There are many products and programs out there to improve your vertical jump. Some have merit, others do not. Isolated calf strengthening exercises aren’t likely to produce a drastic increase in your vertical. The biggest thing that will help you get above the rim is strength and power in your hips.
There are many factors that can impact hip strength. A new piece of equipment we’re using provides a functional way to transition hip strength to power (just one of its many applications). So, how can flipping The Finisher help an athlete improve their vertical jump? It helps athletes train 3 elements of improving vertical jump: posture, core tension, and triple extension.
Posture is the first step for generating maximal force into the ground, which results in a higher jump. Positioning your muscles and joints in optimal alignment enables your body to generate force most efficiently.
Training good body posture can also have an impact on reducing some common overuse injuries, like patellar tendonitis, or “jumpers knee”. This implement does a great job of reinforcing good lifting (and jumping) posture.
Notice how the body position when setting up to The Finisher is very similar to the pre-jump body position of the athlete in the video below. This athlete performs an impressive 47 inch vertical leap!
2. Core Tension
Tension through the core is what enables an athlete to maintain posture through a movement. It helps to preserve force that is generated, so it is not “leaked” while performing the full movement.
The act of lifting The Finisher reinforces the need to maintain posture through the exercise, much like an athlete would through the take-off of their jump. You can see in the photo how the alignment of the torso (trunk) remains straight while the hips and knees begin to extend.
3. Triple Extension
One of the biggest pieces of helping an athlete improve vertical jump (and other explosive movements) is getting to triple extension effectively. Triple extension is the simultaneous extension of the ankles, knees, and hips. When timed correctly, triple extension produces maximal explosiveness against the ground, resulting in higher, farther, more powerful movement.
The movement of flipping The Finisher closely mimics the extended takeoff position of a jump. This makes it an effective way to train an explosive triple-extension movement against resistance.
There are many ways to effectively train and improve vertical jump (you can view a few of them in this previous post). The Finisher provides a unique opportunity to safely and effectively train the triple extension movement pattern with resistance. It also provides a great opportunity to get this into a training program, if Olympic lifting is something you aren’t comfortable with doing or teaching.
While there are multiple options when designing training programs for improving explosive power and jumping, this is one unique way we’ve found to be effective and thought worth sharing.