Jumping high requires a lot of effort and specific technique. Some people naturally have more ‘bounce’ or ‘spring’ in their jump, and more so if they have done some form of training for it when they were smaller, such as doing gymnastics. If you have never done anything like gymnastics and want to improve your jump, don’t worry, you can train your body to jump higher. Just be warned that it takes times and consistency!
Below are a few things to remember and a few exercises or ways to do exercises that you can include in your workouts. Make sure to include some sort of jump work at least once a week.
Just jump more, get used to jumping up. To be more specific, swing your arms and jump straight up, bend your legs and bring your knees as high as you can while touching your hands to your knees and then landing back down. You can do these jumps for reps.
Do jump squats
Similar to the free standing jumps in the previous point, with jump squats focus on going down a bit lower when you start. So squat down and then explode up and jump as high as you can. (You don’t need to bring your knees as high for jump squats).
Make sure to contract your abs and core, and squeeze your glutes as you explode upwards into the jump.
Box jumps are a great exercise to increase your jump. They are also a great way to measure your jump and see where you are at. Start low and slowly build it higher and higher as you progress. Do 4 sets of 5 – 8 reps each.
Do not expect to start jumping now and in two weeks think that you will be able to double your jump. It takes time, months and months, of consistent training every week to successfully progress and make your jump look easy and natural.
Land like a cat
If you want to have an effortless and smooth jump, practice the landing. Practice coming down and landing on the balls of your feet lightly. This will take many, many reps of practice.
Another exercise that can be done is to do box jumps with a weight (preferably using a weighted bag) on your shoulders. Don’t worry about jumping extremely high here, rather jump a lower height and be safe.
Doing exercises like the snatch, clean, and clean and jerk will help with explosiveness as well as hamstring and glute activation and strength. Basically, this will translate into helping you explode more when you jump.
Strengthen the right muscles
Train your back, glutes and hamstrings in order to get them stronger as a lot of explosive force is generated from theses muscles. Doing compound weighted exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and back extensions can be beneficial and can help strengthen them.
Combine the weights with a jump
Do a set of heavy compound movements such as squats or deadlifts and then go straight onto a few reps of box jumps. You may not jump as high as you would normally jump on the box jumps but this is just fine. Over time you can build it up. Be sure to rest a few minutes in between sets.