Have you been playing basketball for a long time and never managed to dunk like your favorite NBA stars? While it’s not exactly possible to become Kobe Bryant overnight, it’s definitely realistic to say that most people can add at least a few inches to their verticals by doing a few simple exercises. It all comes down to a combination of flexibility, technique, power and strength. Read on to find out exactly how to jump higher.
Measure your vertical
It’s amazing how many people don’t know how to accurately measure their vertical. What you need to do is stand against a wall and raise your hand to the highest point you can reach. Ask a friend or family member to mark this point to make sure everything is done accurately. Without starting to run, jump as high as you can and mark this point. You can use some chalk or just ask a friend to trace for you. Do it 3 or 4 times and get an average. Keep measuring your vertical every two weeks to keep track of how you’re doing.
Improve your flexibility
It’s boring and a bit painful, but it’s absolutely key if you want to get anywhere with your vertical jump. You’re not going to jump higher if you don’t have a good range of motion in your joints and muscles, that’s the bottom line. Focus on improving the flexibility of your Achilles tendon, calves, and hamstrings.
Power: It’s all about squats!
Every professional basketball player has strong and powerful legs. You’re going to have to work on that if you want to get close to the rim. Fortunately, squat exercises are some of the most effective routines that will undoubtedly give you an energy boost in just a couple of weeks. You can do bodyweight squats or you can take it to the next level by using weights as well. Make sure to start slowly if you don’t have a lot of experience. Add weights gradually to avoid injury.
Visualize the jump!
It may sound like new-age gibberish, but it really helps to visualize attacking the rim. Lebron James has constantly talked about how he gets into the frame of mind to perform on the court by thinking about what he’s doing before he does it. Visualize your run down the court, taking your first step off the ground and hitting the ball down while achieving the hang time we’re all looking for. Give it a try and you’ll notice the difference the next time you play a casual game!
Jump rope: simple but effective
Jumping rope isn’t just for Rocky Balboa and boxing. It’s a simple exercise that can be done just about anywhere. You don’t need an expensive gym membership to improve your leg muscles or stamina. Try doing it for about 15 minutes a day and you should see an improvement in your vertical, as long as you combine it with the calf and quad exercises.
Using the correct technique?
There are many experienced players who are simply not using the correct jumping technique. It’s baffling how many inches the wrong jumping style can reduce your vertical. It can make the difference between being able to touch the rim and throwing a nasty dunk on the NBA reel. Do not neglect your technique as it is more than a small detail; your vertical can only be maximized if you are jumping correctly.