Hi everybody!

I’m actually extra giddy today. Can you guess why? Well, I’m proud to say we won 4 out of our 5 games last weekend and that has ultimately lead us to the top 12 teams that will be playing for the championships. The boys are so excited to start training again that they suggested another round of sitting down just to discuss about some vertical jump techniques they can use for training. They think they need more vertical jump tips more than ever especially now that they’re aiming for the champion title.

Of course, I’m more than happy to give them more information on how they can possibly step up their game especially after losing to their first game. Their opposing team was undeniably adept in their vertical jumps, dunking here and there. So, I consulted my friend who is an expert on vertical jump workout and he was kind enough to give out some tips on how to jump higher for basketball. Here are some of his tips:

  1. Laundry jump- this is a great way to enhance explosiveness. It focuses on lateral movements, particularly cutting ability. The first thing you should do is to place anything, may it be a paper bag, stone, or anything raised at to 24 inches high. Start jumping lateral over the object. For better results, aim to jump as high as you can.
  2. No arm hops- when it comes to enhancing your vertical jump, doing this routine is the best choice. It helps increase the muscle explosiveness most particularly the muscles of the legs. To do this, you must position both of your hands on your head and jump as high as you can while lift your legs up so they touch your chest. Land gently on the ground using your feet.
  3. Rim jump- this type of drill is efficient on some specific muscle parts that are essential for vertical jumping. Try reaching for a high object which will serve as your target. Jump as high as you can to get near to the object using only one of your hands. Execute the same style all over again. Just remember to grab the object with the other hand.
  4. Ankle hop- this is one of the least complex exercise for muscle explosiveness. You’ll only need to remember to focus on the calf muscles explosiveness. Stand straight on two legs when doing this. Jump upwards as much as you can with the use of your calf muscles. Applying the upward range when performing the jump will allow you to perfect this exam.
  5. Power Skip- with this exercise, you target your hips and calf muscles to act explosively. Lift one of your legs as you strive to skip to do this routine best. Put an effort to move in to get hold of your chest with one leg. Remember to swing your arms when you have your leg directed to your chest.
  6. Split Leg Hop-through this drill you target and enhance single leg explosiveness. Put your weight on one leg to start this routine. The next thing you should do is to jump as high as you can by using that one leg. In order for you to perfect this step, you need to attain the greatest height and distance

These are just some of the tips my friend gave me and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a great help. I’m even confident we’ll make it to the top or even bag the champion title. Well, I’m crossing my fingers here.

Hi everyone! What have you been up to lately?

As for me, I’ve been continuing my morning run for the last few days and so far so good. The last run I had was with my friends Anna and Jake. They’ve been joining marathons for the past 2 years already so I’m pretty lucky to be training with them as I know I’ll be getting tips every now and then. In fact, they’ve given me new tips that I find really helpful. When asked about focusing on finishing they told me that I should have my eyes fixed on finishing the race rather than dwelling on my performance or time. It’s more important to enjoy the experience and don’t get injured.

Anyway, I had a meeting with the boys earlier today with regards to our upcoming game. I asked them in what area do they still want to improve. I was right about my guess because majority of them answered vertical jump. Of course, I was glad to give them more ways on how they can improve their jump so I sat down with them and talked about it for almost an hour. And since I’m on 30-minute free time, I thought of writing down some of the things we talked about for you guys.

To improve your vertical jump, you must be able to apply more force into the ground in a shorter amount of time. This will result into increase of your power output which gives us the formula:

Power= Force x Velocity

Others believe that it’s the overall strength makes them jump higher. But the truth is that you can only obtain serious “ups” after you develop your strength and you learn to utilize that force quickly. Boosting your strength is one method to increase your vertical jump. Maximal strength isn’t the only thing required for better vertical but it helps. Here’s an illustration to better understand this method:

If Athlete A can utilize a high percentage of his strength quickly but can only squat 135 lbs, he won’t be able to out jump Athlete B who can get into less strength in a given time but can squat 315 lbs.

That’s why it’s a great idea to follow a comprehensive program that will build your strength in basic lifts like squat and deadlift. Another way is store your force and release it. In order to build up the ability to apply force quickly, you have to capably absorb force via proper landing. A great way to enhance your ability to call upon force rapidly is to use different landing and jumping training. Another way is to get technically sound. Your body must set off muscles in a synchronized effort to elevate you from the ground to the rim. Efficiency becomes everything when a large amount of force is called upon in a split second. By becoming technically sound, you can have immediate transfer, adding inches to your vertical instantly.

I also talked about some training factors in order to increase vertical jump. Here are some of them:

Calf Strength

Your calf muscles perform the final propulsion into the air. That’s why it’s greatly necessary that they are trained. To increase their strength, perform calf raises off the step. This will increase the muscle’s range of motion. You may hold a barbell across your back or use a set of dumbbells. Either way, just make sure the balls of your feet are place on the step and the heels are moving past the parallel to make a stretch in the muscle.

Quad Strength

Perform squat exercise as this is the best way to work on your quad strength. When performing squats, make sure to go down as low as possible to increase glute activation, which is a big muscle involved in propulsion. Performing single-leg squats will help increase your vertical jump even further. When squatting, think about pushing yourself upward as quickly as possible after the lowering phase. This will work more of your fast-twitch muscles, helping you get that upward exploding phase of the vertical jump.

Flexibility

Working on developing your flexibility will also help you upsurge your vertical jump. If you have tight tendons, muscles and ligaments in your lower body, you will not be able to leverage the force as much causing a decrease in your jumping ability. You will want to focus on the hip flexors, hamstrings, quads and calves (Achilles tendon).

Hello everybody!

I woke up extra early today so I thought why not share some few stuff going on before I head to my morning run. Today’s going to be a busy day but I’ve already prepared everything that I need for a smooth flow and to keep me on track with my schedule. Yesterday, I spent some time listing things that can help me motivate and help me keep going on while I’m on my run. So far, listening to music has really helped me keep going as I run along with a pump up jam. It’s a great distraction from the searing pain tossing back and forth between legs and lungs. I’ve told my mom about this thing of mine and she was quite worried about my safety when running with headphones on. I can’t blame her though since running safety is really essential to know about. Well, with great audio power comes great volume-control responsibility. I make sure my iPod is used with caution, accountability and moderation. I use one ear bud so in that way I can hear my favorite tunes while still being tuned into what’s going on around me.

If you’re wondering what songs are in my running playlist, here are my top 5 favorites:

  1. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  2. Lose Yourself by Eminem
  3. Gonna Fly Now (Rocky’s Theme) by Bill Conti
  4. Runnin’ Down a Dream by Tom Petty
  5. Stronger by Kanye West

I’ve also asked my good friend Martha who is also going to run for the upcoming marathon some songs that I can add into my playlist. These are here favorite running jam:

  1. Running With The Devil by Van Halen
  2. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
  3. Jump by Van Halen
  4. Best Day of My Life by American Authors
  5. Don’t Stop Believing by Journey

While I was busy downloading songs for my run, I also prepared a short instruction about jumping higher for the team. Training is about to get serious for the boys so I want to be able to provide to them the best of my coaching. We have one week to really get their basketball skills one level higher just in time for the play-offs.

I have some awesome news to tell. After a week-long of basketball practice, our efforts have finally paid off because we won our first friendly basketball game. I couldn’t be any prouder of the boys. They did so well throughout the game that I’m confident to say they might bag the champion award for the upcoming local playoffs. Well, they will still need to continue training to cut off some few lapses from the game. But overall, I’m just so proud of them. They surpassed my expectations. Next week, we’re going to begin training again. It’s going to get more intense than the usual but the boys are in good hands so they’re not really jittery about it.

In other news, I’ve partnered with my friend Lissa who is a nutrition specialist to help me get a good diet for my marathon training. You could say I’m pretty lucky to have a friend like her because she’s really an expert to this. She has formulated meal plans of several marathoners already so I’m really in good hands here. If you’re asking, why do I even need a diet plan? Well, a good diet filled with the correct nutrients is a vital part of any exercise routine. In fact, it’s especially essential for endurance event like marathons or triathlons.

Lissa told me to stock up on protein as it helps in rebuilding muscle which is particularly essential after a long run to mend damaged tissue and incite the development of new tissue. So I put on my grocery list good protein foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, white meats and eggs. She also lectured to me about the importance of carbohydrates. Did you know you can experience ‘hitting the wall’ or ‘bonking’ if you don’t have enough carbs? It’s because when the body’s carbohydrate fuel tank gets low and muscles display signs of fatigue. You can avoid it by ‘carb loading’ prior to and during a run to amplify energy stores. Lissa suggested I add into my meal plan carbohydrate-rich pasta and potatoes.

She also taught me how to come up with a meal plan with various balance of nutrients at each stage of my training plan. I’m still working on it so I’ll be writing about it on my next post.

What’s up guys?

These past few days have been pretty exhausting and at the same time productive for me. I’ve been training the basketball team for 3 straight days already and have already started on my morning runs. My buddy Mike has already left for Toronto but good thing he left me some running tips for the upcoming marathon. I have to admit it, I’m not as confident yet but I guess that’s something I need to build up during my training. Running a marathon isn’t just about the physical. It also needs mental strength and each part of the marathon has its own mental challenges.

I remember Mike telling me to start out slow. He said that when starting your marathon, you’ll feel strong and confident but you must keep reminding yourself to hold back. Running slow for the first half than the second half will give you a more enjoyable marathon. So, take it slow. Another thing is that you have to run your own marathon. Don’t mind the other people passing you. If they’re starting out way too fast, know that you’ll catch them later—at your own pace.

Also, don’t get too emotional. You’ll most likely be passing by family members and friends. And although it may be tempting to begin high-fiving and jumping up and down, try to stay as calm as possible. Preserve your mental energy for the rest of the marathon. The farther you get, the more your mental toughness will be tested. Just remember not to begin giving into periods of self-doubt and distress. Just think about all the training you have done and how rewarding it will be to accomplish your marathon. These tips from Mike are really handy and I know they will be very helpful for me to accomplish my marathon.

So much for that, I have just received the e-mail confirmation for the basketball game this coming weekend. I’ve already announced the news to the boys so that they can start becoming more serious in their practice and I’m glad they are. They have also been asking me for more information on how to increase their vertical jump so I told them to check out this site. So far, they’re really doing great with their dribbling and shooting skills and I’m pretty sure in time they’ll be improving their vertical jumps also.

Hi guys!

I’m on my way to a basketball practice with the youngsters today. My best friend Mike is tagging along to help me train. While we drive our way to the location, I’m also going through this good vertical jump site I found useful for our training. I really want everything to go well since my team will be playing against another team for a friendly game next week. The boys are twice as excited as I am so we’re really giving our best. Aside from next week’s game, we’re also aiming to win some gold for the local play-offs so imagine how much we’re putting effort in our trainings. More than that, I just want the boys to enjoy.

Earlier today, Mike accompanied me for a quick early run. But before we could even start on our running, we did some stretching first. Stretching is necessary in a running routine. I’ve seen in some sports magazine some photos and diagrams of stretches that connects to the sport of running. I’ve also read about the many benefits stretching offers such as helps prevent muscular aches, pains and cramping, lessens the risk of muscular soreness or fatigue, reduces the risk of causing a muscular injury and so much more.

But contrary to popular belief, stretching before hitting the roads is a misconception. It’s actually done after the run part of the run. If you feel like you need to stretch before running, you can jog or walk for 5 to 10 minutes prior to stretching to warm those muscles up and let the blood flow. That’s what Mike and I did. I’ve also read about the static stretch and thought of applying the basics. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stretch the muscle to the point of its greatest range of motion. Just don’t overextend. You should not feel pain though you may feel very little tightness or discomfort.
  2. For 30 seconds, hold and control the stretch.
  3. Stretch all the major leg muscle groups. It includes your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, groin and hip flexors.
  4. Make sure to stretch evenly.

Since I’m joining a marathon, this is the routine I followed earlier today:

  1. Warm up first with 10 minutes of easy jogging.
  2. Perform static stretch basics.
  3. Do 6 to 8 striders which are basically short bursts of speed building to race pace enduring just about 80 meters.
  4. Start the speedwork session or the race.
  5. Afterwards, do a 10-minute cool-down jog.
  6. Perform again static stretch basics.

We ended our quick run with a thorough stretch which is part of the cool down period. It’s best to do it immediately right after the run as this is the time when the legs are most receptive to the benefits of stretching.

 

How’s it going everybody?

I just finished an afternoon talk over coffee and doughnuts with one of my best friends from university basketball team. Mike’s  in town for a week and he called me up to meet. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other so a day off from basketball training with the kids was the perfect time to just catch up. We were able to talk a lot of things including some tips on vertical training that I can use. Aside from being a basketball coach, my best friend is also in to marathons so we were able to talk about that too. I’ve been working on my weekly meal plan so I asked for some tips from him.

Before heading home, I went to the grocery store to stock up some foods in preparation for the upcoming  marathon. As you all know, joining a marathon takes a lot of preparation. Every aspect has to be considered including the dietary aspect. Runners require quality foods that provide a ‘spark plug’ for their energy. So, I made sure to research about the kind of foods I should be taking in that will really help me on my running venture. So far, here’s a list of the foods that I’m going to include in my meals for the whole week:

1. Bananas. Unfortunately, I’m not really a fan of bananas but I guess I’ll need to brush aside that dislike for now. Bananas are carb-packed energy boosters that are perfect to munch on before going for an afternoon run. They contain loads of potassium which regulates blood pressure and lessens the risk of stroke.

2. Small bagel with peanut butter. Now here’s something that I actually like. This quick and easy snack is perfect for morning runners like me. Consuming a 100 to 300 calorie snack before a morning run can provide energy and staying power.

3. Broccoli. I love how this vegetable is rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and phytochemicals. It’s all vital for peak performance and health. I’m looking into different recipes that I can cook with broccoli.

4. Low-Fat yogurt. I usually have this for snack so this one’s nothing new in my diet. Yogurt is rich in calcium which is essential for running and other weight-bearing exercises. One cup of yogurt is made up of a third of your recommended daily intake of calcium. It also has protein which is needed for building muscle and recovering from hard workouts.

5. Lean beef. Aside from being a quality source of protein, beef also gives iron which is a vital element for runners.

Hi everyone!

I just got home from a whole afternoon of basketball training and I’m quite exhausted as I write this but today was really a productive day that I can’t help but share to you guys some of the day’s highlights. For the past few months, I’ve been giving full focus on improving some of my skills for basketball as I am currently handling and training a young basketball team of kids aging between 13 to 15 years old. Although it’s not my first time to do this, I really want to give them the best training course they could ever have. That’s why I’ve been researching jump techniques and ways to jump higher so they can have the best possible training . So far, the team’s doing great with the age-appropriate exercises I’ve provided for them to do. Some are even doable in their homes so that they can just do it anytime they can.

In another note, I’m quite excited about starting my training for Copenhagen marathon. It’s been a month since I’ve made up my mind to participate for this upcoming race. I’m a little edgy about it but at the same time I’m pumped up to get started for the real deal already. Last week, I had my friend, Alex, help me start up with my training. He discussed to me about the many gadgets and gear crafted to help any runner go the distance. However, as much as I want to go all out, I also want to make sure that I observe practicality. At its purest, running necessitates little to no fancy equipment. Here are the bare essentials that I think will be apt for marathon:

1. Running shoes. There are lots of choices of running footwear available in the market today. I myself went to find the best fit for me. Tip: Have your gait and arch-type analyzed at a specialty running store.

2. Running clothes. I got me some moisture-wicking fabrics since they will keep me drier and more comfortable. And since I usually experience inner-thigh chafing, I bought some form-fitting capri length running pants.

3. Nutrition. This one’s essential. I’ll be bringing along with me some snacks to get the calories I need on run over 75 minutes.

4. Hydration. Electrolyte-replenishing sports drink is a top choice to improve performance. Tip: If you are trying to lose weight, sports drink may not be a great option for you since it contains sugar and calories. I’m still deciding though whether I should carry with me a bottle or just try stashing water along the route before I run. Another option I’m looking into is a hydration belt or backpack.

5. Gadgets. This one is strictly optional. But I already have with me a heart rate monitor which helps me maintain a steady pace. Tip: You can purchase GPS watch that allows you to track your distance on the go or the Nike+iPod Sports Kit.