How to Increase Your Vertical Jump (Even If You’re Not Athletic)
How would your hoops game change if you added several inches or more to your vertical leap?
For most players, it’s the difference between finishing over defenders with strength or getting swatted into the bleachers...
Between skying for an offensive board and put back or being overpowered by your man.
And it’s also a fork in the road.
Between another “average” season...
Or a season where teammates, coaches and opponents turn their heads in disbelief wondering where and when you got those hops.
In this article, you’re going to learn the secret to instantly improving your vertical leap (yes it’s possible!), even if you don’t feel like a natural athlete...
But before we get into that, let’s first address the elephant in the room...
Skip the “Jump” Programs
Surely, you’ve seen the latest “jump” programs?
You know, the ones that look just a little too good to be true...
With hundreds of “testimonials” and screenshots...
Promising that anyone and their brother can be throwing down 360 windmill dunks by next weekend.
Well the truth is that not every player has the physical gifts to be a vicious dunker.
99% of players will never have a 40-inch vertical, no matter how hard they train.
And it’s highly unlikely you’ll double your vertical jump in the next 12 weeks.
Anyone who tells you different is out to sell you something (that probably doesn’t work as advertised).
Even worse, many of these programs ignore key movement skills you need to actually dominate on the court...
And they overtrain certain muscle groups and ignore others...
Leaving you open to injury and limiting your potential gains.
So as tempting as they may sound, skip the “jump” programs and use same approach top D-I schools like University of Kansas use to turn their players into dominant athletes.
I’ll share more details about that in a moment. But first...
Optimize Your Jumping Form for Instant Gains
What if there was a way to instantly add inches to your vertical without doing a single exercise?
Most players start with plyometrics or weight training to get stronger and more explosive.
But the fastest and easiest way to increase your vertical jump is by perfecting your jumping technique.
And you don’t need to be a head-turning athlete to see these gains.
Here are 3 form corrections you can make right away to start jumping higher...
Tip #1: Don’t break at the waist
Many athletes underestimate how much the hips affect vertical jump.
But tapping into the power of your hips with proper technique can immediately improve your hops.
We see a lot of players bending forward significantly at the waist as they run into their jump.
This creates a major energy inefficiency, where the momentum that could carry them UP ends up carrying them forward ...
And holds down their vertical as a result.
Take a look at some highlight clips from any vicious dunker.
You’ll see their hips and core strong and engaged...
With very little bend forward at the waist.
Staying strong through the hips and core makes you more energy efficient.
Which means more of the force generated by your lower body gets translated to your vertical jump height.
Tip #2: Accelerate into your jump
A lot of players hurt their vertical by slowing down right before they leap.
Some examples of this are:
- Reducing speed to gather themselves
- Stutter-stepping to get their footing right
- Coming in from an angle that requires them to turn before jumping
Any deceleration before your jump will kill your momentum and reduce the amount of force you’re able to create.
Instead, focus on picking up speed as you approach your jump.
You want to hit your Maximum Controlled Velocity right before you step into your launch which we’ll talk about in just a second.
(Your Maximum Controlled Velocity is simply the fastest speed you can run while still maintaining control over your movements.)
Tip #3: Utilize the Penultimate Step
Track and field athletes put a lot of focus on their penultimate step, but it’s often overlooked as a way for basketball players to improve their vertical jump.
This is a signature element in the form of every great leaper, and perfecting your penultimate step can cause dramatic gains in your jumping ability.
What is the penultimate step?
It’s the second-to-last step before you jump.
As you approach your jump, you want to take a longer stride in your penultimate step, followed by a shorter stride in your final step before launching.
Your penultimate step will lower your center of gravity...
And your shorter final step will springboard you into the air.
This lets you fully capitalize on your momentum to maximize your lift.
Beyond Vertical Jump...
These 3 technique adjustments should noticeably (and instantly) improve your vertical jump height.
And they’ll work no matter how athletic you are right now.
But success on the basketball court requires more than a sky-high vertical.
You need speed to beat players in transition.
You need explosiveness to blow by your defender and get off the ground quickly.
And you need lateral quickness to become a lock-down defender.
After working with thousands of players and coaches, we believe the best way to reach new heights is by using the Pyramid of Development...
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look
at Advanced Division I Trainings
You can learn all about this training approach in our FREE e-book: “DOMINATE: How the Training Secrets of Top Division I Programs Can Transform Your Athleticism Forever”.
Written by Cody Roberts, a highly-respected performance coach and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Iowa.
You ‘ll learn:
- The surprising secrets D-I trainers use with their players (that most athletes have never heard of)
- What you need to do BEFORE plyometrics to make sure you see the biggest vertical jump gains
- Training methods that make sure your workouts translate to REAL RESULTS on the court
- How to incorporate the Pyramid of Development into your workout program to enhance your results
- 6 dynamic exercises you can use immediately (with video tutorials)
Enter your email address below and I’ll send you a copy of DOMINATE right away...
These are the workouts that most “regular” players don’t ever learn about, and they’re virtually guaranteed to give you a competitive edge on the court.
No matter where you are as an athlete, this e-book will change the way you think about training from this day forward.
To your success this season and beyond!
Joe and Jeff Haefner
Co-Founders, Breakthrough Basketball