15 Tips For A Higher Vertical Jump!

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Last week I asked some of my friends, co-defendants, and fellow strength & conditioning coaches for their top 3 tips for higher vertical jumps.

After you read this post, be sure to leave a comment letting us know…

1. What was your favorite tip

2. Any training for the vertical that’s working for you right now

Don’t be lame and just read the post, be sure to take part by leaving a comment. Successful people are the ones who get involved, and they make up less then 5% of the population, but it’s the same 5% who leave blog post comments, so take action and leave a comment. :)

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And here we go!



1. Landing – female athletes have a really high incidence of ACL injuries because they do not have the mechanics, strength and or stability to decelerate, which in jumping would mean the landing portion. This means that the legs will look “knock kneed” at landing – this causes huge stress on the knees. Before you can drive the car fast you have to know that the brakes are working. Deceleration (landing) is the brakes!

Make sure you improve stability, mobility and strength in the hips and teach landing mechanics.

2. Relative Strength – How much force you can apply into the ground will determine how much force will be applied upwards. It’s important that you have a great relative body strength if you want to have a great vertical jump. For most female athletes, getting stronger will improve their vertical jump. SO don’t be scared of scarier weights. Lift heavier and other players will be scared of you because of your performance.

3. Jumping and Rate of Force Development – Yeah so I had to pick more than 3, oh well, do something! You have to be able to apply the force you produce quickly otherwise it won’t transfer to sport. If that wasn’t the case powerlifters would have the highest verticals. We want to train the speed of application through exercises like olympic lifts, plyo’s, med ball throws, every type of jump imaginable (make sure the exercise is right for the level of the athlete).

And in all honesty to get better at jumping, you have to jump – but check on the brakes first!

Luka Hocevar is one of the top sports performance coaches in the country. He was a professional basketball player who has now dedicated his career to helping others excel in their athletic endeavors. See more at http://www.Hocevarperformance.com



1.  I think it’s a sequential combo progressing from multi-joint power movement to multi-joint explosive power movements to plyometric movements. My favorite sequence is power squats to power cleans to box jumps emphasizing the speed of transition from hitting the ground to jumping back to the box.

2.  Avoid letting the heels hit the ground.

3.  Explosive vert is absolute power, so optimal training would be low reps with heavier loads. Jumps should be performed on a height that allows a max effort at 5-8 reps.

Ryan Golec is a personal trainer in Reno, NV.  He can be reached by phone at 775 846 2894 or email at Ryan@FitUBuilt.com



Wazzzupp Gang! So you wanna jump high huh? I’m sure you will receive many awesome tips on what to do, so I bear with me as I add my two cents:

1. Stop overdoing the Olympic Lifts. So much monkey-blah in here! I have encountered many overuse issues with well intentioned folks who in their eagerness to jump high overdo the Olympic Lifts. “Have you seen how high the top Olympic Lifters can jump?” is their justification. Do the Olympic Lifts have anything to do with it? Up to certain extent, yes, but let’s not forget these gifted athletes have the innate ability to produce those forces and that’s how they excel in the sport. Will the Olympic Lifts be beneficial? Yes! Should you add them? Yes! But don’t do it to the point that you forget what your main goal is to learn to jump higher and not necessarily lift heavier, which brings me to the next point.

2. Wanna jump high? Then LEARN to jump! Seriously! I remember a couple of folks who added 1 and 1.5 inches to their vertical in one session. A miraculous exercise? No, simply correcting their technique! Having a faulty sequence, faulty position, etc, will without a doubt affect the outcome of the jump. Eat your pride and make sure to get a qualified coach to fine-tune your technique. You’ll be grateful you did.

3. Take a break! Yes, yes, I understand about tenacity and perseverance. Very admirable qualities though it could quickly lead to overuse. If you feel like you reached a plateau and are not going anywhere, it is time to look for something different and give the body a little break from the same repetitive motion. 2 or 3 weeks seem to be more than sufficient and most folks returning are able to break past the sticky points.

There you have it! May the ground beneath your feet keep getting further away from you. Happy and Safe training!

Coach Izzy is Bainbridge Island’s top expert in the subjects of strength and conditioning. He helps his clients recover from painful overuse conditions, regain their health, and reach levels of fitness they never thought possible. You can visit his blog at www.coach-izzy-talks-fitness.com



1. Do NOT overtrain! Keep legs fresh and injury free. Injuries from overtraining cause the athletes to lose time and enthusiasm, negating any positive effects.

2. Train the arms. Legs follow arms; learn to use the arms to “load” the legs then “block” at the moment before leaving the ground. All this while remaining athletic and balanced.

3. Make drills fun and/or competitive. When I was a college high jumper, our Monday workout was 50 dunks; fun AND competitive. Find something(s) similar, and do not over-use it (see #1).

Dan Wold is a life-long educator and coach.  While in college he not only played basketball, he cleared 6’10” in the high jump!  Listen when he talks about jumping



1.  Fix your nutrition.  This probably isn’t politically correct, but… fat athletes don’t jump as high.  Eating right also lets you train harder and recover faster.

Just cut out the crap and eat more good stuff.

2.  Prioritize your strength training.  Everyone who wants to jump higher spends a lot of time training their calves.  I blame this on those idoitic “strength shoes” and “jump soles” or the 1990’s.

Instead, use this formula to see what you use more in a vertical jump:

15% of your jump is your armswing.  Train your shoulders and you’ll jump higher.

10% of your jump is your quads – the muscles on the front of your thighs.  Don’t ignore them, or you’ll lose out on that 10%!!

60% of your jump is your posterior chain – hamstrings, butt, and low back.  This is the moneymaker zone if you want to jump out of the gym!

And the final 15% of your jump is your calves.  To really get the most bang for your buck on calf exercises, keep most of  your weight on your big toe.  Doing it this way will really stress your “jumping calves.”

3. Fix your “leaks”. A leak is a wobbly knee or rolling ankle, hips tucked under or flappy arms.

You don’t actually jump off the ground.  You apply force to the ground and the ground applies “equal and opposite” force to your body, propelling you into the air.

Any misaligned joints allow energy to leak both ways – you won’t apply as much force to the ground and the ground won’t throw you as high into the air.

You can fix your leaks by getting your body stronger, into alignment with corrective training, and learning the right way to jump!

Alright gang, there ya go

Now… be sure to leave a comment letting me know…

1. Which was favorite tip AND…

2. Add any tips of your own we didn’t cover here that are working in your training right now

It’s important to do this so I know what you like AND to show all these guys support and thank them for giving of their time and energy to put this KILLER blog post together for you guys

4 Responses to “15 Tips For A Higher Vertical Jump!”

  1. Coach Izzy Says:

    Wow! Those are some smart dudes! ;-) Amazing how much one can learn from reading this post, I know I did, nice jump Luka!

  2. Luke Says:

    Smart AND good-looking!

  3. Luka Hocevar Says:

    All great tips.

    If you’re not doing these tips then pick just 1-2 and work on those until you really improve them. Then wok on the next two.

    Quality over quantity when it comes to training for the vertical. I guess that can be my tip #4 :)


  4. James Abowd Says:

    Nice tips.I like the tips “Prioritize your strength training” and “Fix your nutrition” tips. I believe following this two tips will already help us to see improvements with our jump but it would be great if we will follow all the tips. Right?