Push your vertical jump through the roof by incorporating these weighted jumping exercises.
Now, if you’ve followed the first two phases closely, you’ve undoubtedly built a solid base for the two jumping exercises and “heavy lifting” we’re about to do in Phase 3. Make no mistake about it, this is the meat and potatoes, folks. The two jumping exercises below have been taken from the late Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky, a former USSR sport scientist, and have worked for countless Division 1 athletes I’ve trained over the years. Bottom line is, if you want learn how to dunk, start here.
Just make sure you have a solid foundation, bust your ass, and the results will speak for themselves. Without further ado, the jumping exercises are as follows…
Ah, the depth jump. The exercise everyone talks about, tries to perform, and occasionally gets right.
First let’s talk height. You want to start about a foot and a half off the ground. That’s the height of the average bench in a gym, so that measurement should be moron proof… I hope. To execute this movement you’re going to “fall off the bench” like Wile E Coyote falls off of the cliffs in the cartoons. Just step straight out and make sure you have both feet going down. In short, do NOT jump off, fall off.
As you hit the ground I want you to pull yourself into your jump position as fast as possible and then jump (yes, that is essentially a Drop Squat Jump, genius). Just like the jump squat you are moving as fast as possible in both directions and getting up as high as possible. Pretend the ground is hot, and get off of it as quickly as possible. 8 reps should be plenty to start with, but if it’s not as fast as the Drop Squat Jumps, (meaning you’re staying on the ground longer than before or not jumping as high) cut the set and move on. Quality is more important than quantity.
Remember maximal effort, or you’re just wasting time.
For this amazing exercise you’re going to need “steps” like they use in the Jane Fonda step aerobics class your girl goes to. Put a dumbbell on the outside of each step to keep them in place. Now hold a Kettlebell (or dumbbell by the “head”) between your legs. Keep your back arched, chest up, ribs out and abs tight through the whole movement.
Once set, you’re going to drive your butt down and back as hard and fast as possible. Imagine collapsing your butt to the ground while keeping your “core set”. At depth, which more often than not is when the implement hits the floor, change direction as fast as possible. That means explode as high and as fast as possible. Got it? Good. Once you land, completely reset. Set your core, ribs up, chest out, back arched, take a deep breath, and repeat. This exercise is big time, but you’ve got to sell out and go balls to the wall if it’s going to be worthwhile.
Now for the lifting component of your vertical jump workout. Afterward, you’re going to perform one set of 8 of Squats, Good Mornings, Back Raises, and Glute Ham Raises (weighted if you can).The calf work will be similar to the previous phases, but now with 2 sets of 8 reps. In the first set lower the weight under control, hit the stretch, explode up and hold the contraction for a 2 count at the top. The second set is as heavy as you can go for 8 full range reps.
And that’s Phase 3, which means that’s it right there. You now know all of the exercises and phases of the jump progression used at the University of Richmond. The final article of this series will be much less talk and much more of the nuts and bolts. Which means, if you want the whole program in your hands, tune in next time.