Vertical jump training versus genetics: is it possible to jump higher?

vertical jump

The ability to jump vertically is an advantage in many sports. As a result, there are many athletes who would like to jump higher. Jump training (also called vertical jump training) is promoted as an effective way to increase your vertical jump height. However, some people seem to be able to jump high naturally. So what role does your genetics vs. jump training play when it comes to your vertical jump? Well, there are several important factors that affect the height of your vertical jump.

Body Structure – Bones

While most athletes have 2 arms and 2 legs, there are important structural differences between individuals that are largely determined by their genetics. For example, genetic factors affect the rate and timing of bone growth during adolescence. This has an impact on your overall height, the length of your limbs, the length of your torso in relation to your legs, the ratio of the length of your femur (thigh bone) to tibia (shin bone) and others. factors that affect height. of your vertical jump. No amount of training will improve your bone structure to allow you to jump higher.

Body structure – Muscles and nervous system

How high you can jump depends on your body’s ability to exert explosive force to propel you into the air. Your muscles and nervous systems are critical to this ability. You may have heard of “fast twitch” and “slow twitch” muscle fibers. Most likely an Olympic sprinter would have a high ratio of fast twitch to slow twitch, maybe 90% fast twitch to 10% slow twitch. An Olympic marathon runner is likely to have the opposite (lots of slow contractions, few fast contractions). Everyone has at least some fast twitch muscle fibers and some slow twitch. Genetics play a big role in the proportion of each. Having faster twitch fibers is an advantage in exerting the explosive force needed to jump vertically.

Training Effects: Yes, you can jump higher!

However, with the right type of training, it is certainly possible to improve your vertical jump height no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ your genetics. While training won’t give you more fast twitch fibers, it will help make the ones you have plus powerful! The explosive power required for a large vertical jump depends on strength and speed, which can be influenced by training.

Lifting weights as part of a standard gym strength training program can give you strength but not speed. Working on speed drills alone can give you a little extra speed, but without the power to propel your body into the air, speed alone isn’t enough.

So what type of jump training should I use?

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