Five Vertical Jump Myths
Myth 1: Ankle Weights
Ankle weights add no resistance to any important jumping muscles whilst jumping because they are located below their joints. The only joint ankle weights are above are the "ankles" which are controlled by the calf muscles. Ok, so your adding a couple kilos of resistance to the calf muscles. The calf muscles are very strong muscles and don't even care about this little amount of added weight. But this added weight increases your legs weight by a huge percentage causing great amount of stress on the tendons and ligaments around the knee, which can lead to serious injury. So it seems ankle weights are just pointless injury causing devices.
Myth 2: Depth Jump And Squat Level.
Ever hear some one say, "You can't perform plyometrics/depth jumps without being able to squat 1.5 - 2 times your body weight?" You probably have. Beliefs like that came from study's of the ability of elite athletes to use their "Stretch Shorting Cycle" when dropping off 40 inch boxes. Well isn't it possible just to use a lower box that suits the athletes strength level? Yes it is. The higher the box you drop off the more eccentric (lowering) strength you require so that you can stop the fall and travel back upwards in the opposite direction, the lower you fall, the lower the eccentric strength you need. As for squats as a true measure off eccentric strength in the legs, they are not. A true measure off eccentric strength in the legs would be lowering a squat under control. So the whole 1.5 - 2 times your body weight thing is old school.
Myth 3: Skip Rope
Skipping rope is seen - because it has a lot of "jumping" - as a good way to increase your vertical jump, well its not. Skipping rope normally means minutes of tiny little bounces up and down until you run out of breath. A vertical jump is preformed only once, generates more power and doesn't involve getting out of breath. Skipping rope is more an aerobic exercise where a vertical leap is more an an aerobic movement. The crossover between the exercise and movement is around null. Its like the crossover from walking and sprinting.
Myth 4: Frontal Platform Shoes
Frontal plyometric platform shoes are said to increase the benefit of any plyometric exercise. This is not true, frontal platform shoes do give the calf muscles a better plyometric exercise but take away the benefit of the plyomertic exercises is on the major and more important jumping muscles. The balance and control that the major jumping muscles lose when landing and taking off because of the platform shoes being worn stops them from being able to use their "Stretch Shorting Cycle" and therefore stops the benefits of plyometric training in the first place. Frontal platform shoes still have their place in plyometric training as they deliver the best calf muscle plyometric workout available. So you can include some platform shoes exercises to target the calf muscles but leave them out to target the rest.
Myth 5: 50+ inch verticals
Statistically probably 0.0001% of the basketball population have a vertical above the 50 inch mark, we are talking extremely gifted athletes. Yet probably 1% of the basketball population claim there vertical leap is 50+ inches. 50+ inch verticals mean athletes just 5 foot tall should be able to stick their head in the net and slam dunk easy and that 6 foot athletes should hit their head on the rim and grab dimes of the top of the backboard. So if some one's trying to get you to believe they have a 50+ inch vertical, just say "prove it".
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