Have you seen John Wall dive down on former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse? What about his dunk between the legs in the City of Palms Dunk contest? In case you didn’t know, John Wall, the No. 1 in the 2010 NBA Draft, has a vertical of 39 inches (his maximum vertical reach was 11 ‘8.5 “; measurements before the draft).
Now, if you want to improve your vertical, it’s important to understand that this is something you need to work on separately. For example, playing as much basketball as you can will not help – quite the contrary! It might even have a negative effect on your vertical leap. The reason is that this way you are only training your “jumping endurance”.
But in order to maximize your vertical, you have to work on your “jumping explosion”. Exercises designed to improve your jumping explosion are different from conventional exercises like squats and calf lifts – you need to do them really fast and at high intensity.
It all depends on the quality, not the quantity and intensity, not the amount of repetition. The key rule here is to do as many reps as possible at maximum speed. Believe it or not, rest is a key part of vertical jump training. It takes a long time for your muscles to recover. That’s why you should never do vertical training two days after another. A recovery period (24 to 48 hours) is extremely important.
There are two other things you need to watch out for: stretching and nutrition. Be sure to stretch before (briefly) and after each workout. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible so that they can exert maximum strength.
Besides rest, your muscles need protein (eg, eggs, chicken breast, turkey, beef, fish, shellfish) and magnesium to grow. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be taking in more calories while you burn during the day. Otherwise, you will gain weight, which will significantly slow your progress.
For a concrete vertical program, I recommend the jump manual – quite simply the best vertical training program available today – with concrete exercises, weekly charts, videos and more.
P.S. John Wall first dunked at the age of 14 (his listed height is now 6’4 ” (193cm); weight 195 lbs (88kg)).