In the arena of modern competitive sports like basketball, rugby, volleyball, gymnastics, and football, the ability to out jump one’s opponent in the field is very crucial in determining the eventual outcome of the game. In the case of basketball and volleyball, possessing a good jump is a sure ticket to victory, and a big handicap if the players are not good jumpers. On the other hand, in sports such as football and rugby, the ability to out jump your opponent is a big plus in certain areas of the game, if not in every aspect. For example, in football, a good jump definitely gives you the upper hand when catching the ball from a pass in the end zone for a touchdown, that’s a little too high, as your opponents fall short. Cricket, badminton, gymnastics, the long and high jumps are just a few of the other sports disciplines where a high jumping ability is considered a definite plus. The bottom line is that for players to be successful in such fiercely competitive physical games, it is necessary to have strong and explosive jumping techniques, even before you begin your professional career. As sports experts say often, it is all about getting the correct basics with adequate muscle strengthening workouts.
Now having seen the athletics where jumping high is inevitable, let us now turn our focus on some jumping exercises that could improve one’s jumping prowess significantly. Before doing that, here are some biological facts pertaining to muscle fibers in the human body, especially in the legs. According to human physiology, the movements of the human body are materialized through the contraction of three types of muscle fibers – slow twitch muscle fibers, intermediate twitch muscle fibers, and fast twitch muscle fibers. The former is responsible for the endurance of marathon runners, while the latter helps sprinters, owing to its short burst muscle responses. The intermediate twitch muscle fiber’s scene of action is somewhere in between. Jumping exercises called pylometric exercises, which forms an integral part of virtually every physical sports’ coaching manual (especially athletics) is meant to develop and strengthen the fast twitch muscle fibers muscles.
Pylometric exercises usually begin with a warm up, like in any sort of workout. That is, start with around 5 minutes on a treadmill, followed by a few leg swings, squats, and hip circles. You could try out other warm up exercises as well. Once the body is primed to take further physical work, move on to static stretches, and finally to strength training workouts such as weightlifting or elastic bands. The typical jump enhancing exercises include: squat hops, that improve jumping ability, overall strength of the lower body, and balance; box jumps, that improve jumping ability and agility; drop jumps, which help in improving reaction time and trains the body to absorb impact quickly; explosive split squats, which plays a major role in enhancing the body’s ability to move quickly. All of these exercises positively influence the glutes, thighs, calves, with the last of the ones, the explosive split squats, strengthening the hip flexors as well. If you are interested in improving your high jump, you can find even more varieties of jump enhancing exercises on the internet.
Now, while performing these exercises to get you to jump higher, don’t overstretch yourself, but act responsibly and reasonably, doing a maximum of eight to twelve repetitions only at a time, and repeat the procedure only after relaxing, stretching, and recovering completely. Take care not to incur any injuries due to overworking or flawed exercising. After all, workouts are for improving fitness, and not to destroy it.