5 Factors That Affect Your Vertical Jump

“I want to increase my vertical”…..Easily one of the most common pain points coaches hear from athletes.  How can something as benign as how high one can jump, holds so much weight?

An impressive vertical can open up doors for athletes.  It can take a below the rim basketball player, and make them a high flyer.  It can make the difference between a volleyball player going DI, or to a smaller school.

But as important as a vertical can be, it is one of the most misunderstood and improperly trained aspects of sports performance. The internet is littered with so called “vertical coaches” and jump programs hawking promises such as, “Increase your vertical 8 inches in 4 weeks”.  Complete Snake oil….Been on instagram lately?? …Flashy Exercises with no substance or scientific basis.

So with all that being said, what exactly makes up a great vertical jump?  Today we will cut through the BS and give you the factors that affect vertical jump, and what those factors mean for training.

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Juice Cleanse 101: How and Why to do a Juice Cleanse

To juice or not to juice??  That is a question that I had pondered...Well recently, as some of you may have seen on social media (if you don’t then do so immediately), I decided to pull the trigger and partake in a 3 day juice cleanse.  Today, I wanted to share my experience with you, and how you can successfully incorporate a juice cleanse into your life.  

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Breaking Down the Myths of Youth Strength Training

Is my child too young to strength train?”..this is a question that every performance coach has heard at one point in time.  It's a question that comes up often. Although I’m not a parent myself, I understand where the concern comes from.  

However, concerns about damaging growth plates, "throwing off your shot" are often inaccurate.  Today I want to demystify some of these concerns and myths, and help set the record straight...It's time to let your kids be strong folks!!

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Tactical Leadership: My Interview w/ Strength Coach and Former Army Ranger Rich Mulder

Welcome to another Ignite interview, where I connect you with some of the best and brightest in the world of performance training....Today, I bring you my interview with strength coach and gym owner, Rich Mulder of Liberty Performance Training in Phoenix, Arizona.  As a former Army Ranger, Rich has truly has  a unique understanding of both physical and mental performance.

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We Are Destroying America's Youth Athletes

Growing up, playing sports were some of my favorite memories.  I had the most fun,  made my most growth, and made some of my best friends playing sports.  Playing sports itself, is an inherently pure thing...After all, it's just a game. 

But all that has changed. Somewhere along the line, adults screwed it up. Adults decided to get involved and inject themselves the equation.   We decided that WE were the stars of the show.  Well that's great, because we are systematically destroying America's young talented athletes.  And here's how we're doing it. 

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Exercise Upgrade: Changing How You View These 4 Common Exercises

Out w/ the old, and in with the new...Today's post is a remix on some common gym exercises.   These exercises are all ones that you see just about any time you walk into a gym.  Some of you have probably been doing these same exercise since your 9th grade middle school PE teacher taught them to you. The problem is, as we've gained a better understanding about training, these exercises have become ineffective and outdated. My goal today is to show you alternative, and more effective versions of each of these exercises. 

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How Practicing Mindfulness Can Change Your Life

Mindfulness is a very hot topic in the world of psychology right now.  It's extremely popular amongst entrepreneurs, and people who enjoy self-development.  I can speak from experience that embracing mindfulness is life changing.  I can now say I think more clearly, and am more emotionally balanced.  Mindfulness is like an emotional antidote. 

But what is mindfulness? And how can it help you be more productive?  Let's take a look at the practice people have been using for thousands of years to improve their lives. 

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Fuel w/ Fat: 3 Ways Fat Improves Your Performance

Long ago people used to believe that fat was the enemy...I can distinctly remember my mom buying Fat Free Italian Dressing when I was a kid....Let me repeat that, FAT FREE Italian Dressing.  You don't have to be a Michelin starred chef to know that Italian dressing is basically oil, vinegar, and spices...so WTF WAS IN THAT DRESSING?

Luckily, things have changed, and people are starting to wise up.  Keto diets are popping up, and Bulletproof coffees are a plenty (click here, for an awesome recipe).  However, there are still people out there that think fat is the devil. I'm here to tell you that fat is only good for you, but it can help you increase your performance.

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Warming Up: How to Do it Like an Elite Athlete, Part 2

Welcome back to the Ignite blog!  Today, I will be showing you part 2 of "How to Warmup like an Elite Athlete". For a recap, check out part 1 of this blog post.

In part 2, we will be covering the dynamic warmup.  The dynamic warmup is is the final part of the warmup and should properly prepare the athlete (you in this case) to train for that session. The dynamic warmup is broken down into 2 parts:  Movement Prep, and Skipping/CNS Prep.  We'll kick things off with the movement prep.

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Warming Up: How to Do it Like an Elite Athlete, Part 1

I've gotten a few people asking me lately about what I like to do and what I have my athletes do for a warmup before they train.  So I decided it would be a good idea to share that with you.  If you have ever trained w/ me before, you know how much emphasis I put on our warmup.  When people ask me why we should warm up, the analogy I usually use is:

"Well, you wouldn't just start your car, floor it, and speed out the driveway right?"

Even though some of you crazy Arizona drivers may have answered yes to that question, you get the point.  A comprehensive and progressive warmup routine is crucial....here's part 1 of mine. 

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Re-Thinking The Squat: 4 Biggest Squat Myths

HAPPY #SQUATOBER everyone!....

The squat has been, and remains one of the most popular exercises the strength training.  While it is certainly a great exercise with tremendous benefits, there a lot of misconceptions out there about the squat. I think the squat is misunderstood 

Well today, my mission is to clear up some of those misconceptions and help give you a better understanding, of what the squat actually is.

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Why You Should Be Training Your Hamstrings and my 4 Top Exercises

Training for hamstring strength is like having car insurance....You don't really see it every day, and you probably under appreciate it...but boy is it good to have when you need it. The hamstrings play a HUGE roll in overall function and injury prevention.  They are often forgotten in favor of the more visible quads and glutes.  Last year, in the EPL (the top soccer league in the world),  there were over 150 hamstring injuries alone!  

Unfortunately,  most people's definition of hamstring training is lying down and cranking out 15 reps on the leg curl machine.  That simply doesn't cut it. Today, I'm going to tell you why training your hamstrings is important, and my top 4 exercises to get you started!

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3 Strategies to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

As those of you who follow me on social media know, I recently went on an expedition to a part of the country I had never been before.  I was fortunate enough to see things that I had only seen in National Geographic magazines.  Growing up in the city, with a family that rarely traveled, this trip was squarely outside my comfort zone.  In fact, expanding my comfort zone, was the main reason for going on this trip.

But it wasn't always like that for me.  Like many of you, I was firmly entrenched in box that I created for myself . These boxes can be extremely limiting.  We have to realize that nothing great was ever accomplished in a comfort zone. But to really step outside your comfort zone It takes intent and practice.  Today, I want to share some strategies to help you step outside your comfort zone and start living life with purpose!

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5 Ways to Train Like an Athlete

For me, one of the hardest transitions in my life was going from competing in sports everyday, to just being a regular Joe schmo.  Being an athlete is not only an identity, it truly is a lifestyle.  But why does that lifestyle have to end when you stop playing sports at a high level?

For the rest of our lives we are all athletes.  Things like chasing after our kids, or moving furniture, all take some level of athleticism.  To stay athletic, you have to train like an athlete.  Today, we are covering 5 ways you can be train like an athlete for life! 

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Re-Think Core Training: 3 Exercises to Replace Sit Ups

As the fitness and sports performance fields have evolved, so has the understanding of functional  exercise.  We are doing a better job of doing exercises that transfer to real life, and help us perform your best.  But one area that is still lagging behind is core training.

There is a gross misunderstanding of how your core actually works.  Tell me, how many times have you seen someone do a crunch on the football field?  Or how many times have you done a sit up as your playing with your kids?  I think it's time we re-think core training, and start doing exercises that improve our quality of life, and our performance!

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Why I Don't Care How High Your Box Jump Is

Recently I saw a video of some kid on Instagram jumping onto a vending machine.  My initial reaction...WHO CARES.

It seems like videos are popping up every day of people showing off their incredible box jumping prowess.  Most people freak out when they see these videos.  For me, it does nothing. Uhh, what Pro-League does he play in again? 

Although it is impressive to see these freak athletes jump this high, there really isn't much application.  And to make matters worse, these video have led to a rash of "Insta-trainers" having their clients attempting this craziness too.  Well I'm here to put an end to it.  Read on to see why we need to stop this madness ASAP.

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Bridging The Gap Between PT and Functional Performance

Having worked in PT clinics for about 5 years, I would often hear conversations between patients and therapists that would go something like this:

PT: Hey Sally, why are you limping?
Patient: My back is hurting
PT:  What did you do?
Patient:  Well my trainer made me do this one exercise...

PT: (places palm on face and dies a little inside)

And there you have it.  Sally's trainer didn't fully understand her injury history, and pushed her too hard, too soon.  There is obviously a gap in the transition from PT to functional performance. But why the disconnect? Well, we are here to explore how we can bridge that gap!

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Foam Rolling 101: How and When to Foam Roll

You know those foamy, tube things you see at the gym?...yeah those are called foam rollers.  Although gaining traction in popularity, foam rollers are still a very underutilized piece of equipment.

Foam rolling is an important part of a well rounded fitness program.  Leaving it out is a mistake that can lead to injury, and decreased performance.  Today we are going to go over those benefits, and I will show you my go-to-foam roll routine.

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Productivity Hack: 4 Routines to Jumpstart Your Morning

Are you one of those people who hates mornings?  Do you wake up with low energy, feeling like a zombie?  These are all symptoms of someone who "is not a morning person".  While it's true that you may not be a morning person, I bet another reason for your disdain of mornings is lack of a routine.

Consider every day, like Game Day.  If you were an athlete, you wouldn't just roll out of bed, all disheveled and start playing right?  So then why do it in your professional career?...Start your morning off with a consistent routine, and you will perform at the top of your game all day! 

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Breathe Better: How Eric Christensen is Changing How We Breathe

16 per minute, 960 per hour, 23,040 per day....That's how much we breathe.  You could say breathing is life.  It's the first thing we do in life, and the last thing we do.They why then do we ignore it?  Why do we never train it?...Poor breathing patterns can lead to numerous problems such as chronic pain, and hormonal issues.   

Eric Christenson is here to help change all that.  Eric is a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and the owner of Chandler Physical Therapy in Chandler, AZ.  Eric estimates that 85%-90% of his patients have breathing issues that effect their function.  If you've ever had persistent neck pain, chances are poor breathing patterns is one of the causes.  Eric's passion to change the way we breath runs deep.  So much so, that he wrote a book.  His book, "Breathe Better", addresses our society;s pervasive issues with breathing.  "Breathe Better" is scheduled for release.

In today's post, I interview Eric and we take a deeper look at his new book, Breathe Better, and give you some exercises to help improve your breathing.  Enjoy!

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