If you ask any professional sportsperson what it takes to be a winner, one of the things they are guaranteed to say is continually trying to improve. That principle applies whether you are #1 in the world at your sport or an absolute beginner. It also applies to all disciplines within sports so whether it is sprint speeds, your stamina, your eye-to-ball coordination, or in this case, vertical jumping, practicing and working on your technique will pay dividends.
In this article, we are going to go through several workouts which each bring something to the table in terms of improving your vertical jump. They are all relatively straightforward, although some do require additional equipment which we’ll explain. Before we look at them, we recommend you that you check out ‘The Jump Manual’ which is a very popular vertical jump training program that provides lots of workouts, techniques, tips, and advice that can improve your vertical jump.
In the Beginning
Before you start the exercises to improve your vertical jump, there are three things you must do. The first is to commit yourself 100% to improvement and picture in your mind’s eye you jumping higher than ever before. With this sort of mindset, it will help you continue even during the toughest of workouts.
Second, you need to measure your current vertical jump. This is done by measuring how high you can stretch and then measuring how high you can jump from a standing start and noting the difference. Assuming you have stopped growing, this gives you a way of checking your progress and how much you are improving.
Now that we have the ‘admin’ sorted you can get into your sports gear, but before diving right into the workouts, always ensure that you take 5-10 minutes beforehand to warm up. This will ensure that you won’t suffer sprains and strains to your muscles due to them being cold.
7 Workouts to Increase Your Vertical Jump
While we only have room for 7 workouts in this article, if you want to see a more comprehensive program of workouts then head over to ‘The Jump Manual’ where you will find video workouts, exercise techniques and advanced methods to help you jump higher.
Single Leg Squat
This targets your hamstrings and quads. The workout starts with you standing on one leg. If you find you are losing balance hold your arms out in front of you.
Bring the other leg forward and lift its foot slightly. At the same time bend the knee of your supporting leg and start to squat on it. As you become more adept at this, try to move closer to the floor each time. Repeat this for each leg 10 times and try do 3 sets of these during each session.
Bulgarian Split Squats
This workout is great for enhancing your quad muscles, hamstrings and calves, plus it is a good way to stretch your hip flexors.
The workout starts with you standing in front of a bench or similar, and you also need dumbbells or weights you can hold in each hand. Place one foot behind you and rest it on the bench. Move your body weight on to your front leg, and then bend that leg at the knee. You then push yourself back up into the starting position. Repeat 6 times at least for each leg and try to do 2 or 3 of these each training session.
Hip Flexor Stretch
This is similar to the previous exercise but without the weights and bench. You place one leg behind you, with it bent at the knee, and place the other in front of you, also bent at the knee. It is important that the rear knee joint is at a 90° angle. Proceed to move your weight forward until you feel stretching in your femur region and hold in that position for a couple of seconds. Repeat these 10 times for each leg.
These are a lot of fun, but also quite a challenge too. You need a box or platform that is about the same height as your measured best vertical jump.
For example, if your vertical jump maximum is 20 inches make the box 18 to 20 inches high. Stand on the box and jump off it. As soon as your feet touch the floor you need to jump back onto the box right away. This should program your muscles to get used to jumping at least to this height. Repeat these 8 times and try to do 1 or 2 sets within each session.
You’ll need some kind of weight you can hold about you for this. Stand upright with your knees slightly bent and bring the weight above your head.
Keeping the weight above you make a lunging movement forward so that your front knee is bent and positioned directly above your foot. The next movement you take is to return to a standing position. Now repeat the lunge using the other foot in front this time. Repeat 10 times for each leg. This workout is designed to improve your stability and your balance plus it works the quads and glutes.
Weighted Step Ups
This workout works the quadriceps and is also very beneficial for your hamstrings and calves. Basically, this is an exercise for building strength in those areas, while improving your balance too.
You can use either a barbell across your shoulders or a dumbbell in each hand. With either a strong box or bench in front of you, step up using one leg and then lift your other leg up. You then step backward from the bench one foot at a time. Alternate between your right and left legs in terms of which one steps up first. Repeat these 10 reps for each leg.
This is one which everyone should know. It builds endurance, strength, and power, which are all essential for jumping higher. Using a weight across your shoulders you slowly bend your knees so that the angles of both your hip joints and your knee joints are virtually the same. Lift yourself back to the starting position and repeat for up to 10 squats per set, and three sets per session.