Try out this workout to boost your vertical jump, and running speed quickly!
A lot of people know this about me already, but if you don’t it is important for you to understand that I was not born a great athlete.
Actually, I still don’t consider myself to be even a “good” athlete. Personally, I know my body has a second level inside of it which I am patiently waiting to unveil.
It’s a process. A very long process.
However, I can say with full confidence that I am extremely proud of the changes I have made to my body over the course of the last 8 years.
Since I left my small town of Sherrill, New York for the first time and attended the Winchendon School for prep/boarding school, I have slowly transformed myself from a soda and chips loving teenager to a professional basketball player.
I am fully aware that being 6’ 10” definitely helps me in this situation, but without the right type of training and work ethic this still would amount to about nothing.
I know there are a few first hand witnesses to the fact that in my senior year of high school I literally missed multiple dunk attempts in games due to the fact that I could barely jump over a yellow phone book (thank you Al Knapp for this reference).
Since then, however, I have worked my way to recording a personal best of a 37 inch standing vertical leap (at the Detroit Pistons free-agent mini-camp in June of 2015), and have proved myself capable of playing at the highest level of professional basketball.
Training intensely is part of the reason I was able to make these changes, but just as important has been training intelligently. Here are a few tips that you can use to increase your running speed, and your vertical leap, fast!
Train on Grass Surfaces as Much as Possible
Try to do as much training as possible on grass surfaces; your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back will thank you.
Not only is grass a softer surface for landing on, but it is also slightly unstable. You might be thinking, well why is unstable ground good to train on?
Easy, all of your joints will naturally fight the instability of the ground, and increase strength faster and more naturally than in any other way.
I have noticed this especially this summer after my ankle injury, training on grass increases your stability quick!
Whether you consciously feel it or not, weakness in your ankles, knees, hips or lower back is stopping you from maximizing your ability to run fast and jump high.
Agility ladder drills, straight sprinting, hopping and bounding can all be easily done on grass-naturally eliminating a lot of this unseen weakness in your lower body. Try to do a full workout on real grass one time and I am sure that you will see!
Run and Jump at an Uphill Angle to Save Your Joints
Do a large amount of your sprinting, hopping, or bounding at a slightly uphill angle-your joints will thank you.
Few people know this, and less practice it, but training at an uphill angle is actually easier on your joints and more difficult on your muscles-at the same time!
You basically get to double dip when you do this, because you need to do less work to accomplish your goals, and your body will be more fresh for the next workout. Try doing a set of 5-10 two-foot long jumps on a flat surface and then at a small angle, then tell me which put less stress on your knees and hips.
I don’t think it will take you more than one set to realize the difference!
I don’t dismiss flat ground running at all because you absolutely need a balance, but just understand that the benefits to training at an uphill angle often are definitely there!
Try This Awesome Vertica Jump Workout!
Try this workout, please! Part 1 is warming up properly, and I will even write this part multiple times if you need me too.
Get a solid sweat going with jump roping, agility ladder work, dynamic stretching, or whatever you want to do so that your muscles and joints are nice and loose.
After this, mark off a distance that is about 80-100 yards long, and find the exact middle of this area.
I personally use a soccer field or football field for this, since its clearly easy to find the center line.
Next, you will run 20 sprints to this center point, followed by 10-20 jumping jacks.
Keep the number of jumping jacks consistent which each set, and increase them each time you come back and do this workout again. Proceed to walk to the other “end-line,” turn around, and repeat 10-20 times. Start with 10 sets of this with 10 jumping jacks in-between, and build it forward until you can run 20, 50 yard sprints with 30 jumping jacks.
The key is that you want to stop when you begin to feel your sprints slowing down, maximal speed is a necessity!
When your legs start to tire out, stop.
This workout works, and it will make you faster and jump higher from the first time you do it.
Jumping jacks are an extremely underrated exercise as they work nearly your entire body, most notably to me the gluteus minimus.
You will understand this more after you try this training technique the first time, but jumping jacks activate and strengthen the often neglected gluteus minimums, directly taking stress off of all of your lower body joints and your lower back.
This workout will burn a substantial amount of calories while being performed, and far more up to 48 hours afterwards!
As you can see through the graph of my Atlas Wearable watch (use discount code “AdamKempFitness” for $20 off at AtlasWearables.com), my heart rate rose to over 180 beats per minute, and I burned 230 legitimate calories in 20 minutes of work!
To do so, I performed 20 sprints at about 40 yards each (half of a youth soccer field), with 10 jumping jacks following each sprint.
I am certainly not in my best shape ever, but I know I will be feeling great tomorrow after this workout!
Working at this will help you cut down on unnecessary body fat, strengthen every single necessary part of your body that will help you run faster and jump higher, and increase both your anaerobic and aerobic conditioning.
I am telling you, just try it!
Not everyone is born a great athlete, but this doesn’t mean that you will always be that way. Train hard, but more importantly-train intelligently! Maximize your efficiency in every workout, every day, and you WILL see results. It is a fact! Do not. I repeat, DO NOT, attempt a strenuous workout or exercises that you do not feel 100% comfortable with. This is a part of training intelligently. An injured athlete is a lot more useless than an athlete who is slowly getting better (believe me…). Utilize these tips and I am sure that you will see results!