How to Jump Higher in One Day

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If you really only have 24 hours to improve your vertical leap, heavy training won't help. But a light course of weight training and plyometrics at the very start may do the trick. It's absolutely essential to give your muscles as much time as possible to recover, and to follow the workout immediately with a meal that mixes carbs and proteins. You can also realize some improvement by checking your jumping form and utilizing the technique of visualization.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy footwear
  • Weights
  • Box or bench

Jumps

  • Stand in an athletic crouch about a foot away from a one- to two-foot box, ledge or stable bench.

  • With your hands locked behind your head, squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

  • Explode up, landing with both feet entirely on the box, ledge or bench. Repeat 10 times. Perform two to three sets.

Single-leg Lift-off

  • Stand in front of a bench, box or ledge and step up with one leg, pumping your arms vigorously in a running motion.

  • Touch the top of the box gently with your stepping foot at the top of the motion, then step down.

  • Alternate legs. Repeat 10 times for two to three sets.

Squats

  • Hold dumbbells at your side or barbells on a squat rack across your back. Choose a weight that will bring you close to muscle failure at 10 reps.

  • Keep your back straight and buttocks out as you lower into a squat position with your thighs parallel to the ground.

  • Explode up. Repeat 10 times, and do two to three sets.

Jumping Technique

  • Check your form by watching yourself in a mirror or having a friend watch. If you sink too low in preparation for your leap, you'll increase the work your legs need to do to get you off the ground; if you don't sink enough, you rob yourself of the explosiveness you need to achieve elevation.

  • Sink down to prepare for the jump, keeping your thighs should to a few degrees above parallel to the ground.

  • Pump your arms vigorously as you explode into the jump. Your arms should reach full extension as you reach the peak of your leap.

Visualization

  • "See" yourself make a good vertical leap. This may actually help you jump higher. Do this at various times in the day before you make your vertical leap.

  • Start by regulating your breathing if you're nervous or distracted.

  • Focus on the technique you will employ to perform a good vertical leap, and each step you'll take to make it -- your feet and shoulders squared, your athletic crouch, your arms and legs exploding up.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using weights, it's a good idea to have a spotter. Go light at first, especially if you haven't worked out in a while.
  • Always warm up before an intense workout.

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References

  • Photo Credit man jumping in water image by dinostock from Fotolia.com
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