A question was asked of me once: What are the best exercises to jump higher and run faster? In other words, the person asking this question wanted to know how to increase vertical jump. That is not a quick and easy question to answer because everyone is different, therefore they have weaknesses in one area, strengths in other areas. So, there will be different exercises and, depending upon your strengths and weaknesses, you will need to learn several different exercises in order to know what to work on and when.
Take for instance the guy who doesn't have a whole lot of strength. This guy would benefit from building up his strength doing exercises such as squats. On the other hand, the guy who is plenty strong, but lacks the spring in his step needed to catch air, he will need to spend a lot more time doing depth jumps as he develops his training regimen. Squats would do this second guy no amount of good.
To recap, to learn how to increase vertical jump, you must put your focus on two areas: speed and vertical jumping ability. In other words, running speed and jumping ability. Both of these skill require a huge amount of power. Power is the combination of speed and strength.
To understand this concept, let's turn our attention to the world-class sprinter. Imagine, if you will, a sprinter heading forcefully down the track on his way to Olympic Gold. Only don't just picture this sprinter in your mind, running full force and burning up the track. Slow things down, like a movie in slow motion. What you will see will give you a better understanding of what I am talking about when I say running speed and jumping ability, backed up by power, which is speed and strength, is being fully illustrated by this slow motion sprinter. Because you'll notice that this sprinter isn't running up the track at all. In fact, he is jumping down the track.
Interesting observation, isn't it? The principle states that the greater the power, on “force, " the more ground the sprinter is going to sail over. In the runner's world this is called the sprinter's “stride length. " Combine this stride length with how often the sprinter's feet hits the ground (frequency), and you get a perfect gauge for how fast the sprinter is sprinting. Knowing the speed he is capable of, the sprinter can then work either of those two areas to improve or increase his speed and thereby his performance. For example, he can increase the length of his stride or he can increase the frequency of his stride, and either or both of these will increase his speed or his performance. In the case of the sprinter, the greatest potential increase will be in increasing the stride length, because that is where, power is most important to him.
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