Vertical Jump Increase and Improvement


For athletes, the vertical jump is a skill that can be increased and improved with proper training. To improve jumping abilities for sports like basketball, tennis, volleyball, or track and field events such as the high jump it is necessary to do both strength and power training. Research has found certain key components can help athletes become better at jumping. There are different ways to improve an individual’s vertical jump. Here we go over some of the most effective exercises including plyometrics, and exercises that build strength and power.

Vertical Jump Increase and Improvement

Jumping is an explosive movement.

  • To jump well, an individual needs a consistent powerful spring.
  • This is achieved by training the explosive/fast-twitch muscle fibers with the ability to shorten and stretch dynamically.
  • Upper body strength is important for creating upward momentum.
  1. Strength exercises involve slow, controlled movements like squats, lunges, and step-ups with weights.
  2. Power exercises involve explosive, quick movements.
  3. Plyometrics involve explosive hopping, bounding, and jumping drills that combine strength and speed.



  • Common plyometric exercises include hops, jumps, and bounding movements.
  • A popular exercise is jumping off a box and rebounding off the floor then jumping onto another, higher box.
  • Box jumps provide practice for jumping.

Single-Leg Squats

  • Single-leg squats can be done almost anywhere, without equipment.
  • They work the hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and calves.
  • They strengthen the core and increase flexibility.

Full Squats

  • This is a barbell exercise to build strength and power.
  • It is considered one of the best total body exercises.

Weighted Step-Ups

  • The step-up is a recommended all-around exercise that can be done almost anywhere.
  • Not only will it build strength in your quadriceps, but you can also use it as part of a cardio workout.
  • It has a low risk of injury.

Overhead Walking Lunges

  • All that is needed is a weight and room to walk.
  • This exercise builds power, strength, and speed in the legs.
  • Improves core strength.

Stair Running

  • This is a high-intensity workout that builds speed, power, and cardiovascular fitness.
  • It targets the glutes, quads, and calves.

Agility Drills

  • Agility drills can include jumping to improve coordination, speed, power, and specific skills.


  • Sprints are quick intense exercises to build muscle and increase performance.
  • Sprints use more muscle groups.


  • Build strength by performing basic weight training exercises using slow, controlled movements.
  • Build power with faster dynamic movements.
  • Improve movement speed to create power with explosive, quick exercises.
  • Work on form, by incorporating the lead-up to the jump, arm motion, and safe landing technique.
  1. Include time to practice maximum jumping and bring it all together.
  2. Always warm up before jumping or performing drills to keep the joints and body safe.
  3. Athletes jump rope to get the blood circulating and warm up their muscles.
  4. Do several slow, controlled toe raises to prepare the feet and ankles for jumping and landing.
  5. Gradually work up to a full vertical jump, by doing box and squat jumps.


  • When finally working on the vertical jump, start with the feet hips-distance apart.
  • If measuring jump height, stand about a foot away from the measuring tape or measuring bar on the side.
  • Start with arms overhead.
  • As you drop into a squat position swing the arms behind the hips.
  • Swing back up to the starting position before going for the full jump.
  • The pre-swing helps build momentum.
  • Land with the knees bent to minimize the impact.

Jumping is a high-impact activity that can take a toll on the knees, hips, ankles, and feet. Be sure to rest the body between hard workouts so the muscles have time to recover, repair, and build up.

Improving Athletic Performance


Barnes, Jacque L et al. “Relationship of jumping and agility performance in female volleyball athletes.” Journal of Strength and conditioning research vol. 21,4 (2007): 1192-6. doi:10.1519/R-22416.1

Bezerra, Ewertton DE S et al. “Influence of Trunk Position during Three Lunge Exercises on Muscular Activation in Trained Women.” International journal of exercise science vol. 14,1 202-210. 1 Apr. 2021

Hedlund, Sofia, et al. “Effect of chiropractic manipulation on vertical jump height in young female athletes with talocrural joint dysfunction: a single-blind randomized clinical pilot trial.” Journal of Manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 37,2 (2014): 116-23. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.11.004

Hernández, Sebastian, et al. “Effects of Plyometric Training on Neuromuscular Performance in Youth Basketball Players: A Pilot Study on the Influence of Drill Randomization.” Journal of sports science & medicine vol. 17,3 372-378. 14 Aug. 2018

Karatrantou, Konstantina, et al. “Can sport-specific training affect vertical jumping ability during puberty?.” Biology of sport vol. 36,3 (2019): 217-224. doi:10.5114/biolsport.2019.85455

Markovic, Goran. “Does plyometric training improve vertical jump height? A meta-analytical review.” British Journal of sports medicine vol. 41,6 (2007): 349-55; discussion 355. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.035113

McLellan, Christopher P et al. “The role of rate of force development on vertical jump performance.” Journal of Strength and conditioning research vol. 25,2 (2011): 379-85. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181be305c

Rodríguez-Rosell, David, et al. “Traditional vs. Sport-Specific Vertical Jump Tests: Reliability, Validity, and Relationship With the Legs Strength and Sprint Performance in Adult and Teen Soccer and Basketball Players.” Journal of Strength and conditioning research vol. 31,1 (2017): 196-206. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001476

Vanezis, Athanasios, and Adrian Lees. “A biomechanical analysis of good and poor performers of the vertical jump.” Ergonomics vol. 48,11-14 (2005): 1594-603. doi:10.1080/00140130500101262

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The information herein on "Vertical Jump Increase and Improvement" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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