Most people believe that being able to jump high is a natural gift, but I am here to tell you that is inherently wrong!
Personally, I am not a natural “jumper” in any way. However, as I am currently in my 4th year of professional basketball, I have learned many valuable lessons that continue to help me jump higher and more explosively!
If you are interested in learning more about how I was able to achieve a 37-inch vertical leap at one point in my career, keep reading below!
1Improve Your Mobility First!
When I was only a high school basketball player, I dealt with a lot of knee and hip issues because of my height (I am 6’ 10”). These issues weren’t necessarily due to injuries, but they were simple tendinitis and overuse issues caused by a lack of properly moving body parts.
Overall, this was the main reason I could hardly jump over a phone book!
As I began working to improve my vertical leaping ability, I quickly learned how important it was for my lower body to move properly.
Nobody will be able to run fast or jump high without proper hip, knee, and ankle mobility.
I don’t suggest that you spend a lot of time “stretching,” because this is an outdated concept.
Instead, work to become dynamically mobile.
If you can do this, I promise you will see an immediate improvement in your vertical jump!
2Strengthen the Necessary Jumping Muscles!
Many people believe that doing an endless amount of plyometric exercises will help them jump higher, but they are poorly mistaken!
After you have spent considerable time improving your natural mobility, my next suggestion is to focus on raw strength.
Power can easily be produced when you have “strong” muscles, ligaments, and joints.
If your goal is to jump higher, don’t focus solely on bilateral movements!
The back squat and conventional deadlift certainly are useful exercises, but they are only two exercises at your disposal.
Personally, I believe Bulgarian split squats are the single best leg exercise to improve your vertical jump.
Unilateral movements are exceptional for strengthening your lower body muscles, while also improving your joint strength and stability.
Additional single leg exercises you can work on include:
- Walking Lunges
- Reverse Slide Lunges
- Step Ups
- Pistol Squats
- Stationary Split Squats
Not only will these exercises improve how high you jump, but they will also help you back squat and deadlift more weight as well!
3Train the Proper “Power” Movements
For most people looking to jump higher, plyometrics are going to be the last phase of your jump program.
In fact, you can improve your ability to produce vertical power without plyometrics at all!
Personally, I value sprinting, prowler sled exercises, and the Olympic lifts (power clean, snatch, push press), as much as any plyometric exercise!
Running 100-meter sprints at 90%-95% capacity will do as much to improve your vertical jump as nearly any other exercise!
The prowler sled push has been one of my favorite exercises for a long time as well.
If you do want to use plyometrics, I believe jump squats and box jumps are your best options!
Jump squats and box jumps provide minimal impact on your joints compared with other plyometric exercises, which is why I believe they are the most useful.
If you would like to learn more tips on how to increase your vertical jump, I highly suggest you check out my website AdamKempFitness.com.
The vertical jump is something which comes naturally to many people, but it is completely foreign to others.
Although I was never a natural jumper in my own right, I worked hard and became much more explosive over time!
If you follow the simple tips listed above, I am confident you will see the gains you are looking to obtain quickly!