Having a good vertical jump is a valuable asset for all players. It will help your team get more rebounds, blocks, steals, and even dunk. This can increase your team’s conﬁdence, enthusiasm, and can make the game a lot more fun! This is the complete program for Vertical Jump Training.
This program will provide you with proper training to increase your vertical jump. It was developed through the years and has seen great improvements in the leaping ability of those who have followed it. This is simply called the Coach Mac Vertical Jump Program.
This program is designed to be completely equipment free and also without the need for a large space. It can be completed by anyone as long as there are 2 x 2 meters of free space, which most of us have. Thus, there can be no excuse for not completing the program.
Best program to improve your jump
While there are tons of success stories of players using this program and making massive gains, the creator is also realistic about the extent of his knowledge of vertical jump training.
Who is Coach Mac?
Coach Mac is Jay McKinstrey, the head football coach at Pella High School in Iowa. He talks about how successful his school’s football program was after following a weight program implemented by Coach Fears of Sterling Physical Therapy and the Sterling Centre of Sports Performance.
How to measure your improvement?
The ﬁrst step on your journey to increasing your vertical jump is to get a starting point so that you can track your progress. You will need a friend to help you, a ladder, and either a permanent marker or chalk.
1. Find a wall or pole, which is tall enough that you cannot touch the top when you jump.
2. Stand next to the pole or wall and extend your arm above your head. This is called your standing reach. Ask your friend to mark your standing reach using a piece of chalk or a permanent marker.
3. From a standing start, jump and touch as high up the wall or pole as you possibly can. You’ll need your friend to watch and see where you touch so there is no confusion. Ask your friend to climb the ladder and mark where you reach on the wall.
4. Measure the distance between your standing and jumping reach. This is your current vertical jump.
What does it take for this to work?
Research shows that the ground-contact time of an elite one-foot jumper is as short as 0.12 seconds. During this time frame, the athlete has to plant his foot, bend his knee, swing his arms and then extend his hips, knees, and ankles back using almost every muscle in the body –all within a blink of an eye!
This takes skill to learn like driving a bike or hitting a golf ball.
On the other hand, the pull of earth’s gravity is strong and not a big fan of basketball players who want to defy the laws of physics. Therefore, all the skill in the world is useless if you don’t have the necessary power to lift your body weight off the ground. A rocket flying into space needs to have a very powerful engine if it wants to escape earth’s atmosphere. Similar to that, an athlete needs to have very powerful legs if he wants to make a dunk!
Skill and Power Jumps Training System
Great vertical leapers need a combination of skill and power. Let’s take a closer look at how both components impact your ability to jump high.
Fortunately, the skill of vertical jumping is relatively easy to learn compared to other athletic movements like the pole vault or Olympic weightlifting, and it is picked up naturally by almost all athletes. In fact, some of the best dunkers in the world have never read a book about vertical jump training or had a vertical jump coach. They just spend years of dunking every day!
This shows you that every training program needs to have a healthy dose of jumping or exercises in order to maximize the skill to jump high. It also makes sense to frequently check your technique because subtle errors that crept in over the years can cost you valuable inches!
Power is often baffled with strength. Well, it is not the same thing! In physics, power is defined as the amount of work done within a certain time frame. Applied to the vertical jump, this means that you have to be strong, but also can use your strength in very quick bursts!
To illustrate, let’s assume you are able to squat 500lbs, but it takes you 2 seconds to “switch on” this strength. This strength is useless in the context of jumping because you only have less than 0.2 seconds to produce as much strength as possible before after your feet have left the ground. The best vertical jumpers are able to produce massive amounts of force in a blink of an eye, making it seem as if they are “bouncing” off the ground!
Strength and Quickness
To increase power, we have to work on two factors, including strength and quickness. While pure strength work has its place in a vertical jump training program, it is not the sole focus. Working on your squat can make sense, but the larger part of your training should consist of exercises that use strength in quick actions. This is mostly done through plyometric exercises that focus on short ground contact times and quick generation of force.
The Coach Mac Vertical Jump Program
It is important to warm-up the muscles ﬁrst before stretching or performing any strenuous physical activity. I recommend jumping rope for a few minutes to warm-up and increase the blood ﬂow to muscles.
The program is broken up into three phases consisting of four weeks each. This is because your muscles will adapt to the intensity of the workout, so we need to keep increasing the workload in order to continue increasing your vertical jump.
Perform the routine every second day to give your body a day to rest in-between workouts. This means that on week one you will be training four times a week. On week two, you will be training three times per week. On week three, you will be training four times per week. Each phase has 11 workouts for a total of 33 workouts in the program. Also, you will take one week off between each phase. This is to let your body completely recover. You need to give your muscles time to fully recover in order to grow stronger and more explosive.
Have one-minute rest in-between all sets. It is suggested to keep a stopwatch when doing these workouts. If you do not have a stopwatch, you may use the timer on your mobile phone.
Record Your Progress
Keep track of how much progress you have made at the end of each rest week. It is going to be hard for your players, but stress that if they really want to see results, it is best to wait until the end of the rest week. Understand that it is going to be hard for some players to be patient.
If you have any trouble understanding my descriptions of the exercises, search for them on YouTube to watch a video of the exercise being performed.
Jumping Rope – This program will only require a skipping rope. If you don’t have a jumping rope, you may use a piece of rope instead. You may also just jump up and down on the same spot without much bending in the knees. This will achieve a similar result. Jumping rope involves holding each end of the rope with both hands and swinging it over your body continuously.
4-Corners – Involves you imagining four dots in a square with about 15 – 20 inches apart. To complete 4-corners, hop around the corners of the square in a clockwise direction landing on each dot for the required number of repetitions. One repetition includes jumping 4 jumps to complete the square.
Single-Leg 4-Corners – This is exactly the same as 4-Corners, except performed on one leg.
Slow-Motion Squats – It involves standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. From this position slowly lower down your body until you are in a deep squat. Make sure your heels are ﬂat on the ground. Hold for two seconds before slowly rising back to the starting position. Then, descent and rise should each take four seconds to complete. Throughout the entire exercise, make sure to keep your head up and back straight.
Tuck Jumps – Descend into a comfortable squat, jump as high as possible, and bring your knees to your chest.
High-Reach Jumps – Similar to tuck jumps, but instead of bringing your knees to chest, you just reach as high as you can. This is done best under a basketball ring or near a wall, so you can tell how much lower your reach becomes as you fatigue. Try to reach the same height throughout all repetitions. However, if you do not have anything to measure against, just jump as high as you can on each repetition.
Lateral Jumps – Lateral jumps are performed best with a line or stick. Stand parallel to the line on one side, then quickly jump sideways back-and-forth over the line. Over and back equals one repetition.
Single-Leg Lateral Jumps – Exactly the same as lateral jumps, although it is performed on one leg.
Alternating Lunge Jumps – From the normal standing position, take one step forward with your right foot and one step backwards with your left foot. This is now your starting position. Then, jump as high as you can in the air and switch leg positions.
Straight Leg Calf Jumps – Without bending your knees, jump up and down on the same spot. You will not get very high off the ground. The ankle will be doing all the movement and work the calf muscle.
Toe Raises – Stand up regularly, then rise up onto the tips of your toes. Lower you back. Do not rock up and down, do it slowly but steadily. This is improved if you have access to stairs.
6 Ways to achieve your goal
Alright, enough theory, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of how you can increase your vertical jump!
1. Plyometric Vertical Jump Training
Plyometric training has become immensely popular in recent years and the term is often used synonymously with vertical jump training. This type of training was developed in the former Soviet Union during the 1970s as a shock method of training and was in large part responsible for the great successes of Russian Track and Field athletes during these years. The term was coined by the American coach and author Fred Wilt who saw the unusual warm-up exercises, which include various bounds, hops, and skips of Soviet athletes before competitions.
How does Plyometrics work?
One thing all plyometric exercises have in common is that they use the “stretch-shortening cycle”. This is a complicated way that all plyometric exercises consist of two phases: In the first phase, the involved muscles are stretched, only to contract explosively in the second (“shortening”) phase.
2. Jump Higher Through Strength Training
Numerous athletes are obsessed with the amount of weight they are able to squat. It is satisfying about moving hundreds of pounds of steel on your back. You often hear that you just need to increase your squat and you will automatically jump higher.
However, looking at the average powerlifter quickly shows you that this is not completely true. These athletes are unbelievably strong, but they lack the explosiveness needed for a great vertical. Being able to squat heavy means that you are able to move a lot of weight very slowly, but the vertical jump is a very fast athletic movement, which only uses maximum strength partially.
3. Improve Your Vertical Jump Technique
Vertical jump training should always include a large amount of performing your preferred leaping style to teach your central nervous system on how to perform this movement in the most efficient way possible. Early improvements in vertical jump height will come from an improved vertical jump technique and less from improved strength or power.
A lot of athletic movements use only one technique that is considered to be optimal. For vertical jump technique, it is different. The most obvious difference is that some athletes prefer to jump off one foot while others like to take off on two feet. There is no definitive answer to which style of jumping will lead to a higher vertical, so athletes will automatically pick the style of jumping that best suits their physique. However, there are some general guidelines on which athletes will perform best using each technique.
4. Better Warm-Up & Stretching
Vertical Jumping is a very dynamic movement that puts a lot of stress on muscles, tendons, and joints. It is, therefore, significant to be properly warmed-up before starting high-intensity training. This warm-up will not only improve your performance but also significantly reduce the risk of injuries.
5. Get Enough Rest & Proper Nutrition
If you follow a good training protocol, then there are two main factors that could slow down your gains: Not enough body rest to regenerate from the demanding workouts and insufficient fuel for your body to build up new muscle tissue.
6. Get Better Shoes
Every basketball player knows the horrible feeling of using old and slippery basketball shoes. When you finally get new shoes, it is always astonishing how there is a sudden increase in your vertical jump.
The traction provided by shoes is important for the transformation of horizontal speed to vertical speed during take-off. Even if shoes are just slightly slippery, you can forget dunking or will have to wipe your soles before every jump, which is not practical either.
The ﬁrst step on your journey to increasing your vertical jump is to record your starting point, so you can track your progress.
Research has shown that the ground-contact time of an elite one-foot jumper is as short as 0.12 seconds. During this short time frame, the athlete has to plant his foot, bend his knee, swing his arms, then extend his hips, knees, and ankles back using almost every muscle in the body.
Coach Mac is Jay McKinstrey, the head football coach at Pella High School in Iowa.
The vertical jump is an integral part of a lot of sports. Volleyball, Track and Field, Football, and Basketball all favor athletes that are able to jump high. This program greatly helps in improving the Vertical Jump.
If you have any questions related to the Vertical Jump Training, please post it in the comments. Also, if you are following the program, I’d love to hear your results!