In this article I’m going to be answering a simple question that a lot of athletes have. The question is, “Which vert workout will give me the quickest and most explosive gains in my jumping ability?”.
Many people do not realize that this question, though simple, is not always easy to answer.
Athletes have different needs when it comes to training. They often fall into different categories based on the way that they take off from the floor.
In order to be effective, a jump program has to cater to an athlete’s unique characteristics.
If you’re worried that you’re going to end up doing the wrong type of training, fear not!
I will show you exactly where I learned the best vertical jump workout routine. That’s why I created Flight Basketball in the first place!
Who Am I?
My name is Pat, and I’m a regular guy who struggled for years to add inches to my leaping ability.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an amazing athlete. I don’t have the genetics of someone like Michael Jordan, and I am not the son of any pro athlete.
I’m guessing you’re probably in the same position.
I created this blog because I wanted to share my success by letting other people know that it is possible for un-gifted people like me to jump high and dunk.
If you have any questions as you read this page please leave a comment at the end. I’ll be happy to help you out in any way I can.
Three Common Myths About Jumping Higher
I wanted to start out by dispelling a few myths I hear over and over again. I’ve had to figure out whether there was any truth to these over the years through trial and error.
I thought I’d try to save you some time and effort by giving you the answers right here.
Myth #1 – You need to do 1000s of reps of jumping exercises in order to see gains
This is absolutely not true. In fact, you will likely end up overtraining your body if you do 1000s of reps of exercises during your workouts.
There are several programs on the market that force you to do so many reps that your body actually begins to wear out.
This causes you to see a decrease in your jumping ability rather than an increase.
Myth #2 – More training is always better than less training
This is another common myth that I see quite a bit. Many people believe that if they spend more time in the gym they will be guaranteed to see better results.
Well it turns out that the opposite is true.
Similar to myth #1, if you spend too much time working out you will actually end up over training and possibly injuring yourself.
The body needs time to repair between workouts.
The optimal workout schedule for best results is a max of 3 days per week with a day of rest in between each workout.
This may not seem like much, but you will be amazed by the results you get from following this schedule.
Myth #3 – Doing a vert training routine during my (basketball/football/soccer) season will be benficial
This is another common misconception. Doing a full on training program while your season is underway is not a good idea.
Again, this goes back to the body’s need for recovery.
If you are playing scrimmages and competitive games every week in addition to going to practice, you are going to severely overtrain yourself.
You will be much more likely to get injured if you try to do a jump training workout during the season. You should also save your primary training for the off season.
If anything, you should focus on endurance and light plyometric workouts during the season.
How Many Inches Will I Gain?
This is another question that a lot of people ask me.
There are a lot of programs out there that promise to do things like double your vertical leap in a certain number of weeks.
While this may be possible, it’s hard to truly figure out exactly how much you’re going to gain before you start training. There are several reasons for this.
Genetics – Some people develop muscle and strength more quickly than others. Some people are also able to keep a low body fat percentage without much effort.
These factors come into play when determining how quickly you will see gains.
However, if you don’t have the genetics of an olympic athlete don’t worry. Anyone can see awesome gains with the correct training.
Diligence – If you diligently follow your training and eat healthy you will see gains. Period.
If you slack off and miss days of training here and there you are not going to see great results. As with anything else, training your vertical requires persistence and diligence.
Proper Training – A great workout should combine plyometrics with strength training, and it should also give you enough time to rest and recover.
Without these three things you are bound to waste your time on a workout that won’t help you leap higher.
What Are Your Goals?
The Top Vertical Jump Program On The Market
I’ve used a lot of vert workout programs over the years including Air Alert (1, 2, and 3), The Vertical Project and The Jump Bible. Some good, and some not so great.
So far, only one has provided consistent gains in jumping ability.
It is called The Jump Manual, and it is one of the few programs that offers proper training methods that will help you get the best results.
That’s the reason why you’ve probably seen so many different websites talking about The JM.
Using this program allowed me to add 8 inches in a period of only 3 months. Not bad considering other systems actually made me lose inches.
Also, the program is pretty affordable for what you get. You don’t need to spend hundreds on a program like The Vertical Project or a personal trainer in order to see gains.
Check out the video below of a guy who used The JM to get his first dunk at a height of only 5 foot 11.
Oh, and he’s almost 40 years old! It’s pretty amazing, and I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results you see from The JM. Also, you can see more testimonials on the main JM page.
Dunking At The Age of 40 With The Jump Manual!
Here is a guy named Andy. He used Jacob Hiller’s program (the Jump Manual) to increase his vertical to the point where he could dunk by the age of 40.
Pretty amazing stuff!
If this isn’t motivation for you to get started I don’t know what is!
This is the only program that I have personally used so far that uses sound training principles, and it shows based on Andy’s results.
What About Other Workout Programs?
If you’re not really satisfied by the info I’ve provided on The Jump Manual, then here is one more for you to check out.
The name of it is The Jump Bible. It is actually a very well known program. This program will get you started on your way to a better vertical, but I would still recommend that you get the Jump Manual.
I had fairly good results with the Jump Bible when I used it back in high school, so it’s definitely highly recommended.
I would say that beginners should see some pretty substantial results with this program.
However, I haven’t heard much from Kelly (the author) in a while…not sure if he stopped supporting the program or moved on to something else.
Example Jump Workout
For those of you who don’t want to, or can’t, spend money on a professional program I’ve written out one of my older programs below.
Before I found any of the programs I listed above, I actually created my own and got some decent results (5 inches in 12 weeks).
If you’re interested, you can try it out yourself by following the exercises, sets, and reps listed below.
These routines should be performed 3 days per week max. Anything beyond that is overtraining. You should also rest one to two minutes between sets.
Be sure to eat plenty of protein so your body can recover. Also, drink lots of water and try to avoid doing other lower body workouts during this 9 week training period.
I’ll get some exercise descriptions up for you soon.
Update: Sep 2016
Some of you have mentioned that the previous workout was too taxing on your body, so I’ve modified it a bit below. During the strength training period (weeks 1-3), try doing it just one day per week. Other days of the week can focus on upper body exercises of your own choosing.
If this is too easy for you, feel free to increase the reps/weights as desired.
Weeks 1-3 (Strength Training – 1 day per week!)
- Stretch – 4 to 5 minutes
- Squats – 3 sets of 8 reps
- Lunges – 3 sets of 8 reps
- Leg Extensions – 2 sets of 8 reps
- Leg Curls – 2 sets of 8 reps
- Calf Raises – 2 sets of 20 reps
Weeks 4-6 (Explosion Training – 2 days per week)
- Stretch – 4 to 5 minutes
- Squat Jumps – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Rim touches – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Tuck Jumps – 3 sets of 10 reps
- High Box Jumps – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Calf Raises – 2 sets of 20 reps
Weeks 7-9 (Speed/Technique Training – 2 days per week)
- Stretch – 4 to 5 minutes
- Running One Leg Jumps – Repeat at max speed and power with a basketball in your hands (3 sets of 15)
- Running Two Leg Jumps – Repeat at max speed and power with a basketball in your hands (3 sets of 15)
- Sprints – Run approximately 50 meters at full speed 8 times
- Speed Jump Rope – As fast as you can for 45 seconds, repeat 4 times
Be sure to check out my tips page to find out how to get the most out of this, or any other routine.
How to Measure Your Jump Height
One of the last things I want to cover is measuring your vertical jump.
This is something you should do before beginning any workout. It will give you a baseline for where you’re starting from, and it will allow you to see progress over time.
To measure your vertical, follow these simple steps. You’ll also need the following equipment:
Some chalk or opaque tape (chalk is easier to use, but it can leave stains on walls)
Find a wall that is at least 10 feet tall. Start by standing up straight with your shoulder touching the wall.
- Put a little chalk or a piece of tape on the tips of your fingers and reach up as high as you can. Do not go up on your tip toes! Mark your highest point on the wall with your chalk or tape. This is your standing reach. (M1 at right)
- Place more chalk or tape on your fingers. This time, from a standstill jump up as high as you can and leave a mark on the wall at your highest point.
- Measure the distance between your standing reach mark and your highest jump mark (M2-M1). This is your standing vertical jump.
This is one of the most accurate, and cheapest, ways to measure your vertical jump.
When you’re actively doing a training program, try repeating this test once a month to see your progress. Don’t forget to write your results down!
My Goal For My Leaping Ability
I got a long way to go. Ha!
Above is the Team Flight Brothers dunk mix. They are a group of guys who travel around the country putting on awesome dunk contests.
They are similar to the Globe Trotters, but the emphasis is throwing down insane dunks.
Remember, if you really want to improve your leaping ability you need to focus on the training techniques I outlined above.
You should also check out the JM if you are in need of a step-by-step regimen that will give you awesome results.
Thanks again for reading, and please feel free to contact me if you have questions!