resetting
between each rep as I did with the trap bar jump squats,
you can use up to about 15-25% of your 1RM.
For weight jumping drills that involve lower ground contact times then it is better to go with something along the lines of up to 10% of your body weight. Why the difference in using % of 1RM versus a % of body weight? It comes down to to the aim of the exercise.
Drills that emphasize lower ground contact times are about trying to develop reactive strength and as such you don't want to overload the body too much. Weighted jump squats with a reset tend to be used more for the development of concentric power and as such slightly higher loads result in higher power outputs.
Both types of weighted jump squat drills are great for increasing your vertical jump, but you need to be smart about how you program them.
Rest periods will also be slightly longer then for regular unloaded jumps. Unloaded jumps typically require only 60-120 seconds rest between sets. With weighted jump squats which are more taxing there is a need for rest periods ranging from the 90-240 second mark. Obviously the higher the load you are using the longer the breaks you should take, and also the less reps you should probably do.
For example when I do trap bar jump squats I use the heaviest load that produces maximum power, but I only do sets of 2 reps and rest for 2-3 minutes per set. By contrast if I do hurdle jumps with just body weight, the rest periods can be as low as 60 seconds without negatively effecting performance.
These guidelines should be enough to get you started but if you are still unsure you can take the guesswork out of your vertical jump training entirely by using our Vertical Jump Coaching service.
As part of the service we will create for you fully custom training plans that include exact weights to use on each exercise (where applicable), the number of reps, sets, and also the rest period to take between sets.
I love weighted jump squats as a vertical jump training method.
Because they are an actual jump they have a tremendous carry
over to from the training track to your field of athletic
endeavor. Not only that but they are easy to learn, and as this
article illustrates, there are plenty of ways you can perform
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