vertical jump training

Weight Training: The Key to Maximizing Your Jumping Potential

Written by Jack Woodrup for

Weight training is essential if you want to maximize your vertical jump potential. Don't get us wrong, you can do body weight exercises and plyometrics and still make decent gains. However sooner or later you are going to reach a point where you will need to hit the gym in order to maximize your jumping ability.

For starters it has a number of very useful benefits that regular plyometric type jump training doesn't. These include being low to non-impact which means it is less stressful on your joints (how many people have you seen develop shin splints from doing squats?). The use of weights also allows you to overload the muscles way beyond what could be achieved through just jumping.

On top of that weight training will also help make you less injury prone, and the strength gains will carry over to other requirements of your sport besides the specific movement you are training. For example, any deadlifting you do to improve your vertical will also make you better at being able to box out, fight through screens, and post up.

As is explained in our Jump Training FAQ , a big part of improving your vertical jump is increasing your muscular power. A great way to do this is through some specifically applied weight training.

As is the case with plyometrics, there is plenty of confusing and conflicting information out there about what is actually the best way to train for muscular power. If you train right, the results can be tremendous and your vertical jump will improvedramatically. If you train wrong, you will find that all despite your hard work and effort, your performance may actually decrease.

The Power Clean
Figure 1: A heavy power clean. Possibly not the first time this guy has tried this!

To help you avoid these pitfalls we have prepared a number of articles that outline some of the more common training theories and techniques for you. There is a huge amount to cover in this section so we have broken it down into several parts.

Weight Training Part 1: The Principles of Power takes a look at what exactly muscular power is and how it applies to vertical jump training. Included in this section are details of the best types of exercises, as well as the weight training protocols such as number of sets, rest periods etc, that might be effectively used in your vertical jump program.

Weight Training Part 2: Schools of Thought explores some of the different ways and techniques in which, in the context of trying to improve your vertical jump, you can train for muscular power.

Finally, in our Exercise Library we have a whole stack of Weight Training videos to give you some good ideas for your own workout programs.

Hitting the weights with a goal of improving your muscular power will significantly boost your vertical jump. But you have to train correctly in order to develop the right athletic attributes. If you go to the gym and just start lifting weights the chances are you will end up developing the wrong things. These articles will give you a good idea of what you should be trying to do.

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