Muscles Involved In Vertical Jump

It is obvious that muscles are one of the key important factors involved in determining the outcome of a vertical jump. The more muscles an individual have and the stronger it is, the higher a person can vertical jump. Basketballers often seek ways to improve on their vertical jump and hence, working on these muscles are vital. Therefore, it is important to understand what muscle groups are involved to enable to be able to develop these said muscles to the fullest.

A person’s body weight is made up of 40-50% muscle tissue. Basically, there are three different muscle groups; cardiac, skeletal muscle and smooth muscle. The major of muscles, the skeletal muscle which can be further divided into the fast twitch and slow twitch sub-groups assists us in moving around.

Most people believe that people of black descent genetically have more fast-twitch muscles compared with other people in the world. Fast-twitch muscles cannot be increased in numbers and remain constant throughout our lives. However, the size/bulk of each fast-twitch muscle fibre in our body can be increased through hard work.

Not many basketballers are able to dunk. To be able to dunk, you require attributes as follows :

  • More than 6 feet
  • Lean (<10% body fat)
  • Strong hips, calves and thighs
  • Palm the ball with ease

For those who do not fit under these categories, they are still be able to dunk but not as fanciful. It could simply be a two-handed hanging off the rim dunk. It is a dunk nevertheless, but just not as fanciful and as good to watch.

Next, one have to determine which if they are either a good leaper or jumper as these will determine the specific programs involved needed to work on the muscles to execute a good vertical jump. Basically, good leapers such as Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan are able to simply coast to the rim for a dunk while jumpers such as Dominic Wilkins and Vince Carter explode near the basket for a powerful jam.

Leapers rely more on strong hips, abdominal and upper body strength to be able to launch themselves for the dunk while jumpers rely more on powerful calf and thigh muscles. The prior sentence clearly illustrates the importance of knowing what you are before being able to have a program to suit your attributes. It is to ensure that the right muscles are able to be worked upon. Below is a more in-depth look at the main muscle groups of both leapers and jumpers.

  • Leapers - Take off with the left leg (for those who are right-handed) with assistance with the right leg. Main muscles involved are :
    • 10% Hips
    • 10% Arms
    • 15% Calves
    • 15% Hamstrings
    • 50% Quadriceps
  • Jumpers - Basically, the three main muscle groups that are involved in the two-legged jump are :
    • 15% Arms
    • 20% Calves
    • 65% Quadriceps

With the above, you can determine which muscle groups you would be working out on for a better vertical leap. Both leapers and jumpers have different programs and exercises for the various benefits.

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