If You Want To Learn To Jump Higher, Should You Get A Trampoline?
Jumping high is an important skill in a lot of sports. If you’re a basketball, volleyball, soccer or football player, or a dancer or a gymnast, increasing your vertical leap is often a part of your exercise training program (formal or informal). Have you ever wondered “can jumping on a trampoline increase your vertical jump?”
The answer is yes. We’re going to look into why that is.
If you want to jump higher, you need to focus on increasing your power (strength, speed, and coordination) and overall fitness. Bouncing on a trampoline checks these boxes. Although the improvement to your vertical jump may be less impressive than what you’d get with plyometric exercises and strength training, it will be easier on your joints and more fun overall.
Table Of Contents
- What Makes A Person Jump Higher? The Physics Behind It.
- How Does Trampoline Bouncing Train Your Body To Jump Higher?
- Trampoline Training vs Plyometrics and Strength Training?
- What is the highest vertical jump possible?
- Final Thoughts
What Makes A Person Jump Higher?
The answer to what can make a person jump higher is actually a concept found in the world of physics.
As the basic level, increasing your vertical jump simply requires increasing your Power to Body Weight ratio.
What does that actually mean? Let’s break it down.
Power = Force x Velocity.
- Force = your maximum amount of strength (increases with strength training)
- Velocity = your maximum amount of speed (increases with coordination, and overall fitness)
Based on the Power to Body Weight ratio concept, loosing weight (we’re talking about unnecessary body fat) will adjust the ratio in your favor. When you build muscle weight, however, it affects both sides of the equation. It will be helpful to know that with your leg muscles especially, the positives (gains in power) far outweigh the negatives (you’re heavier). See this article for more.
How Does Trampoline Bouncing Train Your Body To Jump Higher?
What I’m NOT saying is that spending time every day bouncing on a trampoline will automatically make your vertical jump higher. But what I want to show is that the effort you put in will pay off because it hits both sides of the physics ratio we just talked about.
It Builds Muscle Strength (Increases FORCE)
When you’re jumping on a trampoline, whether it’s a mini exercise trampoline or those awesome high capacity trampolines good for adults, all of the muscle groups are at work.
Some of the main muscle groups that trampoline bouncing develops however, are your core muscles and your leg muscles.
When you are jumping intentionally (not just fooling around), controlling each muscle of your body as you focus on repeatedly jumping really high, your lower body muscles including your calves, quads, hamstrings, and gluts are getting a serious workout. Your trunk muscles are also taut and working hard to control landings.
It Increases Your Reaction Speed and Coordination (Increases VELOCITY)
According to USA Basketball (USAB.com), increasing your velocity with a view to improving your vertical can be done “by working on depth jumps, shock jumps, broad jumps, and even just jumping”. Hello, trampoline!
When you bounce hard on a trampoline, aiming for the highest jumps possible (so, not just playing around), you are training your body to explode hard and react as fast as possible (minutely adjusting your knees, ankles, thighs, spine, etc.). Your body intuitively knows that a faster/quicker take off will lift you higher. You are teaching your body this technique, and it WILL spill over to flat surface bouncing, because your muscles have memories.
Besides improving reaction speed, trampoline exercise also helps you make improvements in the areas of coordination and balance, because landing on a stretchy mat FORCES you to keep your body inline and in control. Again, you are teaching your muscles and nerves how to react quickly.
(As an aside, wet trampolines are even better for coordination and balance training… and you get a higher jump on a wet trampoline, did you know that?)
It Raises Your Overall Fitness Level (Lowers BODY WEIGHT)
Bouncing on a trampoline (for fitness) is a great way to elevate your heartrate and improve your overall cardio levels. Bouncing on a trampoline does burn fat (studies show that it’s comparable to running at an intermediate pace). Alongside a proper nutrition program, trampolines are fantastic additions to exercise and weight loss programs.
Trampoline Training vs Plyometrics and Strength Training
A few quick thoughts on how trampoline training for vertical jump improvement compares to the traditional plyometric work strength training:
- Training on a trampoline is not going to be as effective as a focused workout on flat surface will be. BUT it is more fun, and a whole lot easier on your joints!
- Training on a trampoline works many of the same muscles that plyometric exercises do even though it is are less intense, and less about isolating and improving specific muscle groups.
- Jumping anywhere, including on trampolines, creates muscle memory sequences that will spill over to hard surface jumping.
- It is suggested that training on a trampoline may gives jumpers a psychological advantage in that they are comfortable jumping higher.
What Is The Highest Vertical Jump Possible?
The world record holder, one Evan Ungar from Canada, jumped an incredible 63.5” onto a platform from a stationary position. The average person, however, even with extensive training, likely won’t get higher than 50”. Here’s an interesting investigation as to why that is:
If you want to be able to jump higher, using a trampoline in your fitness routine will help you get there. While bouncing won’t result in massive increases to your vertical, it will increase your power, strength, speed, and overall fitness level, as well as help your muscles memorize important sequences that will spill over to flat surface jumping.
Can jumping on a trampoline to improve your vertical jump? Yes.