Ever since I jumped out of a pool and started posting my box jump videos, I have had a tremendous amount of people reach out to me to help them increase their vertical jump. There are a lot of things you can do to increase your vertical jump, but the truth is that all of them will center on consistency and progression! Remember that training legs, increasing your squat, and building overall muscle and strength in your lower body is crucial for building a better vertical jump! If you don’t naturally have hops then you’re going to have to work for them!
I’ll save the weight training talk for another day. Today, I wanted to give you an article with three bodyweight movements that you can perform with minimal equipment. You can perform these daily and as part of your current program to help you increase your vertical jump. The cool thing is that all of these movements will help you increase your squat as well!
You’ve likely seen me perform box jumps if you follow me on social media. This is hands down my favorite exercise to increase my vertical jump outside of the actual squat with weights. This is also a great way to guarantee progression as you can consistently use a higher box until you can no longer jump high enough to land on it. I suggest “leaving something in the tank” when it comes to training though. If I were to tell you to perform 5 sets of 10 jumps on a box then you would want to pick a box that you will successfully jump on top of it 50 times. This is by far your vertical jump max.
The reason you want to pick a slightly lower box and “leave some in the tank” is a safety issue. Using a high enough box to motivate you to jump high is great, but if you pick a box that’s too high then you’ll break your arm or something and be mad at me! Remember, you can jump as high as you can on every jump (and you should), but that doesn’t mean the box has to be that high. You can jump well above the box and then come down and land on it.
Just like other exercises, the form on this exercise is crucial. I want you to stand facing the box with your feet in the same position as you would on the squat. From here you will squat down below parallel. With your feet still firmly planted on the floor, I want you to squat down and on the way up explode as high as you can into the air and then land on the box. Hop down and then repeat. You shouldn’t get a walking or running start if you want to build the most explosive strength as possible!
Now, that being said, you can perform this with one leg at a time for one legged box jumps, and you can also incorporate running and walking starts into a higher jump. Those techniques are all great, but I highly suggest that the bulk of your training be stationary for the best results.
Let’s say you are at home or traveling on the road. You likely don’t have a box to jump on like you do in the gym. If this is the case then definitely don’t try and jump on your dining room table, bed, car, or any of the crazy things you’ve seen me jump on in my social media content. If you don’t have a box then there is a simple solution. Do the same exact thing but without a box. You’ll perform the same movement and jump except you won’t be landing on a box. Instead, you will be landing on the ground. You can do this anywhere, anytime, and still get the benefits of increasing your vertical jump!
It’s funny that I see all of these trainers and online coaches advocating so many crazy ways to increase the vertical jump. The funny thing is that some of the exercises performed in the Olympics are the best tools to use. The standing and running long jump are both great exercises that you can do based on how much room you have available to you. Sometimes the best way to get better at something is to do the thing you want to get better at. Repetition and consistency over time has yet to fail me! The standing and running long jump are both centered on one thing, jumping as far as you can. These jumps for distance will certainly carryover nicely to being able to jump as high as you can as well! The other bonus is that all you need is the room to perform it. Just like the squat jump, you don’t need any equipment to be able to perform this exercise.
I’m sorry if some of you were expecting more regarding increasing your vertical jump. I blame the myriad of “advanced” training techniques that trainers and coaches are using to market their services. The truth is you don’t need fancy equipment or training protocols to increase your vertical jump. You just need to get stronger on your squat and then practice jumping as high as you can over and over. I guarantee you that your vertical jump will increase by doing this!
Let’s get better together!