Supplements for Vertical Jump
Preparation for the big season is ahead. You notice your jumps are struggling a bit. Every training session you have put in that hard work, explosiveness is improving, reactiveness is enhanced but your jumping ability is still lacking. The thought crosses your mind...is there a supplement I can take to jump higher?
There has to be some concoctions of supplements I can start to slam to increase my vertical jump! Let’s see if there is indeed something that will get our vertical to blow up!
The Magic Pill?
It’s important to discuss the magic pill phenomena. This is a consistent theme, not just among athletes but also amongst coaches and parents! There is a dream, a hope, a belief that hard work can be bypassed, intelligent programming can be avoided and all that has to happen is simply take a pill or powder. You smash that powder and the elusive number will magically appear!
This is not reality. Move on from this comprehension and buy into the idea and notion that it will take time, work and recovery to achieve your goals to jump higher.
The Key Elements to the Vertical Jump
To develop a big vertical jump, it’s important to study and learn the mechanics and elements behind the absolute best jumping ability. Let’s jump into some simple research before addressing the world of supplements!
1. Rate of Force Development
Developing force is very important, but when we are discussing the vertical jump it is EXTREMELY important to develop force at a RAPID rate. When force is developed rapidly, the twitch force sent to the muscle is very fast and the body recruits a large amount of high threshold motor units. This motor proposition is a skill and can be developed over time! Learn what type of training works best for rate of force development and get to work.
2. Deceleration and Cocontractions
The capability of an athlete to decelerate their body through effective cocontractions can lead to a faster amortization phase. When athletes do plyometric work, their body learns how to recruit rapidly through eccentric load and potential energy. This can help the knee joint learn how to improve stability, ultimately leading to a more rapid use of power output.
Strength is often the forgotten element behind training for a higher vertical jump. Strength can enhance trunk stability, it can improve the reactiveness of the athlete’s abs while also improving the organizing capability. These are all simple tasks that will improve the general jumping ability an athlete possesses. Strength can also improve an athlete’s mobility, leading to improved force development!
Give Me the Supps!
While we think through the best supplements to use for bigger hops, we MUST remember the key elements. Can the supplement help with strength? Can it help with cocontractions and deceleration? Does it help with the rate of force development?!?! Let’s get rolling.
Creatine is a simple supplement to take, it is extraordinarily safe, arguably one of the most researched supplements on the planet and can dramatically improve each element of the vertical jump! Improve rate of force development? Check. Improve strength? Check. Improve deceleration? CHECK.
How much and how should you take it? One of the best ways is to factor .1g/kilo of bodyweight for each individual. Take it around the same time each day and get those gains rolling!
2. Caffeine and Tyrosine
Ok, so maybe this is actually two supplements but they are very powerful. Caffeine is very good at improving pain tolerance, it is very powerful at improving power output because of the way it works with dopamine receptors. Along with creatine, caffeine is one of the most studied compounds on the planet.
Use caffeine slowly over time, try to consume it about 30-45 minutes prior to a training session and this will dramatically improve your ability to handle the intensity of the training needed to jump higher. Use 2.5mg/lb of bodyweight, start lower and slowly build higher over time.
3. Whey Protein
Any complete protein can be utilized here, however there is a TON of research around whey protein and how well it can impact lean muscle mass. It has been shown to decrease fat mass while improving lean muscle mass, this will make the athlete stronger and more explosive and ultimately capable of jumping higher!
If the athlete has a dairy intolerance, use beef protein or a plant based protein that is complete. This will help recovery and improve power output. Use about 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight for optimal results.
4. ZMA (zinc/magnesium/vitamin B6)
A lot of coaches initially push back to this supplement. However, after recognizing that zinc can improve strength, magnesium can assist in relaxing the nervous system and B6 can help dramatically improve the quality of sleep. When these minerals and vitamins are combined, they provide optimal recovery which is paramount for power output.
We forget that sleep is crucial for impressive gains. When athlete’s are undergoing stressful training, recovery is one of the most important aspects behind performance and ZMA can provide incredible recovery.
Make sure the supplements you utilize are sourced appropriately and are high quality, like those from Earth Fed Muscle. These four key supplements will lead to a greater rate of force development while also improving your strength. This is very important over a long period of development and can truly push your athlete over the edge of improving their vertical!
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