Four Tips to Help You Jump Higher

July 22, 2011

Jumping is a fundamental skills all athletes need to possess. It’s a full-body movement that propels the body as far off of the ground as possible. In sports like basketball, football, volleyball and track, jumping is a major focus, but it also comes into play in other sports. Fielders must jump to catch line drives in baseball, and hockey players must leap over diving opponents to maintain balance.

Athletes in all sports should follow these four tips to maximize their jumping ability.

Load Your Legs
We rarely see someone jumping from a still position. Why? The body can’t store and release energy via the stretch shortening cycle. The process involves muscle tension stored in elastic connective tissue [fascia] and released as power in movements like jumping. To take advantage, always bend your hips and knees immediately before you jump, and transition fluidly into the upward motion.

Triple Extension
How high or far you jump comes down to physics. The more force you put into the ground, the higher or farther you will propel yourself into the air. You achieve this by activating your glutes, quads and calves in a simultaneous triple extension of the hips, knees and ankles. This coordinated movement optimizes the amount of force into the ground to increase your jump height or distance.

Arm Drive
Once your lower body propels you off the ground, jump height or distance depends on the amount of time you spend in the air. The longer you are in the air, the higher your jump. However, your work isn’t done when your legs finish moving. You must follow the triple extension in your lower body with a powerful upward arm drive to increase momentum, so that it takes longer for your body to succumb to gravity and return the ground. The result is extra height or distance on your jumps.

Training
One of the most important ways to improve your jump is to train in the weight room. Perform a combination of explosive and plyometric lifts.

Explosive lifts include Olympic Lifts [which directly mimic triple extension], as well as Squats and other lower body exercises that help you produce strength as quickly as possible. Plyometrics, on the other hand, involve little or no weight, emphasizing power production in a jumping motion, activation of the stretch shortening cycle and improvements in jumping mechanics.

To improve your jumping height with strength and plyometric training, check out the following articles.

Vertical Jump Training With Michael Jordan's Former Trainer
Power Up Your Vert
Jump Training for Track
Vertical Leap Training With Connecticut Basketball

Photo:  Getty

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Must See
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 20,208,988
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 28,092,597
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,297,638

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 66,647
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 5,931
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 124,090
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,506
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,206
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,488
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,633
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

On the basketball court, an impenetrable basketball defense can be a teams strongest asset. When it comes down to the final possession, a stop on the...

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

The Football Route Tree, Explained

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status