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Vertical Jump Training – Breaking Through Plateaus

So maybe you bought a good Jump Training Program and you have gained the first 6 to 8 inches on your vertical but now the progress has stopped? Or maybe after weeks of hard training you have yet to see that initial gain that everybody says comes pretty fast at the beginning?

In either case you are stuck at a Plateau and your training is not producing any more gains. So what can you do?

Here is a list of possible reasons for the Plateau and what you can do about it.

* Poor Nutrition – One mistake a lot of athletes make is they only take whey protein after the workout. One protein shake a day WILL GET IN THE WAY of results. A minimum should be three shakes a day, morning, post workout and before bed. Another mistake is poor diet in general. If you think everything your body needs is in the whey protein shake you are wrong. Try adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Don’t like eating them? Put them in a blender and make that one of your protein shakes for the day. Olympic legend Carl Lewis had the best times of his career over the age of 30 by changing to a raw fruit and vegetable diet.

* No Glutes – No Results – So your squat has gone up a lot but your vertical hasn’t. Your Glutes may be shut off and you are overcompensating with your quads (thigh muscles). To activate the Glutes you have to FEEL THEM CONTRACT. Try Box Squats. As you lower the weight and sit on the box all tension is taken off the quads. Now when you rise and begin the lift, drive your heels into the ground and FEEL the Glutes contract. Another great posterior chain version is the Wide Stance Squat. With a wide stance, toes pointed slightly out (like the martial Arts Horse Stance) your posterior chain will be forced into taking over

* Plyometric Form – You Are Stronger But Still Not Exploding. Video yourself jumping. Pay attention to how fast you leave the ground. I did this and compared it to a buddy of mine and my explosive takeoff was in slow motion compared to his. Naturally his vertical is a lot higher than mine but I am stronger. Focus on maximum takeoff speed with every Plyometric drill.

* Test Your Vertical After Resting – By rest I don’t mean 30 minutes. When you’re training hard over time the CNS (Central Nervous System) will wear down. The CNS is responsible for firing the muscles. Rest for 3 to 5 days and then test your vertical.

* Your Posterior Chain Is Still Weak – The main drivers of the jumping movement is the posterior chain (Glutes – Hamstrings – Lower Back). Ad exercises that focus on these areas for greater leverage and explosive potential. Examples of each exercise are all over YouTube so I won’t be posting examples in this article.

* Glute Ham Raise.

* Hyper and Reverse Hyper Extensions.

* Barbell Hip Thrusts.

* Wide Stance Squat.

* Box Squat.

If you think you have reached your vertical jump potential think again. I will end with a quote that I live by and sums up this article perfectly.

“There are no limits. Only plateaus. You must not stay there. You must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee