Basics to Increase your Vertical Jump and Speed

by Tony Smith on 08/29/2011

If you want to jump higher and become explosive for any sport, you need to understand a few basic principles.

Not everyone has great natural jumping ability, but we can all improve our vertical jump by training smart and safe.

Speed + Strength=Power.Vertical Jump training increase vertical leap

This is the basic formula of vertical jumping and all around explosiveness. Power. It is the measure of force in the shortest time.


If you want to jump higher, you need to train your body to apply as much force as possible, as fast as possible. Power.

The best way to increase the force you generate while jumping is by strength training (lifting weights).

While strength training, you should focus on lifting heavy weights, and lifting them explosively (fast). **SEE MY WEIGHTLIFTING ARTICLE**

To reduce the time to generate force as quickly as possible you need plyometric training.

Exercises such as depth jumps, plyometric pushups, hopping, and bounding are examples of plyometric exercises that will increase the reactive abilities of your muscles and nervous system. The basic Jump rope is a light form of plyometric exercise that can do wonders by itself if done correctly.


Only you know your own body. Most athletes fail to improve their vertical leap because they don’t know which muscles contribute most to jumping. The most important jumping muscles are located in your posterior chain – lower back, glutes (butt), and hamstrings.

The other muscles that help are your quadriceps (front of thigh), core (abs, lower back) and calves.

Also, the shoulder, upper back area, along with arms is very important. Try jumping with arms to the side vs using arms. Arms help the lift and generate momentum. Just increasing upper body strength without leg training can increase your vertical just because of torso power to generate the lift.. Train the whole body to achieve maximum height and explosiveness.

Very important: Understand your strength and weaknesses. If you’re quick and explosive but can’t lift much weight in the gym, focus most of your time on strength training. If you can lift heavy weights in the gym, but you are slow, focus most of your training time on improving your speed. You can do this by performing plyometric exercises and sprinting.

Most athletes believe that the more they train, the better the results they will see. Wrong! Gains are made during the rest and recovery phase. Always make sure to give your body adequate rest from an intense training session. If you are active playing sports, training specifically for jump and speed should be done 3x a week at max. You will get training just by playing your respective sport. Overtraining is the enemy of all athletes.

These basic points of Vertical Jump Training will help any athlete achieve their goals.



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