September 19, 2021

Strength Based Power Training For The Vertical Jump

Power training involves applying a force at the greatest speed possible (Power = force x velocity). Jumping is a powerful movement and it must be trained using exercises which require a high power output. In a previous article, I had described the importance of strength in vertical jump training development. A well-developed strength program supplies the necessary force application in the power equation. Now it is time to discuss how to apply velocity to the power equation.

Performing movements at a high velocity is the goal when designing power based exercises along with a second goal of focusing on maximum effort with each repetition. There are two major types of power exercises, those which involve more than body weight resistance and those utilizing only body weight. This article will discuss the application of performing power exercises which incorporate an added resistance through weight training. Power resistance exercises can fall into several categories:

1) weightlifting exercises with a low to moderate percentage of 1 repetition maximum (1RM) performed آموزش بازی انفجار
2) weight throws
3) resisted jumping techniques.

The first two categories will be discussed according to technique and application toward improving the vertical jump.

Weight training as applied to power movements involves both lower and upper body training regimens. I will focus primarily on lower body movements with the assistance of upper body musculature. Each exercise must have an explosive lower body component. The most straight forward movement regarding lower body explosiveness is the jump squat. The jump squat is performed with the same motion and form as the back squat using about 40% of 1RM. The difference lies in the speed and explosiveness of the exercise. The movement must mimic a vertical jump by dropping more quickly and leaping with the bar while approaching the top of the squat. The athlete should drop to parallel as in a well performed back squat and should perform sets of 5-6 repetitions with maximum effort.

The other power based weightlifting exercises involve pulling the barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell high and explosively. The more common movements include the hang clean, hang snatch, power clean, and power snatch. These exercises are known for working the posterior chain muscle complexes that are involved with the vertical jump, notably the hamstrings, calve muscles, and gluteus muscle group. When performed properly, these exercises are too complex to be explained in detail within this article. Therefore, a brief explanation must suffice. The hanging exercises begin with the weight being held at mid-thigh level. A slight dip followed by a rapid pull upward and rapid hip extension initiates the movement with the weight being held close to the body throughout the movement. The hang clean finish is caught at the shoulders with a shoulder width grip, whereas the snatch is caught overhead with a wide grip. These exercises are excellent for developing rapid hip extension (the hip snap) which is necessary for a quick and explosive jump. The power clean and snatch are initiated from the floor with a slower strength pull, but once the weight is pulled past the knees it becomes a rapid pull nearly identical to the hanging exercises.

An additional exercise which is excellent for developing the rapid hip extension is the kettlebell swing. The kettlebell swing can be performed with two hands or alternately with opposing hands. The swing is initiated with the kettlebell dropping between the legs and with the arms straight. The momentum of the hip extension will swing the kettlebell to shoulder height. This motion is repeated for the designated number of repetitions. A heavier weight with lower repetitions is designed to increase the vertical jump, whereas a lower weight with higher repetitions will help increase jumping endurance. A similar movement, the overhead medicine ball throw, should be included with the kettlebell swing. The mechanics of this exercise are nearly identical to the kettlebell swing. The main difference is that the medicine ball is thrown high in the air behind the body. Sets of 6-8 repetitions are recommended.

A final weightlifting exercise worth incorporating into a vertical jump program is the overhead jerk. The weight can be cleaned from the floor and jerked overhead or the movement may be initiated without the clean by taking a barbell from a rack. The explosiveness originates from the legs and the weight is driven overhead with a rapid motion while the body drops under the weight in a split stance or partial squat. This exercise is outstanding for overall body explosiveness.