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As a basketball player it is important to have a good jump height (for scoring, rebounding, blocking). I've tried some plyometric exercises and are jump skipping often. But I do not have a good idea what really helps.

What is the best way to improve my vertical speed?

I think this could be useful for other sports too (soccer, volleyball, ...)

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4  
I feel like this question would be better served on F&N. –  wax eagle Feb 9 '12 at 13:11
1  
Actually was asked here as well: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/1353/… –  chrisjlee Feb 18 '12 at 0:29
    
AdiZero :-) oh and strong calf muscles –  Dynamic Feb 19 '12 at 1:51
    
I too am a strong advocate to Strength shoes. Many on my high school team did the same and would say was the key to our increase our jumping ability. –  user1160 Mar 6 '13 at 11:12

3 Answers 3

I played volleyball, we used to train in the gym (leg press, etc). I always had knee problems, until I started to train on a trampoline (small one). I wasn't able to fix my problem completely, but it improved a lot. There are all kinds of stability training exercises available on a trampoline:

  • Jump into the trampoline from the ground, try to land on one leg, stay in the same position for a second
  • Make small jumps in the trampoline on one leg
  • Stand in the trampoline, squad on one leg. Someone should push you a little bit, to train stability

You can also do these exercises with a ball. I found a nice link http://www.gymmomentum.com/2012/02/01/strength-and-stability-to-help-with-tumbling/

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A cursory google scholar search provides many great articles germane to this subject.

Especially this report from Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2006. MANDY T. WOOLSTENHULME,

Woolstenhulme, Griffiths, Woolstenhulme, Parcell hypothesize that ballistic stretching improves vertical jump height:

Subjects participated in 6 weeks (2 times per week) of warm-up and basketball activity. The warm-up groups participated in ballistic stretching, static stretching, sprinting, or basketball shooting... We measured vertical jump height immediately following 20 minutes of basketball play at weeks 0, 2, 4, and 6. Only the ballistic stretching group demonstrated an acute increase in vertical jump 20 minutes after basketball play (p 0.05). Coaches should consider using ballistic stretching as a warm-up for basketball play, as it is beneficial to vertical jump performance

The article continues and indicates that vertical jump increased by about 3cm:

All of the subjects who engaged in a ballistic stretching warm-up and then played basketball increased their vertical jump heights by about 3 cm

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People also are fond of shoes that basically make you walk on your toes...such as these Strength Shoes. There are also other devices that you can strap on to existing shoes that make you walk on you toes/balls of your feet.

So, while wearing these, you would do sprints, jump training, etc.

When growing up playing and training for volleyball...these were popular. Saw some kids with amazing verticals on YouTube and saw some moments where they were taking these weird shoes out of their gym bags.

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