How To Increase Your Vertical Jump 
(By as Much as 12 Inches)

How to increase your vertical jump

How to increase your vertical jumpWith the right training techniques you can increase vertical jump performance significantly...

While it may be true that genetics plays a considerable role in an individual's capacity for peak power, the fact is...

Very few of your competitors or team mates will train specifically to increase vertical jump power.

So with a bit of commitment it is possible to out jump most of your peers!

Is there a single best way to increase your vertical jump ability?

This article will give you 3 types of strength training programs to increase vertical jump performance.

Each technique has been proven to significantly increase vertical jump ability and each has it's own advantages. Decide for yourself which program best suits your needs. First up is...

Increase Vertical Jump Power With Traditional Weight Training

This method incorporates exercises such as squats, lunges, leg presses and toe raises. Heavy loads (80-90% 1-RM) and a low number of repetitions (4-6) are used to improve maximal strength.

Why is this method an effective way to increase vertical jump ability?

The principle fitness component of vertical jumping is power. Power is a combination of strength and speed (Power = Strength x Speed). So...

A weight training program that improves your maximal strength can improve you power and increase vertical jump ability. Here's the key though...

As an athlete improves and is able to lift more weight, the speed of movement decreases and so does power output. For experienced strength training athletes wishing to improve their vertical jump, traditional weight training is the least beneficial of the three methods.

For beginners to strength training, traditional weight training exercises provide a safe, accessible and highly effective way to increase vertical jump power.

Onto the second method...

Increase Vertical Jump With Dynamic Weight Training

An example of a dynamic weight training exercise is the jump squat. Lighter loads (30% 1-RM) are used and the resistance is accelerated explosively through the full range of motion.

Olympic lifts like power cleans, clean and jerk and the snatch are all dynamic weight training exercises. To execute these movements successfully a great deal of speed is required. As the athlete improves and lifts more weight, the component of speed is not affected. The result?

Improvements in dynamic weight training relate directly to improvements in power and increase vertical jump ability. The challenge is that many dynamic weight training skills are complex and require experience, coaching and proper facilities. Perhaps a better solution is to... 

Increase Vertical Jump Power With Plyometric Training

Plyometrics is the most commonly used training method to increase vertical jump power. It "bridges the gap between strength and speed". For more details on this type of training see the plyometrics article.

There is little to separate the three training methods when it comes increasing vertical jump performance. However... there is one type of training that seems to increase vertical jump the most...

Combining weight training with plyometric training.

Studies are showing that a plyometric program that runs along side a weight training program produces optimum results.

One final point... a training program to increase vertical jump performance should not focus purely on the development of your leg power. It has been shown that the arms contribute an average of 10% to takeoff velocity during a jump!

To sum up... what is the best way to increase vertical jump performance?

  • If you are new to strength training a basic weight training program will increase vertical jump power safely and effectively (see below for details).

  • If you already do some strength training and are pushed for time, add some dynamic weight training exercises to your routine (see below).

  • If you have the time and committment, combine a weight training program with a plyometric training program for optimum results...

Program #1 - Weight Training

If you don't have an extensive background in weight training, this type of program is the easiest and safest to follow. It will produce just as effective results for beginners as any other type of vertical jump program.

Perform this routine 2-3 times a week with at least 48 hours rest between sessions. Use the heaviest weight possible that allows you to perform the desired number of repetitions.

Weight Training Routine
Bench press2x102x62x63x63x62x63x63x6
Dumbbell lunges2x102x62x63x63x62x63x63x6
Lat pull down2x102x62x63x63x62x63x63x6
Standing calf raise2x102x62x63x63x62x63x63x6
Dumbbell shoulder press2x102x62x63x63x62x63x63x6

Program #2 - Dynamic Weight Training

If you are currently strength training add these exercises to your routine. Use a weight for each exercise that equates to 30% of your 1-RM.

Do not perform these exercises alone -- make sure a qualified professional is with you at all times. You should also have experience of performing these exercises and a good strength base before completing this program.

Start with 2 sets of 8 repetitions and gradually increase up to 4 sets of 8 repetitions over an 8 week period.

Squat jumps
In an upright position and holding 2 dumbbells at your sides, squat down slowly until your knees are flexed not quite to right angles. Jump explosively without locking the knees. Aim to jump about 10-20cm.

Power cleans
Power cleans are quite a complicated movement to perform correctly. Make sure you get proper instruction on technique and start using light weights. A description with pictures is coming soon.

Push presses
You can also get a detailed description of this exercise at the site mentioned above

Bench press throws
Using a Smith machine set the bar so that it is 4-6 inches from your chest. Starting with the arms extended slowly lower the bar towards your chest and perform an explosive bench press releasing the bar as your arms extend. Catch the bar and slowly lower it to repeat the exercise.

Program #3 - Combined Program

This program combines a weight training program with a plyometric program. Make sure you read the guidelines for plyometric training on the plyometrics page before you start...

Plyometrics article

MONDAY - Weight training
Use the heaviest weight possible that allows you to perform the desired number of repetitions.

Weight Training Routine
Power cleans*3x63x64x54x54x43x123x153x20
Dumbbell lunges3x63x64x54x54x43x123x153x20
Standing toe raises3x63x64x54x54x43x123x153x20
Bench press3x63x64x54x54x43x123x153x20
Lat pull down3x63x64x54x54x43x123x153x20
Dumbbell shoulder press3x63x64x54x54x43x123x153x20
Leg raises3x103x104x104x103x153x153x203x20

*Power cleans are quite a complicated movement to perform correctly. Make sure you get proper instruction on technique and start using light weights.

TUESDAY - Plyometric Training
For a detailed description of these exercises click here.

Tuck jumps (3 sets 10 reps)
1) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.

2) Jump up bringing your knees to your chest.

3) Land on the balls of your feet and repeat immediately.

4) Imagine the floor is like hot coals to reduce contact time with the ground.

5) Perform 10 continuous jumps for 1 set.

Running jump (2 sets 10 reps)
1) Stand with one foot slightly in front of the other.

2) Take three strides with a quick-quicker-quickest pace.

3) As your foot hits the ground on the third stride explode vertically using your arms for extra leverage.

4) Repeat starting with your other leg. This is one repetition. Turn around and repeat until you have performed 10 repetitions.

Depth jumps* (4 sets 10 reps)
1) Stand on a sturdy box or bench approximately 30cm (12in) high to start.

2) Step off the box, keep your torso upright, landing on both feet.

3) As you land jump up as quickly as you can minimising ground contact time. 

4) Use your arms to mimic an action in your sport -- a shot in basketball, block in volleyball or header in soccer etc.

5) This is 1 repetition. Repeat for 10 jumps to complete 1 set.

6) As a progression increase the height of the box 10cm at a time up to a maximum of 50cm.

* Depth or reactive jumps are an advanced plyometric exercise. It is unadvised that athletes new to plyometrics or under the age of 16 should avoid this exercise.


THURSDAY Weight training as per Monday

FRIDAY - Plyometric training as per Tuesday