On this page you’ll get a training guide that will allow you to increase your vertical jump by as much as 0.5-1.5 inches each week over the coming months.
Hundreds of athletes have asked us how to jump higher, how to dunk and how to become more effective at rebounding. They’ve used the same advice you’re about to learn to add 10-15 inches to their vertical jump while avoiding injury and improving court agility.
The Fastest Way To Get A Higher Vertical Jump For Basketball…
So what’s the fastest way to reach that rim?
Let’s keep it simple. It all starts with the conditioning of the muscles involved in jumping. The thigh muscles account for 50-65% of the jump, with the other half coming from a combination of lower leg muscles, hips, abdominal muscles, and your arms.
Improvement in the strength and quickness of these muscles is the most important step. Certain exercises specifically target these muscle groups, and should be a part of any workout for basketball athletes.
In addition to strength improvement, you must also eliminate any tension in the opposing muscles (eg. hamstrings) so there is no resistance against the power coming from your thighs and calves. This is probably the most overlooked aspect when basketball athletes plan their jump training program.
Finally, you’ll need to work on proper jumping / dunking form to execute each jump perfectly and get the most of your improved strength.
Proven Workouts To Increase Vertical Jump Height
To start, you’ll work on strength and conditioning of your leg muscles. On this page I’ve included exercises that are proven to improve muscular strength and flexibility, resulting in a higher vertical jump. If you can choose a program for yourself and stick to it, the exercises below will work for you.
However, if you are struggling to improve your vertical, and you don’t want to take any chances or waste any more time, I suggest using a proven method. A proven method, in this case, is simply to get access to a professional who teaches vertical jump training to pro athletes for a living.
Now, you won’t have to spend $50-100/h on a personal trainer. You can get access to effective online trainers who don’t cost nearly that much. As far as online programs go, I can recommend the Jump Manual by coach Jacob Hiller. It’s been around for ages and it’s been used by 10’s of thousands of athletes (really), for good reason.
You can download his program here. You can also get direct access to him if you need help/advice while you go through the program.
If you aren’t into getting a coach, no problem. You can still do it on your own.
But I suggest you get alternative support from like-minded individuals, at the very least. Find some friends and challenge each other to jump competitions each month while you are training your vertical. Give yourself as much incentive to train and improve as you can! Only competition breeds excellence.
Now, onto the first step to increasing your vertical jump…
Step 1: Measure Your Jump
You can’t improve what you can’t measure. The first step to jumping higher is measuring your starting point so you can keep a record of your progress and see if your exercise regimen is really working.
To do this you’ll need a ladder and something to mark with preferably a marker pen or chalk. Find a pole tall enough beyond your highest jump reach. Stand next to the pole and extend your arm as high as you can and have your friend mark it for you. This will be your standing reach.
Now jump as high as you can from the standing point (where you stood when marking your standing reach) and have your friend watch where you reach to avoid unnecessary confusion. Try jumping several times to get a sure jumping reach. Measure your highest jumping reach and subtract your standing reach from it. This is your starting vertical jump.
Step 2: Use Exercises That Increase Jump Takeoff Speed
The following is a set of workouts you can include in your routine to improve the explosiveness of your vertical jump.
Start With A Great Warm Up. Exercise sessions should always start with a warm up drill, of course. Especially for exercises to improve jumping ability, leg stretches are a must as the focus will be on muscle fibers, particularly those of the fast-twitch type, used to propel explosive movements like jumping.
Skipping rope can help warm you up, and also improve your dexterity and cardio. A 10 – 15 minute session before each workout is sufficient. Here is a suggested warm up you can use before a practice or before a game:
Then choose 4-6 of these exercises per training day, and perform 3-5 sets of each. For more tips on strength training, see our basketball strength training guide.
Always rest at least one day in between sessions.
- Heavy Weight Squats – For most sports, squats are the king of strength exercises, and basketball is no exception. They are necessary to develop the bigger muscle groups required to make a powerful jump. The process of jumping, after all, involves an enormous amount of energy transfer from the legs to the floor. When doing squats, the proper form must be observed, and then you should follow it up with an explosive activity such as box jumps.
- Toe Raises – Jump training exercises would not be complete without working out the toes. This is important because they are the last body parts to have contact with the ground when taking off. They propel the elevation process by providing additional energy and power. Improving toe strength can, therefore, enable you to gain the extra push needed for a higher jump. This can be done by repeatedly doing toe curls and tiptoe for about 8 – 12 seconds.
- Plyometric Box Jumps – This is a training technique designed to help enhance strength and explosiveness. Get a set of sturdy, stackable boxes and jump up and down from the box. Keep increasing the height of the box as your vertical increases. And remember, better flexibility will allow you to bring your knees closer to your chest, allowing you to jump onto higher and higher boxes. You can do a variety of exercises with plyometric boxes, including depth jump and drop jumps. Learn more about plyometrics at Wikipedia.
- Core Strengthening Exercises – These are intended for enhancing your strength around the midsection. This will provide the stability needed to pack your jumps with explosiveness. Stability likewise ensures better channeling of energy from your legs to the floor which results to higher jumps. Core exercises such as sit ups, crunches, reverse crunches, and back extensions can be done to conclude each session. Core exercises alone can add a surprising improvement in your ability to jump higher.
- Slow-Motion Squats – Put your feet shoulder width apart and from this position lower yourself down until you’re in deep squats ensuring that your heels are flat on the ground. Stay down for 2-3 seconds before slowly rising to the starting position. Keep repeating this exercise for a number of sets, each lasting about 4 seconds. Make sure to keep your head up and straight throughout the entire exercise.
- High-Reach Jumps – Yes, one of the best exercises to increase your vertical is simply jumping as a form of conditioning. The best way to do it? Jump vertically to reach as high as you can, and take note of the height you reach every time. It’s mostly done under a basketball ring or near a wall where you can monitor how low you reach with every jump as your fatigue kicks in. To achieve best results try reaching you mark throughout every repetition.
- Lateral Jumps – Stand with feet together, jump left to right making sure you land softly on one leg at a time. Jumping from side to side improves not only your strength coordination and stability but also helps with balance.
When performing exercises to help improve jumping ability, make sure that the number of repetitions that you do is far beyond your current physical limits. Overexertion may just lead to unnecessary injuries which will just render all your efforts in vain. Fewer repetitions will be fine as long as they are done consistently and continuously.
The important thing to realize is that to build leg muscle bulk through exercising, you must push yourself past the point of your previous threshold each workout. Only then your body will adapt and improve. If you don’t push yourself past your current limits, you’ll be working out week after week and NEVER make improvements, which is incredibly frustrating.
Step 3: Create A Workout Schedule
Next, it’s time to put together your workout schedule using the above exercises.
You’ll be training every other day so that your muscles have time to re-build after each routine. Recovery is when you are actually building strength, of course, so make sure your rest days are truly restful for the muscles you are targeting.
Perform 10-20 reps of each exercise, and rest for 30s between sets. The rest period is important. You want to keep up the intensity while also allowing your body enough time for a full exertion on the next set. These short rests may be difficult for the first few routines, but if you stick to 30s rest intervals your body will quickly grow stronger and adapt (and that’s the point!).
Remember to perform each exercise with the most intensity you can muster each and every time. You’ll only improve if you are pushing your current boundaries constantly.
This is an effective all-purpose routine that you can adapt to your own fitness level. However, if you want something more personalized and in-depth, including nutrition and flexibility training, or if you don’t want to risk wasting your time training improperly, I recommend grabbing a comprehensive training schedule from somebody who trains basketball players for a living, and has successfully trained hundreds of athletes before you.
Grab the manual Jacob Hiller put together here, and create a training system for yourself based on proven techniques.
It includes details about nutrition and stretching and pretty much everything else you need or could think of. You can also ask questions if you’re not sure about something or if you need help troubleshooting an injury, etc.
And if you are training a group of athletes, I suggest you stop by a training equipment dealer, and learn how to use jump training equipment, to accelerate and help to formalize your training program.
Finally, here’s some extra motivation to start training your vertical starting today:
Need more dunk motivation? Watch the videos at this page.
Remember, you make your luck before the game starts.