Being able to jump high is a sought-after skill in volleyball circles. For some players, this ability comes fairly naturally, but it takes a lot of hard training to establish for others.
If you struggle to get the height you need on your jump, don’t worry – there are several ways you can improve your form.
Let’s explore why a high vertical jump is important for your game, which muscles to focus on, and the training methods you can use to start getting more elevation.
Why it’s Important to Jump Higher in Volleyball
Developing good elevation helps volleyball athletes to get to jump shots more effectively than their opponents. It also makes it easier to raise their hands above the volleyball net to block shots. Essentially, being able to increase vertical jump ability means you will go further in your volleyball career. It makes it easier when players look for ways on how to get recruited for college volleyball.
The height of your vertical jump depends on your age group and whether you are playing in the men’s or women’s division. Higher-end athletes have a vertical jump within a range of 31 to 50 inches.
Many athletes are more in the 40 to 45 range. One of the best volleyball players in the world at the moment. Cuban athlete Leonel Marshall reaches an average of 50 inches. The world record is about 60 inches.
Also read: What is the Olympic volleyball net height in feet
Which Muscles are Used for Jumping High?
The main muscles that facilitate a high vertical jump are the hamstrings and quads. You also use the calves, glutes, and all the muscles and flexors around the hip area to jump.
A new study also shows extension in the knees and ankles is important for how to increase vertical jump.
The Player Height and Weight Factors
While being a bit taller does help to increase vertical jump, it’s not the be-all-end-all of the matter. Even if you are not as tall as the average volleyball player, you can still reach a decent elevation with good workouts to increase vertical jump.
Your weight can also make a difference. Lighter people find it easier to get off the ground, as there is less weight and thus less gravity resistance. You need to eat healthily to support strong muscle development and strength, however. So, striving for weight loss is not the answer to how to improve vertical jump. Strive for an athletic build.
Improving Your Vertical
If you’re not happy with the elevation you’re currently getting, there are methods that can help you to establish explosive power. You can work on your jump by doing targeted volleyball workouts.
Increasing vertical jump is not a complicated matter, but it does require effort and dedication. You’ll need to start from the very beginning and then put together a workout program.
Establish Where You Are
When working on how to increase your vertical jump, the first thing you need to do is establish how many inches you can jump currently. Get yourself some post-it notes, and find a wall to work with. Leap as high as you can beside the wall, and paste your post-it note at the spot where you reach. Ideally, record the date of your ‘ground zero’ jump so you can see how quickly your improvement progresses.
Check in around every two weeks once you have started your workouts to increase vertical jump to see if you can pass post-its higher than the original one.
Jumping Exercises and Stretches to do to Improve Your Elevation
There are several volleyball workout exercises you can use to improve your elevation. You can begin with developing muscle memory by doing exercises that strengthen your body so you can push higher.
The following jumping exercises can help a lot, though we recommend performing them with the guidance of an experienced coach to reduce the risk of strain and injury.
A great volleyball workout hack is using a bench to develop strength and agility. The exercise involves standing on a bench on one leg, then hopping down, and landing on both feet. As you touch the floor, go down into a squat, then push up into a jump.
This jumping exercise helps you to use the momentum from leaping off the bench and using it to increase your jump height after you have landed.
Resistance Training Exercises
There are several lower-body resistance vertical jump training exercises you can add to your routine for improved strength. You can try:
- Leg presses
- Calf raises
- Bulgarian split squats
Start with five to 10 reps once or twice a week to learn how to increase vertical jump. Then, gradually do more reps and add more weight as you get stronger.
Working with a skipping rope is highly effective. It’s one of the best cardiovascular volleyball workouts, strengthening calf muscles. Try doing reps as fast as you can for 30 seconds apiece. Make this one of your daily workouts to increase vertical jump.
Stretches for Mobility and Extension
Many people underestimate the importance of doing the right stretches in your volleyball workouts. Stretching out muscles like hip flexors, which are renowned for getting tight, can be a game-changer when it comes to how to improve vertical jump.
Make warm-up and warm-down stretch a part of your daily volleyball workout. The following stretches are excellent for improving vertical jump and reducing the chances of injury:
- The butterfly
- Sumo squat-to-stand
- Head to knee
- Figure 4 stretch
Working with a foam roller can also work wonders for how to increase your vertical jump. Placing it in key areas like the lower back, shoulders, under the calves, and anywhere else tightness tends to creep into your body can really help to release those tense areas.
Softer, longer muscles allow for more freedom of movement and thus greater vertical jump ability.
It can take time to see definitive results from your vertical jump training, like any new skill. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see an improvement right away. Stick with your training program with discipline, and you’ll slowly start to see your elevation reaching higher and higher.