Introduction: How to Jump Higher (increasing Your Vertical Leap)

Picture of How to Jump Higher (increasing Your Vertical Leap)

If you are an athlete who competes in a team or individual sport, you most likely rely primarily on leg strength to excel in your given sport. Basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, baseball.... chances are you have played one or more of these sports and found yourself in a situation where a higher jump could have given you the chance to score or avoid getting scored on. Whether you want to devote yourself to working towards the career of a professional athlete or you just want to fare a little better in a pick-up game, increasing your leg strength and your vertical leap can be a relatively easy process.

This is what happens when you work on the exercises and jumps mentioned in this instructable (and if you are a genetic freak) --> --> 66" Jump

Step 1: In the Weight Room

Picture of In the Weight Room

The height of your jump is a direct result of your overall leg strength. However, it should be noted that attending to your core strength is important to every aspect of your athleticism. Conditioning can be more important to your agility than strength training, so make sure you pay plenty of attention to your abdominal muscles as they are the under-appreciated engine of all athletes. Nevertheless, there are some exercises you can do while in the gym that will maximize the increase you see in your vertical leap.

Calf Raises:
Many gyms have a seated calf raise machine that is built for one purpose only: to give you rockin calves. The idea is simple here - place your feet on the platform and put your knees under the bar. Release the safety and raise your legs using the balls of your feet. The most important thing to realize here is that unlike many exercises you may do in your workout, you don't need to try to build muscle. Jumping is all about explosion, so it is much more advantageous to go for less weight and maximize the repetitions. This is one of my favorite exercises.

Squats:
In addition to doing exercises like leg curls, presses and other quad/hamstring lifts, squats are a great exercise for building leg and core strength. If you don't know how to do a squat, it is best to get some help from someone at the gym. It can be easy to hurt yourself if you misunderstand the form, so don't take a chance. Start out by trying to lift about 50% of your body weight (bar included). Try to do between 6-8 reps. If the weight is too low, add on a few more lbs.

Step 2: Home Work

Picture of Home Work

The best way to increase your vertical leap is not in the weight room, but rather during the journey that you experience every day. If you keep an eye out for opportunities to boost your jumping skills, you can start seeing a difference immediately.

Stretch:
This is probably a good idea to do even if you could care less about being able to dunk. Stretching daily will help strengthen your muscles, allow your body to gain flexibility, and just plain make you feel better. I have always heard that stretching before a workout (weight or aerobic) is a smart thing to do, but I have also had a few people tell me that stretching prior to exercise diminishes the maximum power that your muscles can generate. I am certainly no doctor, so whatever you decide to do, try doing it in moderation (unless you are drinking beer).

Stay on Your Toes:
It sounds like something ballerina might do, but trust me, it works wonders. Try walking around your house on your tip-toes. This will force your calf muscles to work overtime and is a great endurance exercise for increasing your vertical. When this starts to get tiring, switch it around and attempt to walk on your heels with your toes pointed as high as you can. This walk makes you look stupid, but forces your dorsi-flexor muscles to become rock hard.

Might as Well Jump:
Jumping rope is (surprise) a great exercise. Not only will this get the heart pumping, but the short jumps that you are forced to repeat over and over again help to promote explosiveness.

Stair Raises:
You can mimic the great exercises that you perform in the gym in the comfort of your own home if you have the right technique. If you have stairs in your house (or substitute any kind of platform), position yourself so that your heels hang off the back of the raised area. Lower yourself as far as you can go, then raise yourself up onto your toes. This can be much more straining for your calves than the machine, so try not to over do it when doing this exercise.

Last but Not Least:
Just as important as any dichotomy in life, work is meaningless without rest to accompany it. Make sure to give your body and legs a rest at least two days a week. As when doing any sort of weight or cardiovascular training, the results occur when your muscles have the chance to repair the small tears in tissue when you work out. So just do it.

Step 3: Practice Makes Perfect

Picture of Practice Makes Perfect

There are several ways to go about jumping. These are all great methods of training your legs to jump properly and with the maximum amount of force. Try them all and you are destined hurdle any obstacle:

1.Explosive Jumping:
For this exercise, you will need some sort of elevated platform (a rock, a bench, a cinder block, etc). Put your right foot on the platform and your left foot on the ground. Now, explode upwards, jumping as high as you can off of your right foot. On the way down, try to switch your footing, landing with your left foot on the platform and your right on the ground. This can be tricky, so be careful not to fall as you land. Repeat as necessary.

2.Box Jumping:
You'll need a box or a sturdy platform for this next exercise. Begin atop your platform, and jump off to one side. Try to land and then instantly jump back up again, bending your legs as little as you can while still generating enough force to reach the height of the platform. Land on top, and jump off the other side. Keep repeating this about ten times before taking a short break.

3.Lunge Jumping:
Get in a normal lunge position, and try jumping as high as you can, using your forward foot to drive the leap. The lower you are to the ground, the more muscle strength is required to get yourself airborne. Do this a few times for each foot before throwing in the towel.

4.Two-Footer:
Place your feet about shoulder width apart, and squat down. Push off with both feet and use them equally to jump as high as you can. This is a good way of working both quads at the same time rather than doing them separately.

5.Arm Experimenting:
Try taking a few jumps as you would normally. Now try jumping as high as you can while keeping your arms pointed straight down. See the difference? Swinging your arms during a jump can add a significant amount of inertia to your leap, so experiment with different methods of propelling yourself with your arms.

6.Why Weight?
Weights can also be used when jump training. Try doing some of the exercises mentioned above while holding weights or a lead vest. For a cool experiment, grab a pair of dumbells and crouch down. Before you leap up, drop the weights and you will jump super high. Your body adjusts for the added weight as you crouch and this over-compensation allows you to get some serious air.

Just a couple of notes:
Don't use ankle weights (or just about any ankle strength/jump training device). These cause your body to operate in an unusual manner and can tear ligaments, effectively sending you to the DL or even ending your career.
Keep records of your vertical jump with the help of some friends. Having a detailed record of your progress will help you to understand what exercises are best for you when trying to improve your vertical and can also bring your attention to other unknown factors in your jumping.

Comments

jamesmkr (author)2017-05-30

I finally dunked today after practice.. everyone was watching and i went up and dunked one handed. Special shoutout to Adam Folker and his workouts - http://dbprograms.com/verticaljump they gave me 13 inches on my vertical.

Matthew19 (author)2017-03-16

One of the main components of basketball game is the ability to jump higher. A proper and a frequent way of jumping higher will definitely make you a star in this game. This manual I found HERE contains the keys steps to creating and preforming a deadly shot.

Zak Davis (author)2017-03-13

Thanks for the great article.

I'll put these awesome vertical jump tips to work right away.

Another thing that really helped me increase my vertical jump in a very short time is this:

http://www.bestquicktips.com/verticaljumptips

Thanks again!

v-nikiforov (author)2017-01-26

maybe i can do a quadruple flip or axel someday on ice

Lil Phillipone (author)2017-01-09

This one is very helpful instructable too. Compliments this one nicely. How To Jump Higher: The Ultimate Guide . Now I just have to get to work in the gym. One day i'll dunk.

its4you (author)2016-12-14

are you serious ? Can you become a basketball star? It is the progamme that will have to realize the dreams =====> http://cutt.us/Gtgw

123jhahsb (author)2016-07-01

"Jumping is all about explosion, so it is much more advantageous to go for less weight and maximize the repetitions."
Im sorry but you got it all wrong! Explosiveness uses fast twitch muscle fibers(type2) and fast twitch muscle recruitment increases with more weight and less repetitions.


"The greater the intensity—meaning percentage of your one-rep max, not just how strenuous an exercise feels—the more you'll tap into fast-twitch fibers."
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-how-do-i-target-fast-twitch-muscle-fibers.html

AndreasR30 (author)2016-06-25

Some great tips here! If you want to see what you can reach in only 8 weeks of vertical jump training check out my blog! I have tracked my journey to a 37" vertical and being able to dunk easily.

SermayesizI (author)2016-04-29

Thank you for the beautiful article.this remarkable website www.vertshock.net

ojeda8th (author)2015-01-05

Really good. I for one love this kinda stuff. I have played soccer, basketball, softball, volleyball, track and field, and I do jiujitsu. So yeah this comes in handy. BIG THANKS TO YOU!!!!!!!!;)

coolkidtn (author)2013-01-01

Michael Jordan is my favorite basketball player ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GenericBadness (author)2010-06-21

My kind of chick. I'd never again have to answer that landmine question: "does my butt look fat in these pants?"

Romanader (author)GenericBadness2010-06-25

LOL "Look for yourself!" I... well, I might actually be a little afraid of her. If she puts her foot down, it'd be serious.

GenericBadness (author)Romanader2010-06-26

Funny indeed, my friend! And if she throws a true tantrum, she could 'end' up dancing cheek-to-cheek...with herself. That would be better than a bobble head figurine! This picture opens the imaginative floodgates for a new vein of instructables!

The Jamalam (author)2008-09-01

wow, this would really help for stuff like parkour/freerunning! i'm noticing a difference already! 5 stars

joey99 (author)The Jamalam2010-05-21

i love your instructable on free running/parkour:)

weirdo62 (author)2009-08-30

A man in china did this and he can jump like six feet in the air. dig a hole 10 inches in the ground and jump in and out of it 100 times on one day, for every day, dig 5 inches deeper into the ground. pretty soon, you will be able to jump six feet in the air! no joke

joey99 (author)weirdo622010-05-21

you got that from diary of a wimpy kid

Drum_Dude (author)2009-09-01

wow... i couldve never imagined that your butt could get that close to your face!!!!

iamtoats (author)Drum_Dude2009-09-09

Think of the possibilities.... Not sexual of course..................... But there is so much you can do with that much of a stretch....

JohnJY (author)iamtoats2010-02-21

 Think of the possibilities...sexual of course. 

blrosenberg (author)2010-02-16

 that's hot

XWXAXDXEX (author)2010-01-26

>.> It's a joke to give an idea on how heavy the weight is. I think they might even sell bars like this to form to your back. But sometimes the bar really can bend, based on size of weights, strength of bar, and force of lift. The heavier the bar the more it can hold.

Harmonator (author)2009-12-07

I've done this wait plenty of times and i have never seen the bar bend like that!!!

nick9321 (author)2009-10-03

:O

bowmaster (author)2009-04-06

Plant a corn seed in the ground. Jump over it at least 50 times a day.

now that's an interesting idea! it progresses with you!

It is an ancient ninja trick.

NatureBoom21 (author)bowmaster2009-07-25

lol it works

bowmaster (author)NatureBoom212009-07-26

Of course it does. If it didn't work would they have used it? No, they would have given the trick to the pirates.

NatureBoom21 (author)bowmaster2009-07-28

OOOOOOOHHHHHH im soo stupid

bowmaster (author)NatureBoom212009-07-28

Do have an overwhelming desire to where a three pointed hat, get drunk, and never shower or take a bath?

NatureBoom21 (author)bowmaster2009-09-11

No

pancho del rancho (author)2009-08-05

foo that aint right by that i mean thats impossible and scary

zrebs (author)2009-03-30

Good stuff, man... thx for sharing.
I think you're correct in recommending lower reps, to focus on explosion rather than endurance (which a lot of programs make the mistake of doing).

I found tons of good info on Vertical Jump training here if you're interested:
http://JumpManual.EliteJumpTraining.com

James5559 (author)2009-03-25

Pictures would be good. Check out www.captainreview.com/Vertical_Programs for some good info on the internet programs that are out there. Their sites are so confusing and BS.

ironman7 (author)2009-01-22

You got some good stuff here. I'll try it out.

Tanners (author)2009-01-03

great instructable but the walking on your toes part can be a bad idea when i was younger i used to walk on my toes all the time i don't know why it was just a habit and after a while your (i don't know how to spell it) akellies tenden with get shorter preventing you from walking normally so i used to have to stretch everyday to get it back to normal.

Owenmon (author)2008-10-29

i can already jumt 40 inches (im only 58 in. >.> ) yes i know im small

DEFDOM DELTA (author)2008-09-07

Great Instructable! I like you explanation of everything, but as bumpus recommended, I would include more of your own pictures.

toolarmy (author)2008-09-01

great info, thanks man

bumpus (author)2008-09-01

Very well written. Although this instructable is very thorough, you may want to upload a few of your own pictures. 5/5 stars. :D

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