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Do you ever wish you could dunk like an Orlando Magic player? How about just being able to jump like a five-year-old? Improving your vertical jump is not only good for NBA players, it’s good for everyone.
Here are some exercises that the Magic do to improve their jumping ability. By using these pro tips (safely), you can learn how to jump higher and sink baskets with the best of them.
The Science of Plyometrics
Plyometrics is a type of exercise training that uses speed and force of different movements to build muscle power. It’s sometimes described as bridging the gap between strength and speed — think of the explosive jumps you see NBA players perform when they dunk.
A combination of plyometrics and weight training seems to be the best combination for increasing your vertical leap. By using one muscle group to its full capacity for a short period of time, which is what plyometrics does, you should see gradual progress in your jumping ability.
Plyometrics Exercises That Improve Your Vertical Jump
Make sure you warm up properly before doing any of these common plyometrics exercises. You can jump rope and stretch for a few minutes, for example.
Holding two dumbbells at your sides, squat slowly until your knees are flexed but not quite to right angles. Jump explosively without locking your knees. Do two sets of eight repetitions and increase to four sets of eight repetitions over an eight-week period.
Stand with one foot slightly in front of the other. Take three strides in a quick-quicker-quickest rhythm. As your foot hits the ground on the third stride, jump vertically using your arms for extra leverage. Repeat starting with the other leg. This is one repetition. Do 10 repetitions.
This exercise is not for beginners and shouldn’t be done by athletes under 16. Stand on a sturdy box or bench about 12 inches high. Step off with your torso upright and land on both feet. As you land, jump up as quickly as you can, minimizing contact with the ground. Use your arms to mimic a jump shot. Repeat for 10 jumps.
With consistent practice of these plyometrics exercises, you’ll be able to improve your vertical jump, impress your friends and get healthier.
Train Like a Pro at the AdventHealth Training Center
Take your training to the next level at the AdventHealth Training Center, a world-class sports medicine facility that’s open to the public in partnership with the Orlando Magic.
With services personalized to athletes at every level — including professional, collegiate, amateur and youth — our center will help optimize performance, prevent injuries, extend playing careers and improve quality of life for athletes of all ages.
Learn more about the AdventHealth Training Center and our partnership with the Orlando Magic here.