How to Jump Higher: the Vertical Jump Guide For Basketball & Volleyball Players
How to Jump Higher Sections:
- What does Vertical Jump Mean?
- How do you Test your Vertical Jump?
- How can you increase your vertical jump?
- Does lifting weights increase vertical jump?
- Do Resistance bands help you jump higher?
- Does stretching help your vertical jump?
- What is the best vertical jump program to follow?
- How to dunk a basketball?
- What are the benefits of jumping higher?
- What vertical jump training equipment should I use?
If you took a poll of the areas athletes wanted to improve the most, their vertical jump would be among the tops. Athletes playing basketball and volleyball rely on their verticals in a number of ways, but one major way is it gives them an edge to stand out amongst their peers. Players want to jump higher and coaches are looking for players that can put some space between their feet and the court.
But what if you don’t have a great vertical? Not every player is blessed with the ability to jump high - and that’s where we are here to help. We put together a Vertical Jump Guide to help you increase your vertical. In this guide, we’ll break down what training to start incorporating into your workouts.
When you combine our Vertical Jump Guide with hard work, commitment, and motivation - the sky's the limit - literally. It won’t happen overnight, but stay the course and watch as those results start showing up in your game.
Vertical Jump Definition
A vertical jump is defined as the highest point an athlete can touch from a standing point jump, less the height the athlete can touch from a standing position (standing reach height). The best place to start with your vertical jump improvement is testing your vertical jump. This will serve as your reference point to see how you’re increasing your vertical.
Test Vertical Jump
To get your training started, you need a way to measure your jump. If you’re testing your vertical at gym or in a professional type setting, they may have a Vertec. The Vertec is one of the most common apparatus for measuring vertical jump ability. It is the vertical jump-testing device of choice for many college and professional teams, but they also have the budget for such a thing. If you’re wanting to test your vertical in a budget-friendly way, you can easily use a measuring tape, a marked wall, or chalk for marking a wall.
Next, it’s time to actually do the testing.
- The athlete stands side on to a wall and reaches up with the hand closest to the wall. Keeping the feet flat on the ground, the point of the fingertips is marked or recorded. This is called the standing reach height.
- The athlete then stands away from the wall, and leaps vertically as high as possible using both arms and legs to assist in projecting the body upwards. Attempt to touch the wall at the highest point of the jump.
- The difference in distance between the standing reach height and the jump height is the score. The best of three attempts is recorded.
Vertical Jump Training
Nothing good comes easy - and that’s especially true when it comes to increasing your vertical jump. In order to jump as high as you can, you’re going to have to put the work in. It won’t be a simple process. It’s going to take great effort and dedication to reach you full potential when it comes to your vertical.
There are two areas to focus on during your vertical training which are: physical training and mental training.
Physical Training are the exercises you’ll do to that require all your energy to get your body to reach its maximum jump height. Some of these exercises include lifts in the weight room, jumping drills, and stretching. Read on to find out more detail on what physical training you need to start doing on a daily basis.
Mental Training are the exercises focused on your mind. It’s not going to be easy to increase your vertical and it’s not something that will happen overnight - so you need to stay mentally tough during this entire time. Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay the course and keep working hard on your vertical.
- Visualization. The entire time you’re training to increase your vertical, start visualize how high you want to jump. Think about your steps, your form, your arms, and how high you’re going to be able to jump with all the hard work you’re doing. Being able to visualize yourself jumping higher is a great tool while you’re training.
- Confidence. Not only do you need to have confidence in yourself but also have confidence in the process. All of the time you’re putting into the physical and mental training will pay off – and you need to have confidence in that.
- Perseverance. You won’t be able to jump out of the gym after one week of training – it will take time, effort, and endless repetitions. You have to be willing to put in the work – and some days that might not be easy. Your results may not show every day or every work out. You have to be able to look past that and keep on doing work.
Vertical Jump Lifting Program
The first place to start working on your vertical jump is the weight Room. This goes without being said that you’ll get a higher vertical with stronger legs – and the only way to get your legs stronger is by hitting the weight room. Not sure what exercises to use? These exercises are a great way to get started:
- Squats – start with the bar behind your neck, resting on your shoulders and make sure you’re standing with your feet shoulder width apart. From this position, slowly lower your body by bending at your knees. You’ll go all the way down until you’re in a deep squat and holding that position for two seconds. Then you can slowly rise back up to your starting position. Make sure you keep your back straight and you’re bending at your knees.
- Single Leg Squat – take the form outlined for squats but instead of using both legs only use a single leg. You can use weight for this exercise or just use your body weight. It’s a great exercise either way!
- Jump Squat – start with the bar behind your head resting on your neck or grab a couple of dumbbells and have at your sides. Start lowering your body to a squat, but when you rise up be sure to explode and jump up. On your landing, keep balance and make sure you’re landing on both feet.
- Toe Raises – stand with your feet shoulder width apart, typically on stairs or any sort of ground you can stand on that allows your heel to dip down. Then raise up on the tips of your toes. Continue this process until your complete your reps. Don’t rock up and down – or go to fast. For the exercise to work, you have to use correct form and go at a steady pace.
- Leg Extensions and Leg Curls – these are typically done with machines at the gym. Find these machines and make sure you get adequate reps on them.
DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO A WEIGHT ROOM?
CHECK OUT OUR P.R.O. RESISTANCE BANDS!
The HoopsKing P.R.O. Bands (Progressive Resistance Overload) are 100% Natural Latex basketball resistance training bands that can help you in 3 major ways:
- Explosiveness by adding resistance to jumping
- Building Strength by using the bands to building upper and lower body strength.
- Flexibility can be increased with Pre and Post practice stretching
And the beauty about the bands is that you can use them right on the court without the need for a weight room or a bunch of equipment.
Try out these exercises with the P.R.O. Bands:
Vertical Jump Increase
Jumping Drills are one way to increase your vertical. Now that you’re working on your leg strength you also need to be working on your jumps as well. Here are some jumping drills to start doing on a daily basis.
- Tuck Jumps – with your feet shoulder width apart, bend down into a comfortable squat position and then jump up as high as you can and bring your knees to your chest.
- High Reach Jumps – with your feet shoulder width apart, bend down into a comfortable squat position and then jump up as high as you can reaching for the sky! This drill is great to do under the basketball goal or near a wall so you can have a visual of how high you’re jumping – or how low you jump once you start getting tired. Try to reach the same height through all your reps.
- Standing Box Jumps – with your feet shoulder width apart, bend down into a comfortable squat position and then explode up to jump on the box. The key here is to get a tall enough box that is going to challenge you, but not one that is too high.
- One/Three Step Box Jumps – use the same form as a standing box jump, but this time take one step into your jump (or three steps if you’re doing three step box jump) to help explode up and land on your box. Typically, by adding steps to your jump, you should be able to jump higher so you might need a taller box.
- Single Leg Jumps – find a much smaller box or a stair for this exercise. Use the same form as the other box jumps, but for this one you’ll be jumping on a single leg. Stay true to your form and be sure to do equal amount of reps on both sides.
Vertical Jump Stretches
Before each training session you need to have a solid warm up. Warm ups help get the blood flowing in your body and stretch your muscles. Put a lot of focusing on the stretching and getting your body loose. Stretching is a big deal because it will help improve your flexibility. Surprisingly, flexibility helps you jump higher!
Before and after every workout, stretch your legs. This can lead to increase flexibility which loosens your muscles and allows them to perform better with a greater range of motion. In other words, they are strong and function better. Be sure to include dynamic stretches into your warm-up to get your joints moving and static stretches into your cool down after the workout.
Dynamic stretches are when you put your body through a range of motion to prepare it to perform. Some examples are:
- Knees to chest
- High knees
- Lunge with a twist
Static stretches are when you hold a stretch for an extended period of time. Some examples are:
- Standing Quadriceps Stretch
- Hamstring Stretch
- Calf Stretch
Vertical Jump Workout
Are you looking for a jump program to follow?
Look no further than the MVP Vertical Jump Pro System.
This program is the most comprehensive vertical jump program on the market. It’s a 12 week explosive Vertical Jump Program that can increase your vertical jump up to 15”.
Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach, Alan Stein, will be the one coaching you up three times a week for only 30 minutes each session. He has trained players at all levels including Kevin Durant who is one of the best basketball players in the world.
Basketball Players continue reading to learn how jumping higher will change your game on the court!
Dunking the Basketball
One of the most fun ways to use your vertical jump is dunking a basketball. If you haven’t dunked before then don’t skip our dunking tutorial.
How to a Dunk a Basketball
Generally, a player can reach their highest when jumping off one foot and reaching up with one hand. For a player that is right-handed, the most common way is approaching from the left and jumping off the left foot with the ball in the right hand. Obviously, for a left-handed player, it’s coming from the right and jumping off the right with the ball in your left hand.
Some players thinking jumping off two feet to be more comfortable, but it’s different for every player. Take time while you’re practice your jump to find what’s the most comfortable for you. As you’re learning the right way to jump, comfort is crucial because you don’t want to hurt yourself making a move that feels awkward. You want to be comfortable taking off and landing - and that can be done a number of different ways.
To begin, go up without a ball first. This will give you a great idea of where you’re at and just how close you are to being able to dunk. For beginners, you should focus on dunking with one hand. Your other hand should stay by your side to balance your body while you’re in the air. The two-handed dunk is awesome, but is surprisingly more of an advance dunk and should be an approach you build up to as you work on your dunking.
One of the problems with dunking is managing the ball while you’re in the air. To dunk with one hand, you’ll need to be able to palm a basketball. Some players have no trouble getting a grip of the basketball and driving it over the rim, but for other players this realistically isn’t going to happen without a lot of practice and hard work.
If you can jump high enough to dunk, but you’re having a hard time going up with the basketball in one hand, the solution is to start small and work your way up. A smaller ball such as a soft golf ball or tennis ball is a great starting point. From there, move slowly to a mini-basketball. It will provide more of a challenge but still be easy to palm as you go up. Once you can dunk the mini ball, try moving on to a volleyball until finally a regulation basketball.
What are the other benefits of jumping higher?
Get more rebounds! By jumping higher, you’ll be closer to the rim and ready to rebound those missed shots. It also means you’ll be able to get those rebounds that use to be just out of your reach. Remember when you’d lose a rebound because someone could jump higher than you?
Block more shots! Now that you’ve got those extra inches in your vertical you’ll be able to get your hand on more shots. This will do wonders on the defensive end because even if you can’t get a hand on every shot – the other team will have to work around your shot blocking ability allowing you to shut down your opponent.
Create more turnovers! Or in other words steal the ball more. You’ll be able to jump up and steal those passes that teams try to make over you. This will allow your team to create more turnovers which means more offensive possessions for your team that can lead to more points.
How to Jump Higher for Volleyball - the Easy Way
M.V.P. Pro Bands
Want to increase your vertical jump for volleyball fast? The easy way is to use our vertical jump bands and wear them while you practice your spikes! Just put on the vertical jump bands during volleyball practice and you'll be training your vertical jump while you are also practicing your volleyball skills. This means you don't have to do extra vertical jump workouts to gain inches on your jumping ability.
We have two diferent vertical jump bands that you can use as a volleyball player. The first bands are the M.V.P. Pro bands that are attached at the heels and a belt around the waist. These vertical jump bands can be worn during practice so everytime you jump your are improving your vertical with the resistance provided by the bands. These bands are best if you are 5' 6" or taller.
Our best vertical jump bands for volleyball players are the M.V.P. Elite bands that are attached at the heels and fit over the shoulders. These bands are a big step up from the Pro bands as they engage the core muscles in addition to the leg muscles. Jumping is an all body function so the more muscles that have resistance the better.
The Elite bands will also engage better and you don't have to be as tall as with the Pro bands. You will have to remove the bands from the shoulders most likely after about a minute of jumping to give your shoulders a break. But each jump with the Elite bands will be more intense and you are going to jump higher faster with the Elite bands.
Now you can add these bands to any volleyball jump training program you are already doing for added resistance. You can even use them while lifting weights for a linear variable resistance training effect. This method of training can help you break through plateaus on your vertical jump and reach new levels.
Train with these bands as a volleyball player and everyone will wonder what you did to imrpove your vertical jump so dramatically.
M.V.P. Elite Bands
Recommended Vertical Jump Aids
Vertical Jump Shoes
Jumpsoles v5.0. The Jumpsoles are vertical jump shoes that fit onto your existing shoe. They are plyometric platforms that attach to your shoes and focuses your body weight onto your calves and train you to spring off the balls of your feet. By doing the special plyometric exercises in the video you develop fast twitch muscle fibers in your legs for explosive leaping improvement. Jumpsoles have been around for over 20 years and many players have increased their vertical jump with them. See real Jumpsoles reviews here.
Jump 99 Shoes The Jump 99 shoes are complete shoes on a platform. These are our #1 selling vertical jump shoe. Follow the training program and you'll be on your way to jumping higher. See real Jump 99 reviews here.
Which Jump Shoe is better? Jump 99 or Jumpsoles?
First, both shoes have the same type of training so there is no real difference there. The big difference is that the Jump 99 shoe is a complete shoe with platform while the Jumpsoles strap on to your existing shoe. Again, not a lot of difference there in the funcationality of the shoe while training. The jumpsoles stay snug and tight.
So, you are probably wondering what the difference is right? Well, the first big difference is in the look. If you want to look the best while doing your jump shoes the Jump 99 will be one complete unit that will look better than the Jumpsoles. Now that doesn't have anything to do with jumping higher but we know players care about how they look when training so that is an advantage for the Jump 99 shoe.
The advantage for the Jumpsoles is that they fit a range of sizes. For example, Large Jumpsoles fit shoe sizes 11-14 so if you are still growing and are size 11.5 you have plenty of room to continue to grow into the Jumpsoles whereas if you purchased the Jump 99 you might outgrow them in a year and woiuld have to buy a new pair.
So that's about the only real differences between the two. Whatever you choose your vertical will benefit the same from either one.