In sports single leg vertical jumping is a very useful thing. I know many basketball players that have a great two foot jump but when it comes to jumping off one foot really struggle. Now it should be self evident how important an explosive single leg jump is for game situations.
Take LeBron James an example. The majority of his dunks are off one foot while driving towards the basket. He does this for the obvious reason that when you are running it is faster to take of one foot rather than square up and jump off two feet.
Of course in other situations such as rebounding and boxing out, or even going up for a jump shot, a two foot take off is going to be the better, more efficient choice. But two feet jumping is another article for another day. Today I am discussing the single leg jump and how to get good at that.
There are a number of things you need to focus on in order to get a great single leg jump.
Mobility and Flexibility: If you have really tight hip flexors then it is going to be hard for you to jump period but it will be even harder to jump of one leg. If you cannot get into optimal positions for jumping then you will to get the most out of your jump. The hip flexors actually pull you down when you jump, if they are too tight. Foam roll and stretch your hip flexors as much as possible.
Single Leg Strength Training. Many players have hip instability problems and a weak posterior chain (backside), so their knee may buckle inwards (valgus), which means they have an energy leak that will prevent them from jumping high, not to mention a higher risk of a knee injury. Does it sound like you? Single leg training develops single leg strength, stability, proprioception and better force production off one leg.
Single Leg Jumping. Of course the most obvious way to do your single leg jump training is to include some single leg jumps. Bounding, skipping, the 123 drill are all great exercises to increase your single leg jump. If your vertical jump program doesn't include some of these drills it is time do put them in.
Strength, mobility, and single leg jumping exercises are the primary means for developing single leg power, but if you want some super quick gains you should have a read through Game Changers.
There are some methods described in that book that can add 4-6 inches onto your single leg jump in as little as 4 weeks. These methods aren't really talked about anywhere else as many of these super effective techniques I had reserved for my in person coaching clients.
If you want to get your running jump up quickly and start dunking like LeBron than by far the best way is to combine strength, mobility, and single leg jumping drills with some of the SUPER single leg jumping methods from Game Changers.
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