Add Inches to Your Vertical Jump With Plyometrics | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Add Inches to Your Vertical Jump With Plyometrics

September 5, 2012 | Ramon Williams

Must See Strength Training Videos

The athlete who possesses the dominating edge is usually the most explosive guy or girl on the field. Although we're not all born running fast and jumping high, proper training can certainly improve our abilities.

Becoming explosive takes developing elastic energy in the muscles. Think of the power of a rubber band when you stretch and snap it. Plyometric exercises are the best way to accomplish this. Over time, they will increase your overall power output. However, it's important that in each exercise you focus on maintaining proper technique while cutting the amount of contact time with the ground.

Proper Jumping Technique

The key to maximizing your vertical jump is setting up in the proper position. Your feet are shoulder-width apart. Start on the balls of your feet with your heels in the air. Knees are straight, hips forward and arms straight up in the air.

All at once, rapidly bring your arms down and back while bending your hips and knees and bringing your heels to the ground. From this position, jump in the air as fast as you can. Be sure to straighten your knees and hips and bring your arms forward and up all at once.

Proper Landing Position

The best way to reduce the risk of injury is to always land in the proper position. When your feet come in contact with the ground, they should land shoulder-width apart, and your knees should land directly over your toes at about 90 degrees. Your hips are back to absorb the force of the ground and should go no lower than your knees.

Your foot position will vary depending on the type of jump. For a vertical jump, feet land toe to heel. For a broad (forward) jump, feet land heel to toe. For side jumps, the outside foot lands slightly before inside foot.

When the landing position is mastered, you can then progress to more advanced jumps. Below are several of the best plyometrics exercises for building your vertical, but you can also check out STACK's Plyometrics Exercise Library for more plyo moves to round out your workout.

Plyometrics Exercises

Speed Box Jumps

Choose a box height based on your jumping ability. You should be able to jump the box quickly without any struggle. Jump on and off of the box as quickly as possible while getting your feet on and off the ground as fast as you can. Go for 10 to 15 seconds depending on your level of conditioning. Do four to five sets with at least 90 seconds of rest in between. Each set requires maximum effort so sufficient rest is important.

To add a bit more of a challenge, try lateral speed jumps with a slightly lower box. Jump on and off the box sideways as fast as you can for the same amount of sets and reps.

Hurdle Jumps

Set up 5-10 hurdles two to four feet away from each other with a challenging height. With good form, jump rapidly over each hurdle while maintaining balance. Three to six sets with 30-60 seconds rest between sets will get you more explosive in no time.

Box Split Jumps

Single legs jumps allow athletes to balance out the power in each leg individually. When athletes can do two-legged jumps with good form, they can progress to single leg jumps.

Choose a box height that is about the same height as your knee. Face the box with one foot flat on top of it and other foot is flat on the ground. The leg on the ground is straight while the foot on the box is bent at about 90 degrees.

Push into the box hard with your foot and jump up into the air as high as you can while driving your arms forward and up. While in the air, switch your feet so that the foot that was on the ground lands on the box and the foot that was on the box lands on the ground. Quickly jump again and alternate legs.

Perform five jumps on each leg. Do four to five sets with at least 60 seconds between each set for maximal height on each jump.

Take your jump training to the next level with STACK's Guide to Jumping Higher.

Ramon Williams
- Ramon Williams graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. He is currently an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist...
Ramon Williams
- Ramon Williams graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. He is currently an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 4,419,112
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 2,991,729
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 32,193,833

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 297,020
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,255,927
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 28,363
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

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Design a Greco-Roman Wrestling Training Program

Needs analysis Physiological profile When designing a strength and conditioning program for a wrestler for optimal wrestling workouts, many factors come...

Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

3 Post-Activation Potentiation Combos for Explosive Strength

Kyle Lowry's 12-Week All-Star Training Program

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

7 Ways to Work Out Competitively Without CrossFit

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

How Functional Training Has Overly Complicated Strength Training

7-Exercise Core-Blasting Workout

How NOT to Perform a Pull-Up (With Fixes)

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

5 Exercises to Develop Soccer Power

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

Make Lifts More Challenging With Resistance Bands

How Often Should You Vary Your Exercise?

The Science of Building Muscle: 2 Ways to Maximize Hypertrophy

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

4 Deadlift Variations to Increase Your Pull

Master the Lateral Lunge to Improve Your Hockey Stride

3 Nordic Hamstring Curl Exercises to Boost Your Performance

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

These 3 Single-Leg Movements Will Improve Your Squat Technique

4 Weaknesses That Can Ruin Your Exercise Technique (With Fixes)

7 Best Lower-Body Strengthening Exercises

Dominate Your Bench Test With This Strategy

Never Bench Press With Your Feet in This Position

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

A Better Way to Train Your Core

Improve Soccer Agility with Lateral Strength Exercises

7 Strategies for Faster Workout Recovery

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

4 Exercises to Build True Lacrosse Power

Develop Core Strength for Throwing

Mike Boyle's 5 Tips for More Effective Workouts

The Best Single-Leg Exercises for Youth Athletes

Bench Press Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Reach New Training Heights With Resistance Band Exercises

10 Ways to Get Stronger With a Sandbag