3 Exercises That Will Increase Your Vertical Jump

Today I would like to dive into a big topic.. Your vertical jump.

The number of athletes that have started to follow me has increased so with that, I would like to give you in my opinion one of the best pieces of content yet for athletes. With no further ado, lets jump into this article!

What is a vertical jump and how can it make me a better athlete?

Okay so there is a few different jumps I like to cover when training certain athletes. We have your vertical jump which is the main jump that is used in most sports. Vertical jumping is straight up and down. There is horizontal jump training, I like to use this to build more lateral explosion. Then we also have broad jumps, which is used as a testing point in football combines. This will usually give you an idea of how strong and explosive your legs are. In a broad jump, you stand in a spot then proceed with a jump out in front of you linearly for distance. We will utilize some of these to help increase your athletic ability and vertical today.

Now if you want to know how training these can make you a better athlete then listen up on this part. When you train to increase speed and increase vertical jumping skills, you work a lot of the same muscle fibers. This means not only can you get faster from a speed workout but sometimes you can actually increase your vertical as well. Vise versa, so if you are using this article to increase your vertical then you will most likely increase the speed as well. Now if you don’t know how that can help you as an athlete then think about this. An athlete that is fast and can jump high will have a better chance to make more plays happen. So I 100% believe no matter what sport you play, this article can help you out!

Exercises we will be performing:

Pop up to a jump- This is an exercise I did when training for football. I remember watching this and thinking this would be a hard exercise but it was actually quick easier than I thought. I made a video that is added in towards the bottom to help you see how to do these 3 exercises. When training, I would try these 4×4.

 

Pop up to a broad jump- This is another variation of the first exercise but with a broad jump instead. I like this because you are training to make a move in a direction after the jump. It really works on activating the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. It should be quick and explosive. This drill will help football players training for broad jumps in combines as well. When training, I would try these 4×4.

 

Linear toe jumps over cones- This is a unique exercise that a lot of people don’t think about doing. The reasoning behind this exercise is that the calfs play an incredibly large part of jumping and even sprinting. If you read one of my previous articles called 3 Stretches That Will Increase Speed then you will know that ankle dorsiflexion is an important part to work on. The calves can act as a loaded spring and thats exactly what this exercise is going to look like. When performing this exercise, you will be loading the calves. The dorsiflexion stretch from the article linked right above would be good to perform before this exercise to get the calves ready. When jumping over the cones like I explain in the video below, you will have minimal knee bend. I had quiet a bit of knee bend but I believe that is because I was not warmed up and the calves were tight when I shot the video. DO NOT keep the knees locked out the whole time. Try to get only a slight bend as you are trying to absorb the ground reaction force into the calf muscles and have those calves trained to use the absorbed energy to process a good output that will increase the height of what you jump. When training, I would use 3-4 cones and do 8 times through total.

 

3 exercises that you will be performing – video 

 

 

Jump Kit-Training Package

These 3 exercises made a crazy impact on not only my vertical but other clients vertical jumping ability as well. I expect all of you that try it to see improvements within as little as 2 weeks! If you are interested in taking your vertical jump to a whole different level then send me an email at costafitness1@gmail.com and ask me how you can get a jump kit training manual! In this training program, you will get the stretches necessary to get all of the right muscles ready to fire. You will get strength training exercises that will increase strength and power. You will also get all of the jump training drills I coach to all different athletes including a couple of D1 college basketball players. Hit the following link to email me about increasing your vertical TODAY! —- EMAIL ALEX

 

Thank you for checking out todays new article. I really hope you all liked it and found some new drills to try. If you like this content then please share it with some friends and family that you think would also find it helpful! Hope everyone is having a good week!

-Alex Costa-

Why You Should Use A Foam Roller

It’s just a styrofoam pad, it is useless…

This is my thoughts on the foam roller a few years ago. UNTIL I had learned and weeped the benefits of them! I want to make this article and video over why you should be using a foam roller.

 

What is a foam roller & what do they do?

A foam roller is a popular mobility tool that can in my opinion, be a complete game changer. It will look like a padded cylinder pillow. Many have made them out of larger PVC pipes and some simply go out to buy one. They come in different sizes, most common ones being about 12 inches long and others around 36 inches for larger areas and different task on the body. It is used as a self-myofacial release method in recovery. In other words, it acts as a deep tissue massage for one using it. It will typically be uncomfortable at first but you will start to be able to withstand the pressure the more you incorporate it into training. It really digs deep to work kinks out of the muscles and allow for a better blood flow circulation which can lead to faster recovery time.  As the blood flow increases, it can act as a solid way to warm up different areas on your body before working out. This makes it perfect for use at anytime! Before, during or after exercise, take your pick! Or do them all.

 

So why should I use a foam roller?

The answer should be simple. If you want to take your performance, mobility and recovery to the next level then you should invest in a foam roller. As I stated above, this tool can help 3 major elements in your fitness goals especially if you are an athlete. If you are an athlete and you have never used one then I recommend that you use one from the gym and perform some of the exercises in the video posted at the bottom. It is actually common for most athletes that play sports all the way till college or if they go pro to not use foam rollers with their team. This is probably due to the price of a fine, quality foam roller. They are not very expensive, but for everyone to have one, it can add up for team expenses. I was able to get mine that is shown in the video below on Amazon. I got mine for an amazing deal, $12!

 

Foam roller exercise video:

 

In conclusion:

I believe that this can help anyone and everyone with different goals. This can help to better posture, performance and recovery due to the blood flow it can allow and help with mobility by it lengthening the muscles and giving a better range of motion. They don’t have to be the best one on the market, try a normal styrofoam one first to see if you like it, they tend to be the cheapest but still work very efficiently.

 

I hope you enjoyed todays article! I appreciate all of the support with the website and training! I will be selling Costafitness tri-blend T-shirts on the website soon! They are so comfortable and everyone that has bought one so far loves them! I will be back tomorrow with more content to help answer questions. Remember to strive to be the hardest worker in the room and help other when you can! Have an awesome hump day!

P.S check out my Instagram on Wednesdays for workout Wednesday post! It’s a free workout to try. Also shoot me an email if you are interested in working with me. I have online 1 on 1 coaching for gym goers and athletes!

 

-Alex Costa-

 

Safety Squat (Yoke) Bar

Safety Squat (Yoke) Bar         hbs

 

The safety squat bar can be a good tool to use. Unfortunately I have seen many people in the gym use the bar incorrectly or just not know what it is for. I am hoping that this post will help you gain a better understanding on how you can start using this bar today.

First off, if you are new to lifting and squatting then I would not recommend the safety squat bar to start off with. The main reason for this is because that when you get underneath this bar compared to a normal olympic bar you will notice a couple differences.

  1. A safety squat bar tends to be about 60-70 lbs as where a standard olympic bar is 45lb.
  2. The safety squat bar will load up your anterior chain where a normal back squat will load more of your posterior chain.

Lets talk about some of the benefits that the Yoke bar can give you, shall we?

 

Increases deadlift

On the other hand, if you have some experience then I would throw this into the mix. This can be a good tool if your deadlift is lagging and you need to bring it up. The reasoning for this is because of how this bar front loads your body. The posterior chain will have to really work to help stabilize everything. This will help build the leg strength transferring into the ground as well as increase the strength of the back because your back is trying to hold up the load as you descend into the squat. As most of us may know, a strong posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, back) will really skyrocket your deadlift.

 

Great for athletes & powerlifters

If you are a powerlifter or athlete then this is right up your alley, with it being a good tool to add strength. Of course if you are not one of these and just are a gym goer that is looking to switch it up then have at it! Athletes need to have a strong core, hamstrings, glutes and back to be a more powerful athlete. When you are a more powerful athlete then you have a better chance of having the upper hand on your opponent.

 

Fights around injuries

One point that I have not yet mentioned but is a very solid point about this bar is that it can work around injuries! What I mean by this is that you can still squat if you have an upper body injury depending on what the injury may be. As an athlete plays through the season, injuries are always possible during season and even off season. With this bar, you can fit underneath the pad and still perform a squat. This can be extremely beneficial because you can still strength train to a certain degree (always check with your athletic trainer). If you have tight deltoids and pectoralis muscles then getting underneath a straight bar to take some squats can be stressful on those muscles and joints. This bar has the handles that you can hold on to during your squat which in turn will take the excess stress off of the shoulders.

 

Quad dominate

As I have mentioned in some of the article above, this will front load your body. This means that this will increase activation of the anterior chain like the quadriceps. The quads will really be working hard in this movement due to the stress placed upon them. Branch Warren, a pro bodybuilder says that this bar is one of the greatest tools he’s ever used to develop his thighs.

 

Numerous exercises you can do with this bar

A unique thing about this bar is that it has a spot to place your head and neck into the pad. On the sides of the pad, there are handles so you can hold onto the bar and keep it stable. With the handles being there, this opens up this bar to more exercises than just a safety bar squat. There are more things you can use the bar for like the list of the following:

  • Lunges
  • Back extensions
  • Split Squat
  • Box squats
  • Good mornings
  • Use suspended chains on this bar a lot easier

ssb lunge

This is why a powerlifter would love this bar. These are some of the more common uses of this bar as a powerlifter.

 

In conclusion

This bar is a useful tool for any gym. Although it stands out for athletes and powerlifters, anyone can try it out and I definitely recommend it! It is always fun to try something new in the gym, this bar may help you in more ways than I posted in this article. With  that being said, I hope you enjoyed this article and find this helpful. If you use the safety squat bar for anything else or know other benefits of this bar then comment below and let me know!   

 

 

Resources:

http://primalstrengthcamp.com/why-you-should-be-squatting-with-a-safety-squat-bar/

http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/leg-exercises/safety-bar-squats-jacked-quads

http://www.stack.com/a/why-every-gym-should-have-a-safety-squat-bar

Pictures: lunges