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Vertical Jump Tribute
In any sport, the vertical jump is considered to be the most volatile human movement known to man. To say that an athlete or dancer's success will likely be measured by their vertical jump ability is an understatement. For instance, volleyball and basketball -- as well as ballet are probably the most definitive examples that utilize the vertical jump. Vertical jumping ability is directly related to an athlete or dancer's overall physical conditioning as well as their current athletic ability. It's actually become standard practice for both sports organizations and ballet companies to test prospects in their vertical jumping ability.

Vertical jump measurement begins with the dancer or athlete in place at a standing position. From there, the athlete or dancer jumps as high as possible and marks a wall with their fingertips that are normally covered in colored chalk. Now you subtract the height that the athlete or dancer can touch on the wall from a standing position and this result defines their actual and current vertical jumping ability. The measurement of the jump is flawed if the athlete is permitted to take one or more steps before jumping, as the athlete will convert some of the energy developed in the step taken into the force of propulsion that generates upward lift.

Because one uses both leg strength and explosive power, jumping height or specifically, jumping muscles can be developed in the same way as any other muscle can be developed. Within the leg muscles of a vertical jumper are fibers known as fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibers... It is in the distribution of these fibers that ultimately determine the limit of one's vertical jump height. What you're born with is what you get when it comes to these two fibers... They are based on the DNA or genetic makeup of your ancestors. Speed requires rapid muscle contraction and rapid muscle contraction is determined by the quantity of fast-twitch fibers in an athlete or dancer's leg muscles. Unfortunately, those dancers or athletes who possess more slow-twitch fibers than fast-twitch fibers won't be able to jump as high as those who possess more fast-twitch fibers than slow-twitch fibers.

Hands down, plyometrics is considered to be the very best exercise program when it comes to developing your vertical jump. Plyometrics for vertical jump development targets not only one's speed but their physical explosive movements as well. The object of a plyometrics program is to perform the exercises at maximum intensity. Progressing from one level to another should be approached slowly when it comes to a plyometrics training program in order to keep injuries from occurring. Rest intervals are just as important when it comes to plyometrics training because of the additional stress placed on specific muscle groups.

Flexibility attained through focused stretching programs, increases joint range of motion necessary to jumping. Hips, knees, and of course, the ankles always require proper stretching. This assists both athlete and dancer in maintaining an approximate 3:2 ratio in their relative strength of the quadriceps to the hamstring.

Increasing vertical jumps by as much as 5 to 10 inches in as little as 90 days is certainly possible if plyometrics training is combined with adequate rest intervals.