How to Jump Higher! Vertical Leap Secrets from the World’s Best Strength Coaches: Part 5

First of all make sure to check out parts 1 – 4

Here’s what was covered in these parts:

Part 1: Kettlebell exercises to jump higher
Part 2: Band training secrets to improve your vertical leap
Part 3: What to do the 22-23 hours outside of the gym to maximize your vertical jump
Part 4: What does speed have to do with jumping higher?

So what else can I possibly cover on vertical jump training? Well when you consider that I learned from over 13 of the world’s strength coaches there is certainly a lot more.
And when I say world class that is exactly what I mean. Here’s a quick review of who these vertical jump experts have trained.

San Francisco 49er, San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Liberty, Los Angeles Sparks, Washington Mystics, Women’s National Soccer team, St. John’s University, St. Anthony’s HS Basketball team and much more. The list is actually to big to list!

So it is safe to say that there is a lot more.

Now, what if I told you that there is a gentleman that helps people improve their vertical in only 20 minutes? Well this is exactly what Gray Cook learned when doing university research on jump training.

When researching who I would like to learn from on vertical jump performance I was lucky enough to meet and learn from world renowned physical therapist Gray Cook at a Perform Better Seminar. And being the nerd and nice guy that I am I asked him if he would be willing to do an interview with me on vertical jump training. I really wanted to get information from Gray on his functional movement screen FMS. And like I said earlier the great thing in speaking with Gray is that he actually did his university research on vertical jump training. Gray is a big proponent of perfecting your technique in order to maximize your vertical jump. Gray used light resistance bands to make sure his subjects jumped properly. If you jumped with bad form the bands would magnify this so you had to jump correctly. What did this do? This group improved their vertical and reaction times in only 20 minutes!

And even better is the correct neural programming this sets up so you go out and practice on top of this new programming.

Connecticut based strength coach Jimmy Smith was referred to me by radio talk show host and sports nutritionist Dave Depew. He had some great things to say but he came up with a good one most people forget. Work on those weaknesses! If it’s so simple why aren’t many coaches not doing this and sticking with cookie cutter crap. I see this way too much. We must not get married to any exercise or program. The athletes that can back squat should back squat. But the ones that can’t should do an alternative. Remember this, there is always an alternative. Even world famous Strength coach Mike Boyle speaks of being in love with the squat and not wanted to scrap it with players that complained of knee pain from squatting. Stay single and play the field when it comes to exercise selection. You’ll be glad you did.

Another great point Jimmy made was the importance of staying away from plyometric exercises when in season. In season basketball athletes already jump way too much. Why should u ask them for 20-40 more jumps during plyo work? Get then in the weight room to keep their strength up which can decline during the season. Then in the off-season work on power development. Of course there is flip side to that for weekend warriors like myself. I don’t practice everyday and play pick-up games 3-5 times a month. In this case it makes sense to use plyo work to prepare your body for the demands of basketball.

Mike Robertson chipped in on another over looked component of vertical training or any training for that matter. And that my friend is mobility training. As Mike pointed out: If you Google vertical jump training you’ll get thousands of hits focusing on strength and plyometric training. But mobility is a critical factor many don’t touch on and that is a big mistake. And don’t make the mistake of thinking mobility is the same of flexibility. Mobility is the ability to use your flexibility while you move. If you can’t reach certain positions in makes it a lot harder to maximize your performance. Mobility training will help you to achieve this and even better yet is that you can do it as a warm-up and with minimal time.