Vertically oriented strength exercises contribute to jumping as high as possible, while exercises in the horizontal direction improve the forward jump and sprint. Young footballers already improved their jump or sprint performance by doing one extra strength exercise per week. With the vertical training program you can have the smartest deals now.
Portuguese researchers examined the strength training of 24 football players in the category less than 17 years of age. They applied the so-called force-vector theory, which states that it is best to choose strength exercises in which the athlete delivers strength in the same direction that the performance must be delivered. Indeed, it turned out that footballers who trained horizontally could sprint faster and jump further, while footballers who trained vertically jumped relatively higher.
What is already known?
Sport-specific strength exercises contribute the most to performance.
Horizontally-oriented exercises improve sprint performance. Vertical exercises are useful for vertical jumping. Doing a horizontal or vertical exercise once a week already improves the jump and sprint performance of young football players.
One exercise per week
To investigate the influence of the direction of strength exercises, the researchers adjusted the weekly strength training of the football players. The basic schedule consisted of exercises for the torso and trunk stabilization. On top of that, one-third of the footballers received a horizontally oriented exercise in their schedule: the hip thrust. Hereby the athlete pushes a dumbbell away with his hips. This exercise should train the ability in the horizontal direction. Another part of the group received a vertically oriented exercise for their choosing: the back half squat. The third part of the footballers served as a control group and only did the basic schedule.
Choose the right exercise
Before and after the 20-week training period, the researchers tested the vertical jump height, the horizontal jump distance and the sprint performance of the football players. As expected, all athletes improved in all areas, after all, young players improve easily regardless of which program they follow. However, the progress in vertical jump height was greatest in the group that trained squats, and the progress in horizontal jump distance and sprint time was greater in the group that did hip thrusts. The researchers explain this because the control of the muscles in the hip thrust follows the same pattern as with a horizontal jump or sprint. The same applies to the back half squat and the vertical jump. The researchers, therefore, recommend choosing exercises based on the direction of the force in which the performance is to be delivered.
When was the last time you saw someone jump as high as possible in a conventional gym? The machines are designed to restrict movement, hindering any action that requires speed.
Step classes are the most explosive training of many gyms.
But knowing how to jump and the land was a basic skill of our ancestors: climbing trees, overcoming obstacles, pouncing on dams. Challenging gravity at times was key to our survival. The vertical jump is also used in many tests and oppositions to assess physical fitness, as it is a reliable indicator of overall muscle power. Today we will see the technique and the best exercises to reach higher.
Improving the Vertical Jump
Jumping is an expression of power, and power is force x speed. Therefore, we will jump higher if we improve our strength and the speed at which we can deploy it.