This article will review how I improved my jump in my very late 30’s! 🙂 I’m not 40 yet dam it! This article will incorporate jump training programs from some of the best athletic trainers in volleyball globally.
As I got older a big part of my training I have had to consciously focus on is jump training. The first and most interesting part was the growth mindset.
Initially as I got older I believed that the height of my jump was primarily a function of my age meaning as I got older I would not be able to jump as high. Fortunately I spoke to an expert who pointed out that this is incorrect and that you can still jump high way into your later 40’s. This made me realize my “Fixed Mindset” was limiting me and changing my behavior specifically how I train. I bet you many of you suffer from the same problem.
So the first step for jump training was to believe I could still jump high! It’s pretty funny to be writing this as I sound pretty stupid and I teach the growth mindset to all my youth players I coach!
The next step was creating a foundation where I was healthy enough to engage in jump training. Before I tried and understood the Functional Movement System I always used to get hurt when I started jump training. Knees and back were what seem like the main two problem areas.
What I always attributed the problem to was the jump training and not muscle skeletal composition and asymmetries in my body. Once I fixed my body using FMS, most of the knee and back problems went away.
Now to the jump training portion.
To jump high you need to go fast, get strong, jump and be lite. Let’s start with the obvious. Be lite.
Your weight in volleyball matters. I have seen this more and more in basketball but the old proto type has changed. A 6 foot 6 player in basketball used to weigh about 225-230. Today those players are in the 215-220 range. (See LeBron in the last few years slim up)
This is for a number of reason! Every time you jump, more weight equals more work. Secondly more weight results in more impact on landing and thus more strain on your body.
So my weight goals have changed! During winter I want to come in at the 220-225 range. I am a big guy so that is really tough and takes allot of concentration. For example I can wake up at 225 play volleyball drop to 218 and come home eat, re-hydrate and can easily top the 230 range. Yes I can add 12 pounds in a few hours.
In the summer my goal is to walk onto the beach tournament days at 220 and be playing in the last games at 210-215. This difference means a 2 inch increase on my block jump plus I can last a full tournament.
Next speed and strength. I gave you my gym workout and you can see how I attempt to develop this. This takes hard work and dedication!
Finally is jumping. I was at the AVCA convention this year talking to a friend who is 5 foot 7 and has a 42+ inch vertical and I asked how he did it? His reply, I do allot of jump training. 🙂
To jump high you must do jump training. There is no way around it!
If you ever have a chance look at Karch Kiraly book on Beach Volleyball. Almost everyday they did jump training on top of a gym, workout and playing.
Every time I am at the gym now, I try and do some jump training. My staples are block jumps and box jumps.
I pretty much do 50 block jumps. 5 sets of 10 every time I go to the gym. This number increases more towards beach season as I decrease other in gym workout activities.
Other jump training on the mat and on boxes.
For this I want to give credit where credit is due. I took lessons here from Reid Hall and the trainers at Velocity Fitness.
Jump Progression – Barrier Hops Exercise and Jump Technique Breakdown -Video 2
Jump Progression – Barrier Hops Exercise, Quad Hip-Flex Stretch Video 3
Few things to point out:
Jump training is about jumping and landing. You will notice both trainers focus on landing. This was a new realization for me and has help with my jumping and injury prevention.
Next the speed of your arms is one of the best indicators of your jump height. This means workout on your arms and back when jumping, not just your legs.
A large part of jumping comes from the elasticity of muscles. Being strong does not mean that you can jump high! Rather you need strength with speed and elasticity.
For my physical training I tend to do different versions of what Reid and the velocity trainers suggest.
And finally to sum up I believe I can jump and I incorporate some level of jump training every day no matter what! Please let me know your thoughts on this article plus any secrets you have below…