How to increase vertical jump: pro tips video
Want to know how to increase your vertical jump? Practice vertical jump training with pro basketball trainer Paul Fabritz to improve your jump like the pros do.
From the volleyball net to the basketball court, a good vertical jump can help you edge out the competition. When he’s working with professional athletes, basketball trainer Paul Fabritz suggests vertical jump training independently to reach new heights when you’re in the game.
10 EXERCISES TO INCREASE YOUR VERTICAL JUMP
These are some of Fabritz’s top vertical jump exercises, which you can practice at home with minimal equipment. To improve your average vertical jump, practice this routine of workout moves and stretches on non-consecutive days – Fabritz recommends three days per week.
What’s Working: Your jump mechanics, specifically the step right before you lift off. Says Fabritz, “We're working on the second-to-last step of the jump. This is the most important part of our approach.”
Why: When you lengthen your penultimate step, you lower your hips and your center of mass, which helps you jump higher.
1. Stand with your legs apart in a game-ready stance, as if you’re about to run across the court.
2. Swing your arms and push forward from your left foot to your right. Follow with a jump if you want – but keep your focus on putting as much force and distance into that penultimate step.
3. Repeat for a total of four repetitions to complete a set.
4. Switch sides and lead with the opposite leg for your next set.
TWO STEP JUMPS
What’s Working: Jump mechanics again, including how high and fast you can jump.
Why: This move helps you build speed for your jump over a short distance, so you can get airborne on the court when you don’t have much wiggle room.
1. Take two steps, pushing through that penultimate step like you practiced in the first exercise.
2. Once you land from your second step, jump!
3. Repeat for a total of two repetitions to complete one set.
Bring It Home: Focus on gathering speed quickly over those two steps to power your vertical jump.
THREE WAY ANKLE JUMPS
What’s Working: Your ankles.
Why: To build elasticity in your Achilles tendon, for higher jumps and fewer injuries.
1. With your knees and hips straight and your ankles engaged, hop up and down on your toes.
2. Continue hopping on both feet for 20 seconds.
3. With the same stance, hop side-to-side on both feet for 20 seconds.
4. Hop on both feet forward and then backward – also called a ‘split-stance’ – for 20 seconds. This completes one 60-second set.
5. Repeat for a total of two to four sets.
Bring It Home: Stay low on your hops: maybe 50% of your maximum jump height. Keep your torso and legs straight and focus on isolating the full range of motion in your ankles.
ONE-TWO DEPTH JUMPS
What’s Working: Strength and elasticity in the lower body; overall jump mechanics.
Why: This jump is similar to how you would jump in a game, working your tendons and muscles alongside the mechanics of your jump.
1. Stand on a box, a step or a platform about 12 inches high (no higher than your knees).
2. With your right foot, step off the box to begin a ‘one-two’ drop. Follow with your left foot, preparing to spring off your left foot when you land.
3. Once your left foot hits the ground, jump up as high as you can.
4. Repeat four repetitions on each side for one set.
5. Complete two to four sets, alternating which foot you lead with after four repetitions.
Bring It Home: If you’re new to depth jumps, start on a shorter step, say six or eight inches from the ground. Gradually increase the height as you improve your vertical jump.
REAR FOOT ELEVATED SPLIT-SQUAT JUMPS
What’s Working: Your glutes and your quad muscles.
Why: According to Fabritz, “These are two of the most important muscles to really produce force,” which will power you when it’s time to get up there.
1. Stand in front of a sturdy box or step about 12 inches high, with your right foot on the ground and your left foot on the box behind you. Keep your left ankle straight and stand on your toes.
2. Bend both knees 90 degrees, with your right leg in a lunge position and your left foot on tiptoe.
3. Keeping your toes on the box, push off the ground with your right foot and jump as high as you can.
4. Try to hold this position, balancing on your left foot, for a second or two, before you come back to the ground.
5. Land on your right foot for a count of two seconds and then jump back up for your next rep. Repeat for a total of six reps on each side for a set.
Bring It Home: Increase the challenge of this move by increasing the amount of time you stay balanced on your toes.
RFE HIP FLEXOR STRETCHES
What’s Working: Your hip flexors.
Why: This move lengthens your hip flexor muscles, which helps your glutes work more efficiently. “Every time we're doing a vertical jump workout, we want to lengthen these hip flexors,” says Fabritz.
1. Start with a sturdy step or box about 12 inches high, but not higher than knee-height.
2. With the top of your left foot resting flat on the box behind you, kneel with your right foot in front of you and your left knee resting on the ground. You might want a mat or a towel to place under your left knee.
3. Gently lean your hips forward, while keeping your shoulders straight and pulled back. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds.
4. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
TRUE ONE LEG SQUATS
What’s Working: Your quads and glutes in a single-leg stance.
Why: “When we're looking to jump higher off one leg,” says Fabritz, this exercise can help: “Training in the single-leg stance improves the stability of our ankles, knees, and hips, which is not only going to lead to higher jumps, but it's also going to reduce the risk of injury.”
1. Start with a sturdy step or box that’s lower than knee height. If you’re new to this move, start with a smaller box, maybe six inches high.
2. Stand on your right foot on the left edge of the box with your left foot in the air.
3. Keeping your back straight, bend your right knee to lower yourself back into a squat, as if you’re about to sit in a chair.
4. Sit all the way back until you land on your left foot, then push back up from your toes into starting position.
5. Repeat for six to 12 repetitions on each side to complete one set.
Bring It Home: Slowly count to two as you lower yourself to the ground, then bounce up to starting position for a count of one. As you get stronger, you can make this move more challenging with a higher step, up to 12 or 18 inches off the ground.
90-90 HIP ROTATIONS
What’s Working: Your internal and external hip rotators.
Why: “When we build this range of motion, our hips are a lot more loose to freely rotate and to get lower in the jump, to increase our lift-off power,” says Fabritz.
1. Sit on the ground with your legs apart, your knees bent in front of you and your feet on the ground, leaning back gently on your hands.
2. Rotating your hips, swing your legs to one side until your knees are to the ground. Hold this position and feel the stretch in your hip rotators.
3. Swing your legs to the opposite side until your knees are on the ground, feeling the stretch in your hips. Repeat a total of six times on each side for one set, for two to four sets.
ONE LEG CALF RAISES
What’s Working: Your ankles and your calves.
Why: For jumping on one foot or both feet, the ankles and calves play a key role in powering your lift-off.
1. Stand on the balls of your feet on a small step or platform, with your heels hanging off the edge.
2. Lower yourself down just enough to feel a stretch in your calves and ankles.
3. Raise yourself up on your tiptoes as tall as you can. You should feel your calf muscles working.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 for a total of 15 repetitions to complete a set. Do two to four sets total.
Bring It Home: Increase your repetitions to 20 or 25 to work your calves even more.
What’s Working: Your abdominals and your core.
Why: Your core helps transfer energy from the lower half of your body to the upper half, which helps power your vertical jump.
1. Lie down on your back with your spine flat against the ground. Bend your knees 90 degrees.
2. Rest your left hand on the ground at your side and bring your right hand to your left knee.
3. Slowly straighten your left leg while lifting your right arm up and over your head.
4. Bring your right hand back to your left knee to return to your starting position. Do a total of ten repetitions on one side, and then repeat on the other side to complete one set.
Bring It Home: As you strengthen your core, work your way up to completing four sets of this move.
VERTICAL JUMP EXERCISES: EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS