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Jump Programs, Which Work?
We have had the opportunity to review many of the Internet's more popular jump programs over the past several years. Each program offers something a bit different. Some offer minimal programs while others get more detailed or require using a certain product. I don't think there is a "DEFINITIVE" program out there. Plyometrics, isometrics, jumping rope, sprints, calf raises, squats. The list goes on to what each feel is the best way to increase your quickness or vertical leap. Take a few minutes and check out the different programs. I am not sure if anyone else on the Internet can say they have tested these products. We have added a table of features to rate each. The low rating for the Strength Systems weighted suit can be accounted to its expense. It is by no means the worst product, just costly. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the article if you want to see how they all match up.
Another well thought out program. Eric Moyer supplies some research to support his ideas and program for increasing your vertical leap. A 78 page online e-Book and worth the $29.95. The program's effectiveness is layed out in a nice format for the beginning and advanced athlete. The basic program will prove effective for most athletes. Many of the same exercises are predominant throughout many of the jump programs we have reviewed over the past several years. This program is no exception. Moyer offers some insight into basic plyometrics and includes a basic program that will help to achieve an added strength to the normal workout. He does explain that plyometrics are not to be performed the average athlete but the more advanced conditioned athlete. The Jumping Advantage program is an overall solid program.
Mad Hops program offers nothing new to the area of vertical enhancement. In fact, this may be one of the most simplistic programs we have come across. The program and exercises are tried and true. The program will benefit the athlete, although it is definitely a program for the less conditioned athlete. The program is effective but I like their gear better. They have some cool apparel.
Strength Systems, Inc. created the concept of frontal platform shoes. When you visit their website you are confronted with over 100 products to choose from. They have provided different categories to choose from to make your search easier and more timely. I am not going to review their website. But, I have to say that Strength Systems definitely offers the athlete many proven products. They have been gracious enough to send PowerBasketball one of their newest products, their Strength® Weighted Vest and Shorts. Thanks, guys.
Personally, I like this idea. Zip up the vest, pull the shorts on, add the provided weights, put them in. Go workout, run, whatever. I would think the purpose of this "suit" is that you don't necessarilly need to change your workout to see greater gains. The added weight, of which you can purchase additional units when you are ready, is placed strategically with becoming clunky. The "suit" is my New Year's resolution. I plan to get back into shape. I have put on a couple of pounds over the past year. My morning run has gotten boring, this ought to spruce up my workout. I can't wait to get started. Although, I better take my own advice and go slow and not try it all the first day. I will definitely keep everyone posted on my progress.
Yeah, I know, we have reviewed SkyFlex and their strength shoes. But this product is different. First, rather than lacing up new shoes you strap the jumpsoles to the shoes you already have. Second, there is a hole on the bottom of the shoe that you place this little plug, the proprioceptor, into. Whoa! No, I mean Wow! Unbelievable, jumpsoles taken to the next level. Our current test athlete complained that this may be the hardest workout he has ever done. My legs are like "jello" after the workout was his comment I believe. This kid is good, real good. A high school senior and varsity football starter, you would have to assume he is in shape. Standing at a "massive" 5'9" and weighing in at an incredible 165 lbs. This kid is a "monster". Well, he was the leading tackler on the football team this year, averaging over 10 tackles per game. Why would this kid need to use JumpUSA's proprioceptor system you ask? He wants to increase his foot speed and agility. We will be getting some preliminary results back after the first of the year regarding Andrew's gains.
This is a unique product. Yeah, you might look a little silly wearing this, but the science of the product is there. The workout and accompanying
video featuring Don Beebe are good. The video runs through Don Beebe's workout rather quickly and the section using the Speed Trainer is minimal.
However, I am here to tell you the product lives up to its claims. Put on some sweats over the top of the Speed Trainers and watch the gains.
At one time in our lives, as athletes, many of us have thought about purchasing those expensive "strength shoes". You know the ones. Those funny looking shoes that make your heels come off the ground forcing to use your calves more than you ever dreamed. Well, I would like to say that I had always been concerned about these shoes. It just did not seem like such a great concept. The idea of forcing one's heels up and and throwing your body off balance. It's like learning to walk all over again.
Well, I was wrong. Our test athlete did find it a bit difficult adjusting to the shoes, for the first 10 minutes. But these shoes really do work. I should say I was pleasantly surprised. SkyFlex sent us their shoes along with their training program, a rigid yet fair workout. Our test athlete selected the horizontal approach, rather than the traditional "vertical" program that most are after. The training program tested him on his leg strength as well as his endurance. We followed the correct steps and tested him before we started. We used a 50 yard run rather than a 40 yard as suggested. Our course is designed in 75 foot intervals. We ran him through a series of sprints and his average worked out to a 7.16 after 8 passes. Next up, the dreaded "vertical leap". Again we took an average of 8 jumps and the average was 14 inches. Our athlete stands at 5'2" with his shoes on, weighs in at 88 lbs., and is twelve years old. This kid stays in shape playing competitively ten months a year. As a point guard, his job to get up and down the floor is most important. The reason for selecting the horizontal workout.
The first week of training has been completed . First, the sprints. Eight sprints later his average was down to 6.97. The vertical leap had also increased, to fifteen inches. Not bad. Now it's up to the athlete to continue in his efforts to improve. As this athlete continues his progress, we will continue to add to this review. Keep up with us.
Now this contraption is unique. The founder contacted me about testing his product and I accepted after talking to him about his product. A pleasant experience to start. The next step was to put the product to the test. I was told I would be impressed. I went back to the website and noticed some research on the calf isolator. If this product review sounds like you, you should definitely read the research.
I know plenty of athletes that are constantly trying to improve themselves. Some of them want to jump higher, others shoot better, and still others just want to improve their mental toughness for the game of basketball. The selected athlete stands at just under six foot tall and weighs in at 185 lbs. He will be turning thirteen this fall. This kid is big. His goal, "Coach, I want to grab the rim". I told him about the Sky-King calf isolator. He responded with an ecstatic, "bring it on coach".
He has been working out diligently over the summer months. As I reflect back on his training, I realize the kind of enthusiasm he still has for this. He started out playing around on an 8' goal height, no problem. We moved it up six inches, piece of cake. Six inches more brought the rim up to 9'. He jumped up, his fingertips barely stroked the bottom of the rim. He could not believe it. Come on coach let me try it again. He did, the same result. He just could not do it. This is where the Sky-King calf isolator comes in. We walked inside and I got him to adjust the isolator to fit. The workout was simple enough. Just stretch as far as you can while you are using the "machine" properly. He was ready after showing him the proper form and amount of sets and repetitions. A half hour later, he was out the door walking home, very slowly. The isolator had taken its toll. His muscles were sore. I told him that was a good sign.
Six weeks had passed. He was continuing to work out every other day, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, with the weekends off. A few younger athletes had been shooting that afternoon so we had lowered the basket to 8 feet. Some of the "bigger" guys wanted to play so I offered to raise the hoop. "Yeah, coach hurry up we want to play some 3-on-3.", they chanted. I did my duty and raised the hoop. The game was getting pretty intense with big guys shoving each other all over the court. He broke free about the free throw line went up and dunked the ball. I could not believe it. Had he really increased that dramatically? I asked him to do it again. The same result. He nearly pulled the whole goal down with a monster windmill dunk ala "the Diesel", Shaquille O'neal. I knew it was to good to be true when my point guard pointed out that the goal was only set at 9'6". My center was a bit disappointed when he found this out. So, I raised the hoop up to 10'. He said he wanted to try again. He missed the rim by the length of his long fingers. He has promised me a great Christmas present, "Watch me, coach, I am going to dunk it!". We will have to wait and see.
The jump program that started this whole article. How would it stack up against the more expensive machines? You can read
our original review, check it out. the bottom line, as far as I am concerned, was does the program compare.
I would have to say, Yes. I have had alot of people contact me over the past year and a half about this program. Questions about tendinitis,
does it really work?, what are the exercises?, just to name a few. I assume that tendinitis is a possibility when you perform any type of
workout to increase your vertical leap. I don't want to steer people the wrong way. The athletes that I originally tested have not suffered
from any type of injury directly related to the Air Alert program.
Our original review of the Science of Jumping was probably a bit sketchy. We had an athlete back out on us and were
searching for someone. A junior on our school's varsity boy's basketball team said he was interested. He and his father proceeded to
watch the tape intent on the purpose of elevating him to new heights. They followed through and built the plyo boxes to the correct
dimensions. He was a bit out of shape and was hitting the weight room for upper body strength three times a week and on the off days was
following the program. His jumping ability was improving. Now, this may not sound like much. But, when a kid is 6'3" they should be able to
dunk. Wouldn't you think? Not this guy. A bit overweight, maybe twenty pounds for his size. Something was holding him back. It sure was not his
will. His goal was to improve his vertical leap over the summer. Well, it worked. I am hoping to watch this kid throw down a wicked two handed
dunk this season!
So what does this table mean? Well, Strength System's suit is the most expensive of everything we have tested to date. This would explain its low rating.
There are 3 programs availabe for less than $30 that are pretty good. Air Alert, Jumping Advantage, and Mad Bounce. None of these programs require
anything additional other than to follow their programs. The Mad Hops program, the least expensive at $10, shows its inexpense by not offering much
in the way of a varied program. It is the most basic, as the price indicates. STS's Science of Jumping does require the athlete to build boxes to
complete the program properly, so the price is somewhat misleading. The boxes can be built relatively inexpensively. Actually, the training shoes
kept pace very well with the "non-product" programs because of the quick gains and varied programs. The ease of use and gains through the use of the Sky King
calf islolator helped it as well.
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