Do I have to lift weights to improve my vertical jump? This is a common question that I get all the time. I realize that there are many people out there that do not enjoy lifting weights and they want to know if it is possible to increase your vertical jump without them. My answer to them is……YES it is definitely possible to improve your vertical without lifting heavy weights.
I love vertical jump training and I want everyone to be able to benefit from it. There are many of us out there that cannot afford the dues or do not have access to a gym. Don’t let that stop you from training. Below I have included a vertical jump workout that will increase your strength using a variety of body weight exercises that are very challenging.
A Vertical Jump Strength Workout – (Without Weights)
Low Peterson Step-Up – The Peterson Step-up begins with one foot on a low platform. Lift the heel of the foot on top of the platform and position the toes so they are just behind the heel of the opposite leg that is on the ground. Now lift the toes of the foot you’re standing on, as this will increase the emphasis on the working leg. From this start position straighten the leg on top of the platform while lowering the heel. Use a slow 3 second lift phase and 2 second lowering. Increase the height of the step for more difficulty. Do 2 sets of 25 with each leg.
Squats – The squat movement is without a doubt the best overall exercise you can do to increase your vertical jump. Bodyweight squats can be challenging if done correctly. When performing squats stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Do 3 sets of 20.
Lunges – The lunge is a very effective exercise for the legs it will improve strength, balance and coordination. Step forward with one leg and lower your upper body down, bending your leg (don’t step out too far). You should have about two to two and a half feet between your feet. Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, keeping your front shin perpendicular to the ground.
Push up and back and repeat with the other leg or do all the reps with one leg then switch. Do 3 sets of 20.
Rim Touches – This one is very easy. Find a basketball rim and jump as high as you can taking no more than a one step jump. EXPLODE up as hard as you can. Do this 5 times. Then rest for a minute or so. Repeat this exercise 3 times. DO NOT perform more reps or a bunch of sets. This will defeat our purpose. We want to train our VERTICAL JUMP EXPLOSION. Doing a bunch of reps and sets will train our stamina and not our ultimate height.
It is possible to get significant gains in your vertical jump without weights. BUT…..yes there is a but, most people are not going to even come close to their true vertical jump potential without using a proper weight training program. If you only train using body weight exercises there will come a time when your vertical leap gains stop and the only way to further your progress is to improve your base strength.
I recommend using a strength training program that uses a combination of weight training and plyometric exercises to get the best results. I was able to increase my vertical jump by 12 inches over 7 months using this type of program. For more information on this check out the links I have below:
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