T Nation

Vertical Jump..kelly/christian

hello all,
several months back kelly and i think christian were considering writing an article for vertical leap training.i was wondering if that article has come out.i searched and did not come across it.also kelly or anyone,i reread your post about strength defecit testing where you said to test by doing a static knee bend jump and a dip and jump.how far down should the knee bend be as well as the dip jump?iam trying to determine if i would benefit from plyometrics moreso than maximal weight training.thanx for any help

It’s not out yet and that’s my fault, but look for it soon.

Anyways, when you do your jump from a static hold at the bottom, you want to go down as far as you would normally go on a regular vertical jump with a dip.

If your difference is large, you’ll want to focus on maximal strength training and if your differenc is small (less than 20%), you’ll benefit more from plyometrics as you have to improve your plyometric efficiency.

thank you jason,i sent you an email with the test results.

I just want to add in- squats to the ground/straight leg deadlifts along with attempts at slamming a basketball with an X-Vest on have already increased my vert by about 3". That is only after about two weeks of training to increase my vert. I’ve heard of and witnessed similar training that has increased some people’s vert by as much as 200%. I know that using the X-Vest this way may not be the best idea since it can screw with one’s cordination. I usually make around ten attempts then take it off and do another 20. As long as I take it off and recalibrate myself my cordination hasn’t been effected too much. But, WOW! It works.

3" vertical after two weeks…thats unbelievable.thanx for the advise.i am still working on touching the rim and i willcontinue to do squats as well.thanx again

In addition- Jason already knows what I just figured out about how deep you go into a dip before you jump. I’m not sure if there is a too deep point. But, the X-Vest with pylometric jumping seems to require that you move deeper into the priming posistion. This was probably half of the reason why I made such an improvement so quickly. Now from here I am just going to put more weight on the vest and squats/deads, while attempting to slam. Jason- what do you think? Seems too simple, I bet you got a lot of ideas I have yet to discover. Would Machine’s use of banded squats possibly produce even more explosive vertical power? How much do the calves play a role? Shoulders? It also seems the vest requires you to square up and throw your shoulders at the object of intention. After taking off the vest, going up with two hands was much more forceful and controlled. Keep in mind I absolutely have to train myself to re-adapt when I take it off. That is why I do 10 on, 20 off.

Sounds like your improving your jumping mechanics as well.i heard somewhere that the vest with too much weight begins to become counter productive for vertical jump training.much like plyometric depth jumps,if you take too long to explode off the ground then the box is too high and the plyometric action is not really being used.
as for the amount of dip in jumping,i know that while performing a three step vertical the depth is crucial to block the forward momentum and convert it to vertical lift.they call this teh power position in volleyball players.
there is so much involved in jumping techinique.arm swing,approach speed,hip involvement etc.cant wait to hear what the pros(kelly/jason )come up with!i too want to be like MIKE :slight_smile:

Wow, there are several things to consider. First of all, I think jumping with a weighted vest is a very quick, easy way to improve your vertical and would recommend this to a certain extent as long as you are not having trouble with the motion after taking off the vest.

As for the depth you need to drop while jumping, I think that you will benefit the most from being able to jump with the lowest dip possible.

For instance, when I’m about to dunk a basketball in a game situation, I’m generally running at high speeds, controlling a basketball and trying to avoid my defender - if I need to drop into a full, parallel squat - I’m going to never actually get the ball in the rim

Other considerations - Have you ever wondered why some people can only dunk on ally-oops. The reasoning is simple - the arms can play a role in their jump. Once again, if you have and are trying to control a basketball, you arms are basically taken out of the jumping equation.

More basic considerations -

  1. To improve your vertical jump, you need to shift the force velocity curve. You need to be able to create higher total force output within any given time span. Since it takes about .4 sec to reach peak force output and the vertical jump occurs in .1-.2 seconds, you’ll don’t have enough time to reach peak force. So you migh be the strongest squat in the gym, but if you never do any speed strength work - jump squats, dynamic lunges, olympic lifts, etc. - you’ll never have a great vertical jump.

  2. You need to improve your myotatic (plyometric) reflex. This is where plyometrics and ballistic exercises (swings for instance) come into play. By preloading the muscle with an eccentric contraction, you’ll generally cause the muscle to fire faster and with more force during the concentric.

More to come later - can’t give it all away, plus I don’t have the article in front of me, so I’m just going off the top of my head.

When using the weighted vest I’d suggest you try to jump using little knee bend and ground contact time. Save the deep knee bend stuff for when you do your weight training movements (squats etc.) Using a deep knee bend won’t really help increase your plyometric efficiency rather it’s probably making you do what you’re good at (using strength). Guys with a lot of plyometric strength and FastTwitch IIX/B fiber don’t require as much of a knee bend when jumping in comparison to the guys with poor plyometric strength or low FT %. This is because the guys who use a deeper knee bend have a longer range of motion and can more call on their total muscular strength during the movement. (I hope that makes sense)> I would even recommend you use the x-vest doing jumps standing on a low block or box. Start really low around 8-12 inches and step off and immediately upon hitting the ground jump up as high as possible without ever letting your heels hit the ground.(like a depth jump) Keep the reps per set low no more then 10 with 3-4 sets. Gradually increase the box height to as high as 20-30 inches. What you will find is that the more trained and efficient you become plyometrically, the higher you will be able to jump when stepping off a box in comparison to doing a jump from the ground and you should eventually be able to jump higher off the box then you can without it…when this happens you know your plyometric strength is optimal. The more advanced you become the higher the box height. Give it a shot and see how it goes.

Kelly I actually theorized exactly that! I based it upon watching NBA players jump. Some of them have an elasticity in their jump and they seem to require less dip. While others seem to prime a whole lot more. The funny thing is I see the priming happening in bigger guys, usually centers. The spring/snap jump I see more often on power fowards (tall yet skinny). All in all though the people who jump the highest seem to have a little of both. They prime just enough, while having a wonderful snap to it, that they soar much higher and further than other players. I’m not saying they dip a whole lot because they don’t. But they do produce even more excelleration by primeing while snapping up into the air. I will try exactly what you suggest. My fast twitch reflex is a little underdeveloped, so I assume awesome results will ensue based upon all the different methods suggested here. One of my performance goals of being able to slam at 5’10" seems very possible now. Hoooo haw!!! This thread rocks!!!

That’s a good observation RS and I’ve noticed the same thing amongst NBA players myself. Shaun Marion immediately comes to mind as a very elastic individual. It just goes to show there’s more than 1 method to fly! If you want to dig a little deeper think of the difference between the jump used by a high jumper/triple jumper vs that of an elite level olympic weightlifter or thrower (if you’ve ever had a chance to see lifters or throwers jump). The high and triple jumpers lie at the extreme end of reactivity as the dominant means of jumping whereas the lifters/thrower are at the other end…strength/explosive strength. Obviously to hit your peak you need the best of both.