The Basic Vertical Leap Program will start you on your path to air supremacy. Try this beginner’s course to start you on the path to explosive jumping ability.

For your initial 12 weeks of training, consider the Basic Vertical Leap Program a starter’s course. Shoot for two sessions per week, of at least 30 minutes. After a strenuous routine, you need to give your body at least 48 hours to recover. Overtraining is a common problem for young athletes and will prevent you from attaining the desired results. In fact, it is one of the most common factors in injuring yourself.

The most effective basic vertical leap training program will come in the form of a three-pronged approach.

1) Stretching (10 Minutes 5 Before/ 5 After Workout)

Stretching is an important part of any training program, but it is critical to improving your vertical leap. If you’ve ever been to an NBA Basketball event, before the start of the game, you will notice that almost every athlete performs basic and advanced stretching routines. Stretches not only improve your flexibility and give you the ability to make greater athletic gains, but they help to reduce the chances of injury.

For more information on a basic stretching program, click here.

2) Plyometrics (10 Minutes)

Plyometrics are also a staple of any basic vertical leap training program. They involve training specifically to develop the fast-twitch fibers and help to build explosive strength in the legs and hips. Perform any three of these recommended exercises in a given session:

Box Jump
The Box Jump is a fairly straightforward exercise. Standing in front of the box, bend your knees to a half-squat position, swing your arms forward, and jump up onto the box. Then quickly step down, and repeat the process. Begin with 3 sets of 10 jumps. The key is to select an appropriate box height. Boxes can range from 6 to 30 inches. Select one that will challenge you, but not overwhelm you. If your landing position on the box is deeper than your starting jump position, the box height is too high. As you progress in ability, you can add small dumbbells, ranging in weight from 5 to 10 pounds, to increase the difficulty.

Double Jump
For the Double Jump, you need two boxes; one small and one large. Begin by standing on the smaller box, which can range in height from 6-12 inches. Jump off the box and quickly jump onto the larger box, which can range from 16 to 30 inches. Step down and repeat the process 10 times. This is another exercise that you will perform 3 sets of.

Rim Jump
For this exercise, stand beneath the rim of a basketball hoop, or something similar. From an upright stance, focus your eyes upon the target you are looking to touch on your jump. Quickly drop to a quarter-squat, and in one smooth motion, spring up towards the target with one hand. As soon as you land, immediately spring right back up and do the same thing with the opposite hand. Run 3 sets of 20 leaps. (10 with each hand) The key to this drill is to be quick in getting off the ground. You are looking more for speed here, than actual height. Also, you want to give maximum effort here.

Straight Arm Jump
From an upright standing position, keep your eyes focused forward, and your elbows bent facing forward. Drop to a quarter-squat, and using all the power in your hips and legs, jump as high as you can, while keeping your arms straight out, and bring your knees as close to your elbows as possible. Run 3 sets of 20 leaps. As with the Rim Jump, the key is speed and getting quickly off the ground.

3) Strength Training (10 Minutes)

The final component of a successful vertical leap training program is strength training. Strength training comes in the form of weight room work. After your plyometrics session, your legs will be pretty spent. Conclude the program with 2 of these strength exercises.

Squat/Leg Press
The basic Squat is where you will develop major lower-body strength and power. Run 4 sets of 8 repetitions at a weight that is challenging, but not overwhelming. After finishing the squat session, continue with 4 sets of 8 repetitions of the Leg Press.

Don’t forget to finish up with 5 additional minutes of stretching. The after-workout stretch is a key factor in developing your full vertical potential after a grueling workout.

As with anything, the more you put into your program, the more you will get out of it. Gains will not come overnight. It is important to mix up the various exercises listed here to keep your body from getting too comfortable with the programs. This will only inhibit your gains. Additionally, it is vital that you get proper rest between workouts. You may want to chart your progress by keeping chalk marks on a wall. A physical reminder of the gains you have made is very motivating and gives you something to continue to strive past.

Once you have aced this program, move on to the Intermediate Vertical Leap Program.
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