Core training has received a lot of fanfare in recent years with much coverage given to its benefits on athletic performance. There is little doubt that a powerfully developed core is a key element in maximizing your athletic potential. Being a site dedicated to the improvement of the vertical jump we had to explore how to best apply core work to your jump training program.
Despite the overwhelming view of the researchers, coaches, and elite athletes, there some people that consider core training to be nothing more than glorified abdominal training. This is a pretty simplistic view, and in the case of vertical jumping, flat out wrong. Whilst core training does indeed incorporate abdominal work, for the purpose of jump training it also focuses quite heavily on the muscles in your lower back (and posterior chain).
Another important distinction is that traditional abdominal training tends to focus on isolation and crunch type exercises in order to bring out definition and size of the muscles. Core training for vertical jump enhancement (and basically all sports based performance) is more functional in nature and includes not only much greater ranges of movement, but also exercises that have your core working in cohesion with the rest of the body to improve power and efficiency.
As we know, the act of jumping is a full body movement. The generation of power starts off in the lower body as you descend down into the jump by lowering your arms and bending your knees. Then as you ascend, the power is transferred back up from your legs, through your body, and into your arms to provide maximum upward momentum and lift.
In both the descent and ascent it is your core that is responsible for the efficient transfer of power between the upper and lower regions of your body. If your core is unable to effectively handle this energy transfer, i.e. it is too weak, you will be losing valuable power and momentum on your jump resulting in lower heights being reached.
A good vertical jump program such as those created in our jump coaching program should include a number of full body exercises such as deadlifts and squats that to a certain extent already train your core muscles. This doesn't mean that your vertical won't benefit from some supplemental targeted core work though.
There is an excellent section on core training in our Free 85+ page vertical jump training guide that explains how to set up a simple yet effective core training workout.
Some of the best exercises for developing explosive core strength that you can include in your program are medicine ball throws. These type of exercises not only allow you to train along a similar plane of movement as a jump, but they also have a minimal deceleration phase at the end meaning they can be performed in a highly explosive manner.
Some other very good exercises that can be directly related to
core power for vertical jumping include woodcutters, hanging leg raises,
and weighted crunches.
You can also make nearly all of them more effective through the use of
cables, weight vests, or resistance bands.
Your core training should preferably be performed at the end of your other main workouts, or in a separate session altogether. The reason for this is that your midsection plays such an important role in maintaining your stability. Fatiguing it before a heavy weights workout for example will decrease your functional performance and increase the chances of injury. You don't want your core giving out whilst trying to lift heavy!
Your core training doesn't need to be exceptionally long either. As mentioned jumping is already a full body exercise and a good program already has exercises that use these muscles extensively. Accordingly 10-15 minutes at the end of a session, 2-3 times a week is plenty of stimulation. Keep your reps low in number but explosive in manner.
The benefits from taking some time to include targeted core work are many and profound. The ability to generate and transfer your power up and down your body is a vital element in attaining vertical excellence. Failure to develop these muscles can cause massive inefficiencies in your movements. If you want to jump high, unleash some explosive core training.
If you are unsure about how to incorporate core training into your jump training program, or indeed, about what you should be working on to develop your vertical jump than you really should check out our jump coaching program.
We write custom training programs for you and include unlimited assistance with any questions or queries you have. Every athletes situation is unique and if you are a coaching program athlete we will be able to tailor your workouts to whatever your situation calls for. No other jump program can make that claim.
At just $10 it is affordable enough for just about anyone to get the athletic benefits of having a coach work with them to develop their talent.
Check it out our amazing jump coaching program today.
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Weight Training Introduction - To maximize your vertical jump you will need to lift weights. Here is the introduction to our 3 part article on weight training and vertical jump development.