How to Jump Higher for Incredible Aerial Kicks
Jump kicks are one of the most popular techniques in the martial arts. Undoubtedly, if you have ever attended a Taekwondo tournament or watched a martial arts movie, you've witnessed some spectacular jump kicks you wish you could perform yourself. While many martial artists have developed strong jump kicking techniques, few have developed a high enough vertical leap to bring the kick to its full potential.
Jumping higher is not rocket science, but you need the right plan in place if you want to be successful. Here is a plan you can follow to help increase your vertical leap and greatly improve your aerial kicks. Please consult a doctor before performing any of these exercises.
Start Out Slowly: Before beginning the explosive exercises, we need to work on the general strength of the muscle groups responsible for achieving a high vertical leap. We are going to start by working the muscles at the bottom of the legs and work our way up the body. None of these exercises require weights, but as your muscles grow, you may want to gradually add some dumbbells to these routines to make them more difficult.
- Begin by doing three sets of calf raises. If you have access to a stair case or a block, you will want to position the balls of your feet (the area connected to the toes) on the stair, so that you can use your calf muscles to lift your body up and down. For each set, you will want to position your feet a little bit differently. On the first step, you will point your toes straight ahead. For the second set, you will point your toes outward and keep your heals together. On the third set, you will point your toes inward and keep your heals out. This will allow you to work your calf muscles more thoroughly. Take approximately 2 seconds every time you lift your body up and 2 seconds each time you bring your body down. At first, try to do 3 sets of 20 calf raises.
- The second exercise we are going to do is weightless squats. These will work your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and gluteus muscles, which are critical in developing a better vertical leap. Begin with your legs spread shoulder width apart and your arms crossed in front of you. Slowly bend your knees until they are at a 90 degree angle keeping your back straight. This exercise shouldn't hurt, so if you feel any pain, stop. Try to complete 2 sets of 15 squats.
- Forward lunges are another excellent exercise for working your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and gluteus muscles. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and take a large step forward with one leg and lower your body until your upper thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold the pose for about a second and then slowly return to a standing position. Again, these shouldn't hurt, so if you are experiencing any pain, quit. Try to do 1 set of 15 lunges.
- We will end our slow movement exercise with some abdominal crunches. Many people underestimate how important the abdominal muscles are when developing a high vertical leap, but keep in mind that much of your body's speed and movement is dependent upon your core strength. Try to complete 50 slow abdominal crunches before moving onto our explosion exercises.
Explosive Training: Plyometrics, or explosive training, are the key to increasing your vertical leap. They are exercises designed to produce powerful, rapid movement, and improve the functions of the nervous system. There are many incredible plyometric exercises you can do to increase your vertical leap, but here are two that seem to really do the trick.
- Begin in a standing position with your legs shoulder width apart. Slowly bend your legs until they are at approximately a 90 degree angle, then explode up as high as you can while reaching for the sky. When you land, be sure to bend your knees to absorb the shock. Do this 20 times.
- Begin in a standing position with one leg in front of the other. Take two steps and explode into a jump using only one leg to lift you into the air. Make sure to use the ball of your foot to help boost you off the ground and bend your knees when you land to absorb the shock. Do this 20 times.
For the best results, try to complete these steps 2 to 3 times per week, but not more than 4 times per week, because you need to give your muscles time to heal. By following this regimen, you should see a drastic increase in your vertical leap within a few weeks, and hopefully you will be able to develop your jump kicks to their full potential.
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