Vertical Leap Exercises

Using Plyometrics To Increase Your Vertical Leap

Plyometrics is a type of physical training that uses very fast movements and exercises to increase strength and create explosive power in the legs. Training with plyometrics increases vertical jump height and the ability to accelerate & decelerate.

Benefit of Plyometrics to Increasing Vertical Jump:

  • Ability to convert strength to speed
  • Increasing overall leg muscle speed
  • Effective cardio leads to loss of excess body fat

This type of training can be dangerous if you are not already physically fit. Many people recommend that before beginning plyometrics to increase vertical leap a person should be able to squat 60-80% of their body weight 5 times. Please only perform this vert jump routine if you feel you can handle it.

The Entry Level Plyometrics Routine

Even though this is an “entry level” routine, it is still very effective. Following these vertical leap exercises will definitely increase your vert jump. Beginners to plyometrics have reported gains of 4-8 inches to their vertical leap after following this beginner program. Let’s begin! This routine should be performed three times per week, and do not repeat it on back to back days.

Week One (Rest one minute between sets)

  • 2 sets of 50 ankle jumps. An ankle jump is a jump where you use only your ankle to propel yourself into the air. Keep your knees locked when performing these. Make sure you are not landing on your heels.
  • 2 sets of 5 4-Star Drills. A 4-Star drill is a very basic vertical leap exercise. Imagine these numbers on the floor spaced out 18-24″ apart:  Start at spot #1. Using both legs, jump to spot #2, then #3 and finally #4. From there jump to spot #3, #2, and back to #1. That is one rep.
  • 2 sets of 20 alternating lunges. Lunge out with one leg, hold that position for one second, and continue with the next leg. That is one rep.
  • 2 sets of 20 jump squats. With your hands behind your head, squat down and jump into the air, landing on your toes.
  • 2 sets of 50 slalom jumps. Either imagine an object on the ground or place one in front of you. Jump over it side to side so it looks like your skiing.
  • 2 sets of 10 lunge jumps. Go into a lunge position with your right leg forward. Jump and land in a lunge position with your left leg forward. That is one rep.
  • 2 sets of 30 low squat ankle jumps. Perform the ankle jumps you did at the beginning of this plyometrics program from a squat position.

These are your basic vertical leap exercises and beginner plyometrics exercises. Weeks two and three of this vertical jump workout will be coming soon. Check back!

Stretching Before Your Vertical Jump Workout

You may want to increase your vertical jump for a variety of reasons, you could be an aspiring NBA player learning to dunk or a future volleyball pro trying to add height to your vertical leap. Either way, increasing your vert can be an awesome and challenging experience. It can also be dangerous if not done correctly. Stretching before your vertical jump workout is extremely important for a few reasons. First of all, it will keep you safe. Secondly, stretching consistently before your vertical leap exercises will greatly increase your flexibility and will help you get an extra few inches. Follow these stretching tips before your vertical jump workouts if you want to stay healthy and greatly add flexibility.

Warming Up

Stretching is not the same as warming up! A warm up comes before the stretching begins. Warming up before stretching not only loosens your muscles but can also add performance when you begin your workout. A great 5-6 minute warm up involves running in place, running in place with your knees high and jumping jacks. You want to raise your your body temperature and begin to sweat.

Static Stretching

Static stretching is important to your vertical leap goals. Here are four static leg stretches:

  • Quadriceps Stretch
  • Calf Stretch
  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Groin Stretch

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching is stretching while actively moving your body. Here is a great video demonstrating many types of dynamic stretches:

You can now start your vertical jump workout. You’re one step closer to increasing your vertical leap!