How to Train for the Vertical Jump Test

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Both collegiate and professional recruiters frequently use the Vertical Jump Test to assess explosiveness and athletic ability. In just one jump, coaches can tell a lot about an athlete, so it's important to be ready for this test. Luckily, STACK is armed with research from The Journal of Strength and Conditioning and a few exercises performed by NBA superstars Brandon Roy and Danny Granger that will improve your Vertical Jump. In a study reported by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 23 physically active men were tested. All were involved in sports such as soccer and rugby, but none regularly performed any type of exercise regimen. For the study, they were all given instructions on how to properly complete a Counter Movement Jump and a Squat Jump. The men performed the Counter Movement Jump by lowering into squat position and exploding into the air, swinging their arms to get as high as possible. Each subject determined the depth of his squat and the amount of arm swing. The men performed the Squat Jump by lowering to a 90-degree angle with their hands on their hips, keeping their thighs parallel to the ground for three seconds, then jumping as high as they could. The best jumps from each were used for analysis. Both exercises were performed on a force plate, which measures ground reaction forces generated by the body. Researchers determined that the arm swing used in the Counter Movement Jump resulted in an increased rate of force production. The ability to produce force quickly also resulted in better Vertical Jump results. The implication of the research is that athletes can improve and prepare for the Vertical Jump Test by developing strength in the weight room and explosiveness with plyometric exercises. Thus, be sure to incorporate the movements used in the test in your workouts, just as you improve game day performance by reenacting similar situations in practice. Check out these lower body strength and plyometric exercises to improve your Vertical Jump. Ultimately, they will benefit you in competition as well as during your Vertical Jump Test. Dumbbell Box Jumps

  • Perform first set with no weight, then gradually increase each set
  • Land softly on the center of the box with soft knees

Reps/Sets: 5x5

Step Squat

  • Set up six 6" hurdles 24" apart
  • Keep head and chest up throughout exercise
  • Sit back into a good squat position and touch hands to floor
  • Perform 3-4 reps down and back


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