Improving your vert requires a well-rounded approach to training. Sure, you have to practice jumping, but a lot of other training components factor into helping you increase your jumping ability.
RELATED: Jump Higher By Improving Lower-Body Strength
Brandon Marcello, director of sports performance at Stanford, where he oversees athletic development for 35 intercollegiate sports, breaks down a few fundamentals behind vertical jump training.
What does vertical jump measure?
Marcello: Explosiveness — how much power an athlete has. It’s a GPS showing where you are and where that athlete needs to be.
Are athletes limited to how high they can jump?
There’s a genetic ceiling, but for the most part, I’ve seen almost every athlete who has tried to improve do so to some extent.
What parts of the body contribute to an athlete’s ability to jump high?
A lot of different body parts have a role; 7-14% of your power comes from the calf area; 60% comes from the quad and hamstring; the rest comes from the upper body.
So when training to improve vert, the focus isn’t just on the lower-body?
The body is connected as a chain. If an area is more limited than another, that’s going to impact your vert. For instance, if your core is weak or if your upper body isn’t strong, that can impact your ability to transfer force.
To achieve a higher vert, what do athletes need to focus on aside from jumping?
The body really only knows stimulus, and whatever stimulus is being placed upon it, it’ll respond to it. It adapts neurally, strength-wise and metabolically.
The nervous system is the rudder to the ship. If you do more higher intensity, quicker explosive work in the weight room complemented with conditioning exercises, you’ll see a much better increase.