Vertical jump is quite simply the ability of an individual to jump as high as possible off the ground. The distance between feet at maximum height and ground is called your vertical jump and this is usually measured in inches.
Many people already know the importance of the vertical leap when it comes to certain sports such as Basketball. Having the ability to jump high in these sports can make all the difference to your performance as well as your career aspirations.
However the vertical leap is probably most important for people who play Basketball and Volleyball, many coaches and scouts recruit on an individuals ability to carry out a high vertical leap in these sports.
You can measure a vertical jump by standing against a vertical wall preferable a wall which is marked. You should then warm up with a light run at first to get your muscles relaxed, then put your hand in some chalk and face the wall. Jump as high as you can in a vertical direction and touch the wall with your hand at the maximum height of your jump, rRepeat the jump several times in order to get your best reading. You need to then measure the distance between the ground and your mark on the wall this will give you an accurate measure of your vertical leap.
Now there are several ways you can improve your vertical leap, you need to remember that your jumping ability is based on the power and strength in your muscles, both these factors can be improved by undertaking the right exercises.
The muscles in your legs are the main muscles responsible for your ability to carry out a high vertical leap, you can exercise these muscles by carrying out squats, you could also spend some time at your local gym doing exercises to give you more strength and power in your legs.
The vertical jump is an explosive action so not only do you need to have strength and power in your legs but you also need to be able to react quickly. This is where plyometric exercises are required in order to improve your speed.
Plyometric exercises include zig zag hops, obstacle jumps, tuck jumps and also skipping. You need to gradually increase the intensity of these exercises in order to increase your vertical jump.
We've gone through various aspects of vertical jump including how to measure and improve upon it. It's important to note that the secret to improving your leap or any other kind of athletic skill is to have a multifaceted approach to training.
Although the above has given you a brief introduction on how to measure and improve your vertical jump it is important that you understand that many other factors such as diet and genetics also play an important part in your jumping ability.