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6 Invaluable Tips for Increasing Your Vertical Leap
No matter how hard you try you cannot seem to get a grip on your jumping abilities. Your progress is inexistent or minimal compared to your expectations and hard work during training. You have hit a brick wall and really need some motivation to help you visibly improve within a designated timeframe. The reasons for this could be plentiful, such as an important sports tournament coming up or a personal ambition but the important thing to know is that there is help on the way.

According to a review, found in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, 26 research papers were evaluated and the results clearly showed that plyometric training is responsible for major improvements in vertical leap. As a starter the study revealed that the subjects included in the test improved their vertical jump by 8%.  In another study on plyometrics used for professional athletes, there was a stunning improvement of 23%. The same study concluded that, apart from high increases in jumping ability, the subjects also improved overall agility by 8%, their balance by 5% and a decrease of 0.30 seconds in a 20 meter sprint. This is clear validation that plyometric training really does help.

We have sourced the best exercises to try out to help you overcome your difficulties and have rounded up the most effective 6:
Skipping is something you need to get accustomed to as it is not easy for everyone to adapt, especially if coordination is a quality you lack. Still, it is a simple exercise you can master at home and only need a decent skipping rope to get started. Once you have learnt the basics and can skip uninterruptedly for at least 30 minutes aim for 4-5 workouts per week. This is also very useful as a cardio workout so fat loss is also guaranteed.
Calf Raises
This is one of the easiest and less stressful leg exercises and can easily be done at home as there is no equipment required. Simply raise your heels and hold a wall or column for balance. As the exercise itself does not require much effort you should target at least 1,000 repetitions daily. If this is too much you can break it down to 10 sets of 100 repetitions. Famous ex-basketball star Shaquille O’ Neal is said to have performed 1,000 reps just before bed every day and increased his vertical jump by 12 inches whilst still in College.
Jump Overs
Jumping over obstacles, such as boxes, can help to increase speed and reactivity, as well as vertical leap. Try to do this quickly so as soon as your feet land you jump back to the starting position. Ten minutes of consecutive jumping on a daily basis should be enough.
Machine Assisted Squats
Squat machines where the bar is attached to the rack is a great way of building power and ensuring correct form and posture. Try to go as low as possible, with your buttocks almost touching the ground but always keep your knees in line with your toes. Try this at least twice per week and add sets and repetitions as you progress. Keep the weight low. After you have mastered this exercise you can then replace them with jump squats.
Simple Jumping
Jumping in itself is what will get you used to the explosive nature of vertical leaps. Practicing in front of a wall by jumping as high as possible 10 times will help you gauge your progress.
This may have to be practiced on a running track but you may find some space to do it indoors if the area allows it. Space out up to 8 hurdles 2 feet apart and jump over each hurdle as fast as possible. 10 reps twice a week should do the trick.
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