Often displayed on television, basketball players that can soar over defenders and dunk a basketball on a rim 10 feet high make you feel like that is reserved for those gifted with incredible ability. So, we watch those talented athletes on the tv screens in the gym while we hit our 100th set of machine chest press. In reality, jumping higher is absolutely attainable by anyone. Although you may never hit the same jump height as Lebron James, you can still gain the benefits that jumping higher can give.
In order to figure out just how someone jumps higher, we may have to do a bit of scientific critical thinking. Here are three things you can do to gain athleticism pretty rapidly:
First, we have to propel our body with enough force off the ground to resist the gravitational pull. This takes muscle. So, first step is we need to make sure we gain muscle. An indirect benefit of this? You will also probably lose body fat and make your strength to body weight ratio go up. This is something that is extremely important for athleticism as well as personal health. Next, if we are stronger we can create more total force into the ground. But, we still don’t have the ability to generate that force in the split second it takes in an explosive vertical jump. Which means we also want to train to move things explosively. Simple as that.
- Get stronger so we can push into the ground hard enough to defy gravity
- Lose body fat and increase our strength to body weight ratio
- Train explosively so that we can generate that strong force in a short amount of time
Now that we have covered jumping, we should shift our focus to one of the most fundamental thing when you think of an athlete. Running fast. Sprinting is still one of the best ways to display athletic ability even though the fitness industry will try to convince you that you just need to hop on an elliptical and watch tv for 30 minutes instead.
A great sprint coach once told me there isn’t a single exercise in the gym that can replicate the amount of force your body feels while sprinting. You can load up a bar as heavy as you want, but nothing will give you the same effect. This is important to remember if you are training to be more athletic but left sprinting out of your program.
The benefits include that explosive, fast twitch effect previously mentioned in the vertical jump section. You will gain muscle and lose body fat, become faster, and be a healthier individual by adding this in. I recommend sprinting before your strength work in the gym. Most days, you won’t need to sprint more than 6-8x for 30 yards.
Eat to perform
If you are an aspiring athlete and are still filling up most of your diet with fast food, you got it backwards. You can’t out train a bad diet. That saying has withstood the test of time because it’s undefeated. Those that try to tell you that fast food is fine in moderation are doing you a disservice. If you can stayed disciplined enough to cook and eat the right foods to fuel your body, you probably are going to be disciplined enough to do all the little things necessary to be successful. I have found that players that lack the focus in their nutrition also lack focus when it’s crunch time. It’s not just about broccoli and bad foods, it’s about putting enough quality gas in your tank to outplay the competition. If your friends around you are eating fast food burgers and you are eating great quality foods, who has the advantage in the fourth quarter? Making this a priority separates the athletes from the non-athletes.
Any young athletes with questions on the topic, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.