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Will Ankle Weights Help Increase My Vertical Jump?

Find out if you should use ankle weights in your training.

By: Josh Henkin

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Will Ankle Weights Increase My Vertical Jump?

I was wondering if leg weights from 10-to-30 pounds would help increase my vertical jump? Is it recomended and is it safe? Right now I use ankle weights that are 10 pounds each and I do jump rope with them on and run a mile with them on. Will this increase my vertical jump?

This will only help you minimally. Very light ankle weights could be used in jumping activities like jump rope, but I wouldn't go too heavy as this would dramatically slow down the foot speed. Running for a mile with them will do almost nothing for your vertical. First, this style of aerobic training has no or very little transfer to any power movement. Secondly, you are not training the correct muscles when you do such long duration type of activity.

There seems to be persisting misunderstanding of how to improve one's vertical or linear speed. The calves play a small role in the overall chain for these power movements. The dominant muscles are the hamstrings, glutes and low back. This is why Olymplic Weightlifters have amazing vertical leaps and 30-meter sprint times that can rival most elite sprinters. Their training revolves around strengthening and teaching the hips how to accelerate.

So, hopefully you can see, while jump rope training is valuable, it is unlikely to have significant impact on your vertical jump. As far as the mile run, this is going to even have less transfer for the reasons mentioned above.

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Will Ankle Weights Help Increase My Vertical Jump?
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