Megan Johnson McCullough –he vertical jump is a plyometric move used by many athletes and a necessary skill for specific sport’s performance. It is also a great physical movement that can be incorporated into exercise to elevate the heart rate.
Quite a few muscles work as a team to produce this action. Starting from the bottom up, ankle plantarflexion takes when the toes flex and point, and then leave the ground. This component involves the large muscles in the calf which are the gastrocnemius and soleus. Next, the knee has to extend. The leg straightens at the knee joint and the major muscles involved are the quadriceps femoris. More specifically, there are four parts of this muscle involved which include the Rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and vastus medialis. The hips then come into play. This happens right at the beginning of the jump. The main muscles used here are the gluteus maximus, semitendinosus, semimembranosus, the long head of the biceps femoris, and the adductor magnus. Finally, the arms are optionally involved, but often times used for power. The arms reach up in the air during the jump which requires the shoulder to abduct and flex. The muscles involved here are the deltoid, supraspinatus, and pectoralis major.
Jumping higher is a desired trait by many. Being able to jump higher increases your total body strength, so it isn’t a bad quality to have. Targeting the aforementioned muscles is a great start. Other great exercises that can help improve vertical jump include the following:
- Squats: Back, box, and front squats.
- Deadlifts: This really focuses on the posterior kinetic chain for movement.
- Trap bar deadlifts: This piece of equipment combines the squat and deadlift motions.
- Bulgarian split squats: Similar to a lunge but the rear leg is on an elevated surface.
- Toe raises: These build calf strength. Adding weight can be done seated or standing.
- Power cleans: This adds the explosive element.
- Plyometrics: Jumps are performed repeatedly.
- Reverse hyperextensions: These help build the spinal erectors, hamstrings, and glutes.
- Jumping rope: Builds the calf muscles.
- Kettle bell swings: This explosive movement hits the hips, abs, glutes, and hamstrings.
A slam dunk takes a vertical jump. Gymnastics, jumping up to catch or hit a ball…. all require a vertical jump. Adults tend to sit longer and lose the ability of the hips to be flexible and strong enough to make the motion happen. A body in motion stays in motion. Flexibility is key to jumping too. So reach for you goals, jump for your dreams, never settle for less than your best performance.
Every BODY’s Fit www.everybodysfitoceanside.com (760)201-6784 @megan_everybodysfit