by Katie Hoehn January 03, 2023 4 min read
Want to improve your dunking ability, or be able to dunk?
Want to dominate the high jump?
Heck, maybe you're just sick of having to get a step stool to reach the top shelves like me!
Whatever your reason may be, increasing your vertical jump is well worth the effort. Obviously, you'll be able to jump higher ... but vertical jump training can do much more for you than just that.
These drills can help you maximize your muscle's ability to contract quickly. This can help strengthen your fast-twitch fibers, assisting you with any explosive movements in training and life!
But where do you start when it comes to increasing your vertical jump? Right here.
I'll cover 5 exercises you can start doing today to help you jump higher, and maybe even knock out some other fitness goals in the process!
As you might expect, workouts to increase vertical jumps include a lot of, well, jumping. With that being said, find an open area with plenty of room to move around.
Most of these exercises don't use any equipment, but for this first one ... you'll want a jump rope.
You ready? Let's bounce.
Might as well start with the basics, right?
Jumping rope is an extremely versatile exercise, allowing you to control the speed and intensity. It’s also one of the few exercises capable of strengthening all your leg muscles at once.
Yes, everything from your calves to your glutes are engaged. They all play essential roles in helping you jump higher!
Almost any kind of jump rope routine will help increase your vertical jump to some extent.
I prefer to do high-intensity and short-duration drills ... this helps maximize the benefit to your fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Another great way to train explosiveness in your legs is through lateral skater jumps.
This exercises focuses on explosive movements from side to side. Think of them like explosive side lunges.
You'll start by standing with your legs hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
Push explosively off of one foot to jump to one side, landing on the opposite foot. As you jump and land on one foot, bring your other foot by your ankle without allowing it to touch the ground.
You should land on your foot for half a second before using it to jump to the opposite foot.
You'll literally feel like you're skiing in place ... just make sure your shoes have good traction with the floor ... You don't want to wipeout!
I know it's sometimes considered a "beginner's exercise" ... but don't underestimate squat jumps. They are great for improving your vertical jumps and strengthening your core and lower-body muscles.
This drill is near the top of the list when it comes to developing explosive power, and they can be done anywhere.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. From here, lower into a full squat.
When you've reached the bottom of the movement, explode upwards through your legs into a full jump. When you land, descend into a crouch, then repeat the process.
For the best impact on your vertical jump, aim to reach higher and push off faster as you go. Give it everything you've got.
Want to take your vertical-jump exercises to more advanced levels?
The Tuck jump is pretty much the squat jump’s tougher, older brother.
Instead of extending your legs as you jump up, you’ll drive your knees to your chest in mid-air and bring your legs back down as you catch your landing.
Now, it takes some practice, but it can give you a more intense workout and add inches to your jump. Just make sure you're comfortable with squat jumps before moving into tuck jumps.
Look, when I said you’d be doing a lot of jumping ... I meant it.
While sprinting isn't technically jumping, when done correctly, it's awfully close.
You're really just jumping from one foot to the other to propel yourself forward.
The better you get at sprinting ... the better you'll get at jumping.
So adding sprints to your training is a must!
As you run, focus on intense, short-distance runs (of about 20 meters). Separate them by short periods of more relaxed sprinting. This will not only help condition your leg muscles for more explosive action, but also help improve your vertical jump.
Surely, these exercises can help train your fast-twitch muscle fibers and increase your vertical jump. But, what other goals are you working toward?
Whether it's losing body fat, building muscle, getting healthier, or even just maintaining your current health ... we have your back!
If you have questions or would like personalized assistance ... reach out to us. We have a full team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches who will help you for free.
You can also download the 1st Phorm App for detailed workout programs, food tracking, 1 on 1 coaching with your very own certified advisor, and so much more!
So give these exercises a try, and let us know if there's ever anything we can do to help in the meantime.
Katie Hoehn Registered Dietitian ACE Certified Personal Trainer ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist ACE Youth Fitness Specialist 1st Phorm App Advisor