Obtain Maximum Speed and Vertical Jump
Yesterday I was in my last set of box jumps and a nice looking, very buff man approached me. He was very polite and watched me jump up and back continuously until I was finished.
When I stopped and stepped away, breathless and sweaty, he asked me if I could answer a question for him, “What was I training for and why was I doing box jumps?” My answer was simple, “speed and strength.”
You may be thinking that speed and strength do not go along, but I am going to show you that they are a pair! If you are looking to improve your vertical jump or increase your speed so you can catch that game-winning touchdown, then bringing speed and strength together is just the answer.
Top speed is created by applying optimal force to the ground, and the way to increase that is with a combination of plyometrics and strength training. The most interesting thing is that your vertical jump is directly correlated with training for speed and accelerating quickly because power equals strength times speed.
To become faster than someone else you need to increase stride frequency and stride length. You have to focus on both stride frequency and stride length together. Be careful, because if you focus on just one of the two, the other will suffer.
For example, if you focus all your training on taking short, quick steps to accelerate, then your stride length with become shorter. You might take off quicker than the other person but they will soon catch up to you once your are past the acceleration phase.
Plyometrics is the key to success in increasing both speed and power. This type of exercise enables your muscles to reach maximal force in the shortest amount of time. If you combine plyometric training with the proper strength exercises, you will be able to increase the muscle force produced as well as the power generated.
Going back to stride length and frequency, this type of training will improve both together. Not only will you accelerate faster, but also go on to gain ground post acceleration phase to blow your competition away.
When training for speed and power you should do this program two times per week. Always start with a 5 to 10 minute warm-up followed by a light stretch. The rest period between exercises is very important as well, because it is important to let your body recover slightly before you start the next drill.
Remember that at the end of the workout you should immediately replenish your muscles with a lean protein source, such as a protein shake or egg whites. Let’s begin!
1. Box Jumps — Use a box jump that is anywhere from 1 to 3 feet tall. Stand facing the box and take a step up on-top of the box. Jump down, and as soon as you land jump back up on top and stand up straight. Repeat 10 times.
Remember that when doing a box jump the goal is to bring your knees up to your chest. This will help you get more height. Also use your arms to help generate power and increase height. This is a full body movement. Make sure to land lightly like a cat. Always keep your joints relaxed to prevent injury
2. Jump Rope — Immediately jump rope for 1 minute. Keep a quick pace.
3. Burpees with a BOSU — Stand with the BOSU curved-side down in front of you. Place your hands on each side and jump back like you would doing a normal burpee. Jump your feet forward and lift the BOSU over your head. Immediately place the BOSU back on the ground and jump back. Repeat 10 times.
4. After you finish this set of three exercises, rest for one to three minutes and repeat.
Go to the track in your gym or an open space for this set.
1. Double-Leg Forward Hops – Stand on the track and squat down low, letting your arms come out in front. Then power up as your arms come back and try to jump as far as you can. As soon as you land, let your body weight come down and arms come to the front and repeat. Perform 20 reps.
2. Walking Lunges — Immediately move into walking lunges with the back knee almost touching the ground as you lunge. Keep it about one inch above the ground. Perform 50 walking lunges counting each step as one lunge.
3. Mountain Climbers — Finish with 50 fast mountain climbers.
4. Rest for one to three minutes and repeat three times.
1. Split Squat Jumps — These are my all-time favorite! Stand in a lunge position and fire up alternating front legs. Perform 20 jumps.
2. One-Legged Squats — Sit at the edge of a bench. Lift one leg off the ground and bring the foot that is on the ground slightly to the middle. With hands out in front stand up completely and then sit back down just so your butt barely touches the bench and then repeat. Do 12 on each leg.
3. Lunge on BOSU – Stand with one foot on BOSU. Lunge back with opposite leg. As the leg comes forward, try not to touch BOSU. Bring the knee up and repeat.
This exercise is very important because it helps with balance and with adding more power when you push off in your running strides or vertical jump. I find that using a barbell helps with the balance and strength, but do not go to heavy. This exercise will also fire your core muscles. Take your time. I always find my balance is better on the second and third sets.
4. Rest for one to three minutes and repeat three times.
Stand at the foot of a set of stairs.
1. Squat Jumps – Perform 15 squat jumps, making sure to touch the floor with your hands as you land. This will ensure that you are getting low.
2. Stairs – As soon as you finish the last squat jump, sprint up the stairs and the jog back down.
3. Rest for one to three minutes and repeat three times.
4.Cool Down for 5 to 10 minutes and stretch.
To increase speed and power you need both strength exercises and explosive movements. This workout has it all and you will see results fast! Look forward to being able to slam dunk the basketball or leave your defender in the dust!