The height a projectile flies is determined by the velocity of the center of mass as it leaves the ground. The faster the initial upward velocity, the longer it will take for gravity to decelerate the projectile, and the higher it will travel. In the case of a human jumping, the projectile is the body, and the initial velocity is determined by the acceleration of the center of mass due to the force generated by the body. If you want to increase your vertical leap, the goal is to increase the force that your body can generate. Simple enough right? Just lift weights, and your muscles will grow; your legs will be stronger, and you'll jump higher. This is true to an extent, but you will likely discover at some point that jump training is not quite that easy.
The truth is that there are different muscle, tendon, and nerve abilities that contribute to jumping, or most athletic movements for that matter. The one ability is maximum strength; this is the largest amount of force that a muscle can exert. This is the most familiar muscle quality and the most commonly trained. It is increased by common resistance training, which most people are familiar with. The back squat is an example of a resistance training exercise used in jump training. The second ability is speed of force development, more simply stated as explosiveness. Muscles cannot instantly exert their maximum force. That time is small, but it is still longer than the time it takes to jump, meaning that all the force a muscle can exert cannot be utilized in a jump. This is the reason for the gap between strength and jumping ability.
Stay tuned for my next blog with a few more secrets plus success stories or just stop on by Hordon Health and find out yourself.
Boston Institute of Jump