This is a question we receive A Lot here at Vert HQ. It seems people are very interested in ‘Top 3′ lists, so we thought we would put together a little breakdown of our favourite exercises to increase vertical success.
Now, before we continue we should just mention that this is by no means a complete list. This is quite simply our top 3 exercises to jump higher.
There are many, many more exercises that should also be included in any vertical jump training program. (That’s why we like the Vert Shock system so much; It’s a complete program!) But, regardless, this is just our top 3!
Exercise 1 – Box Jumps
Box jumps, in our humble opinion, are quite simply the best way to increase vertical. HANDS DoWN. They are second to none when it comes to building functional athleticism and power.
Box jumps are simple, but certainly not easy. They require you to jump explosively onto a raised platform (hence, box jumps) and land softly on both feet. Certainly sounds simple, right? Well, yes. But be careful. Box jumps should be approached with caution by beginners, and even intermediate athletes. The sheer exertion of power required to explode upwards is very taxing on the body.
Reps of box jumps should be kept to a minimum. (we recommend never doing more than 5 reps per set)
With box jumps, Quality is much more important than quantity. Focus on explosiveness, not conditioning.
Exercise 2 – Barbell Squats
Barbell squats are incredibly under utilised in the athletic world in our opinion. We can understand what many people are concerned about; The idea that heavy squatting could cause too much muscle growth and/or injury. These are both valid concerns, and to begin squatting (heavy) should not be a decision taken too lightly.
However, when performed safely and correctly heavy/explosive barbell squats can be a vital piece of the athletic performance puzzle.
When vertical jump improvements are the main focus of a training program, squatting should be included in a specific way. It should focus on explosive movement, with enough resistance to force increases in both power and speed. As with box jumps, barbell squats should be performed with a focus on quality, not quantity.
Aim for a rep range of 5-8 and no more than 5 sets. Each rep should be explosive (but completely controlled). This explosiveness will help to develop your speed and power; 2 of the most important factors when it comes to jumping high.
Make sure you keep your back straight (not curved) and you are keeping your weight on your heels.
Exercise 3 – Vertical Jumps
Yes, you read that right! one the best exercises to jump higher is vertical jumping. Quite often we find that athletes posses great power, speed and strength (the above 2 exercises work wonders for these areas) but they lack proper technique.
Practising correct jumping form could create INSTANT results for you. one of the hardest things for many athletes to understand is that in order to translate all of your power into vertical energy you need to be transferring the force through correct technique.
Practising your jumping may seem like a waste of time as it’s not necessarily improving your strength or power. But in fact it will be helping you to jump more efficiently, which will ultimately translate into a higher vertical jump!