How To: Improve Your Vertical Jump

This quick guide to jumping higher will walk you through 4 ways you can increase your vertical jump.

But first, you need to find a way to measure your improvement.

Find your starting point by using:

  1. Vertec – a vertical jump measuring device (if possible).
  2. Other – anything that will allow you to guage your jump. You could put some chalk on your finger tips, then jump up and touch a wall.

4 techniques you can use to increase your vertical jump:

Technique 1: Use your arms more effectively

Your arms are a considerable driver in your jump and should be used to lift your body. You should be using them in unison with your jump to get max lift.

  • Start with your arms overhead like you’re a diver at a swimming pool
  • Bring your arms down quickly when you go into your crouched squat position, loading your spring.
  • Increase the speed of your arms moving up when you jump to lift your body.
  • Still use your dominant arm to reach for your height goal (not both hands).

Technique 2: Keep your extended arm straight at the apex of your jump

If you’re pulling your arm back, it will take away a few centimeters from your top point. This tip is most applicable for official jumping tests where you’re using the vertec. If your measuring your jumping height for a performance evaluation, every cm counts.

  • Some people have a tendency to pull their arm back, causing them to lose height in their jump.
  • Practice keeping your arm straight.
  • Remember the vertical jump test is different than jumping during sports. Keep that in mind and practice accordingly.

Technique 3: Adjust your starting squat

This simple adjustment provides some of the biggest immediate improvements. Most people start with a wide squat which detracts from your jump. A wide squat lowers your standing height, which translates into a lower launching point.

  • Try This: Stand with your legs about 1 meter apart, then squat and jump. Then, stand with your legs together, then squat and jump. Which jump was higher?
  • The best position for your feet is just inside your hips.
  • Keep your back flat as you squat down, maintaining proper form and increasing you chance that your body is at its longest when you reach for your height record.

Technique 4: Prepare properly by stretching

Most people have tight hips which limits their ability to squat down into a spring position, then release with maximum power. Stretching just beforehand can give you a larger range of motion and increase your jump height.

  • Stretch your hips regularly to maintain flexibility.
  • Stretch your hips as a warm up just before your jump to increase your range of motion.

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