The Top 7 Vertical Jump Exercises

In order to have an explosive vertical jump, you must perform exercises that target all the muscles involved in jumping.

Like everything in life, not all exercises are created equal…

Here are the top 7 vertical jump exercises (complete with video):


The squat is widely regarded as the ‘king of vertical jump exercises’ because it targets multiple muscles simultaneously.

It targets all the leg muscles and posterior chain muscles.

This means that it targets your lower back, glutes (butt), hamstrings, quads, and calves.

The great thing about the squat is that it works all these muscles at the same time, and trains them explosively.

Here is a great video showing you how to perform squats correctly:

Tips on How To Squat

  • Focus on proper form and start at a low weight before moving on to heavier weights.
  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart, and point your toes approximately 30 degrees outward to enable you to target your hips/glutes properly.
  • While squatting, focus on placing most of your weight on your heels – this will help you target the posterior chain muscles better.
  • Always keep your abs tight, and NEVER arch your back (this can cause serious injury)

2. Deadlifts

The deadlift is another great vertical jump exercise that targets multiple muscles simultaneously.

It is very effective in targeting all the muscles of your posterior chain, which are the most important muscles in jumping.

Here is a great video showing you how to perform deadlifts correctly:

Tips on How To Deadlift

  • Focus on proper form and start at a low weight before moving on to heavier weights.
  • If you discover that you can’t lift a particular weight because your hands hurt, it is because of poor grip strength. (Read step 3 of my article on how to dunk to learn how to improve your grip strength)

3. Depth Jumps

The depth jump is a great plyometric drill to increase your vertical jump.

Depth jumps are excellent at improving your speed and explosiveness.

Here is a great video showing you how to perform depth jumps correctly:

Tips on How To Do Depth Jumps

    • Start with a low box (approx 12 inches) and get accustomed to it before moving on to higher boxes.
    • If you have never done depth jumps before, begin by just stepping off the box and landing on the ground to absorb the force as shown in the video below (don’t jump off the ground).

  • As you become comfortable with the mechanics and form of the exercise, incorporate the jumping portion of the exercise.
  • Depth jumps are deceptively difficult on your body and put a huge strain on your body’s nervous system. This may cause serious injury so do not overdo them.

4. Jumping !

It sounds stupidly simple, but one of the best ways to jump higher is to JUMP.

This will improve your jumping technique/form and hence increase your vertical jump.

The key is to jump for your sport.

If you are a basketball player, focus on jumping toward the hoop and also practice dunking on lower hoops to increase your vertical jump.

If you are a volleyball player, practice your spiking.

You get the idea…

It is widely know that many athletes fail to jump high because they have poor jumping form.

By working on your jumping form, you will jump higher.

5. Weighted abs exercises

Your abdominal muscles are crucial in jumping.

Along with your lower back, they form the CORE muscles that link your upper body to your lower body.

You can have the strongest upper body and the strongest legs, but if you have a weak core, you will remain grounded forever.

Sure, anyone can do 3 sets of 20/30 crunches.

Solely performing regular crunches therefore limits the amount of core strength you can have.

To perform weighted ab exercises, simply incorporate weights to your current ab workout.

For example, hold a weight plate on your chest as you perform crunches on a medicine ball.

6. Bench Press

I believe that in order to skyrocket your vertical jump and achieve your athletic potential, you have to develop your upper body strength.

The bench press is a great exercise that targets all the major muscle groups of your upper body simultaneously.

It simultaneously targets your chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and forearms.

It also targets your upper back muscles to an extent.

Here is a great video showing you how to bench press correctly:

Tips on How To Bench Press

  • Focus on proper form and start at a low weight before moving on to heavier weights.
  • When you are lifting heavy, ALWAYS have a spotter assisting you so that you don’t let the damn bar fall on your head and crack your skull!

7. Pull Ups

This is another great upper body exercise that will increase your vertical jump.

Pull ups primarily target your shoulder, back, and arm muscles.

You can peform pull ups in two ways depending on how you grip the bar:

1. Overhand grip (palm facing away from you)

  • With the overhand grip, you will feel it more on your forearms and back .

2. Underhand grip (palm facing you)

  • With the underhand grip, you will feel it more in your biceps.

Here is a great video showing you how to perform pullups correctly:

If you are not yet strong enough to perform pull ups, here is a video that will show you how to progessively increase your strength to finally perform a proper pull up:

Tips on How To Perform Pull Ups

  • Focus on proper form and start with few reps.
  • If you can’t perform pull ups yet, watch the video above to learn how to increase your strength to that level.

There you have it! The top vertical jump exercises.

If you incorporate them into your workouts, you will see a tremendous improvement in your vertical jump.

Where to go from here…

Ok, great.

Now you know what the best exercises to increase your vertical leap are.

So where do you go from here?

The best thing you can do is to purchase a great vertical jump program like the Jump Manual that incorporates all the exercises into a comprehensive workout schedule you can follow.

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133 Responses to “The Top 7 Vertical Jump Exercises”

  1. Zain Says:

    Thank you very much this has helped me very much. My speed and explosiveness has improved I can keep body in control when I cross defenders and also my defence I much better. I harder get fatiged i can basketball for hours and hours. I can jump higher. I can conclude that these workouts will be benificial and I would most definately recommend it. Thank you. P.s can you send me more workouts thanks. Zain Iqbal


  2. dan Says:

    thanks so much for posting these exercises they really helped me in a lot of ways and i hope that you post some more soon.

    thanks, dan


  3. Paul Says:

    Hey. These are great exercises, but I don’t have ANY weights or equipment besides 5 and 2-pound dumbells.


  4. Dylan Says:

    These exercises do help a lot! My basketball coach has me doing these 5 times a week and my vertical is increasing a long with my speed and agility!


  5. Julie Says:

    This info is very helpful for practicle exercise prescription. I have a client who wants to improve his vertical for gymnastics and I appreciate the info you provided.


  6. Ethan Says:

    Hi Dan, i have the Jump Manual and have improved my vertical but seeing as im 15 i am not allowed into a gym and therefore i have no access to weights. i am the skinny/ athletic type and lacking muscle strength what should i do? thanks


  7. the boss Says:

    i always thought that hang cleans were a good vertical excercise


  8. Frank Brou Says:

    What about the power step? that gave me about 3 inches in a couple weeks by itself. Thats where you put a foot on a box about a foot tall, then bring your other up to the box so you are standing straight. then put the foot you raised with back on the ground, then bring the other foot down. do as many as possible in 1 min. 2 or 3 times a day.


    • Bill Says:

      Hey Frank, did this exercise really work for you like you said it does? It almost seems too good to be true but if it works I’m willing to try it.


  9. Kyle Says:

    Thankz 4 the gr8 tips it is going to help me dunk soon and i m only in 6th grade but i m 5 foot 10


  10. Koehnsfitness Says:

    Is there any good ankle work outs? I am 5’10″ but got a lil ups so I am usally stuck at post with guys towering over me. Problem I have to put more effort to get to there level which cause me to land on feet sometimes when I come down resulting in minor tweeks or rolling my ankles. Let me know if there is anything else I can do additionally to strenghten the ankles The tips are great thank you.


  11. Kat Says:

    Hi Dan,
    I really want to improve my vertical for basketball, and I don’t really know what mine is. I was going to try to use the excerises by I lack all of the equipment. Can you help?



  12. Jan Says:

    how many sets and reps on squats, deadlifts, depth jumps????


  13. VON Says:

    thank you very much!!! im from the philippines,my jump is high now!!


  14. Eric Says:

    I’m 12 years old and I wuz wondering if I could do this and if it would increase my vertical


  15. Kerem Says:

    Hey Dan! I am 5″/ or 169 cm. I am 13 years old and have been doing upper body exercises. But when i try to work on my legs, my knee starts to hurt. (Even though i can play a pickup game perfectly) D’you know what can be the problem? The doctors say its fine but…..


  16. cody Says:

    I’m a 16 year old 5’9 white guy from aus, for hte last few months ive been struggling to improve my vertical leap… only just being able to dunk a tennis ball… but then i tryed the jump manual and after just 3 weeks i am now dunking a soccer ball and only need 1 more inch to dunk a size 7 basketball.. i Strongly recommend it. (the jump manual uses all 7 of these exercises)


  17. Richard Says:

    You the best thanks for these exercises and hope you make new ones soon.


  18. Cody hotch Says:

    Hey can you give me some body weight exercises, because im no where near a gym, but still really want to train. Thanks

    – Cody


  19. roy phipps Says:

    i added 10″ with these


  20. Colin Says:

    I’ve never found squats to actually help my vertical because they are slow twitch muscles that don’t really get your muscles to be explosive. So I’ve switched them to squat jumps, and sometimes with weight. That way I am jumping higher and exploding up in order to strengthen the right kind of muscles in my legs to increase my vertical.

    I hope that helps some of you.


  21. mitchell Says:

    hey man, im 14 and about 5″11 but i can only jump 40-45 centimetres from a stand. most of these exercises sound good ( i dont have access to weights), im just wondering how many times a week should i do vertical workouts? BTW thats not my normail email haha..


  22. duncan Says:

    hey i have been playing basketball for a long time now. i am 24 years old and i am 6’5” and i have done these type of excrcises for a long time and i have a vertical of 41” and i just want everyone to know that not only do these but you need to run at least three times a week that also will help you greatly and make it the run at least 3 miles. however everony keep up the good work…


  23. Buddy Says:

    Hi Dan. The exercises you have listed actually seem pretty good to increase vertical jump. But do you have any routine, schedule training plan or whatever that incorporates them?


  24. manni Says:

    thanks ill try ma best ,, i think these exersize will relyy help me……


  25. hfkgjakslfjlaskdf Says:

    im 12 and i can touch the net


  26. lj Says:

    thank you for giving me an idea to jump higher …:-)


  27. Fred Says:

    How many inches higher would you be able to jump after doing these exercises?


  28. Bob Says:

    Hy there. The tips you gave were really helpfull. Thanks alot. Do you mind telling me a suitable 2month program in other to increase my vertical jump to the max and see some actuall difference?! Hope to hear soon


  29. JEDJEDWOW Says:

    hi good day sir, i was wondering which program is better.. this one or jacob hillers program? sorry for my name.. ^^


    • Dan Says:

      Hey. This isn’t really a program, just a description of some of the best vertical jump exercises you can do. Jacob’s Jump Manual is a full-blown program, with reps, sets, etc, so that is better :-)


  30. shanii Says:

    how this pdf file will convert in to usefull info plz help me out.i dont know the use of pdf files


  31. Trevor T. Says:

    hi i am a freshman in highschool, and i finally threw it down with 2 hands thanks to this website. I am 6 fooot 2, 155 pounds. i can get off the floor with no effort. i have improved my PPG, BPG, and RPG. i hope to go to college. i will be dunking on everyone. even people on here!


  32. giag Says:

    how long will it take until i start seeing results??


  33. Hazen Says:

    Hi, I’m 210 5’10 and i need to work on my vertical and speed for football. Would you mind sending me a workout regiment? i run around a 4.6 now and 34.3 vertical but im always looking to improve.


  34. Cdewqazx Says:

    I’m 13, and was wondering the maximum potential I could reach with this workout.


  35. KennyCuhz Says:

    aye im 14 nd im only 5 foot 4 nd skinny lol but damn im tryna dunk i dont got access to a weight room that much wtf should i do. i quit blazin trees to play ball


  36. mark Says:

    how many time a week should I do this training? please reply.


  37. Mark Says:

    hey dan can you please suggest a reps, and sets for each exercise?


  38. Jamie Says:

    I’m not saying the jump manual is bad by any means, I bought it last year. But it seems very shady; for example; under the professional athletes tab, there is no one there. And when i tried to access my interview with David hopla e.t.c it said “page not found” and lastly when i tried to contact Jacob about the programme and some questions (after I had bought it) He never replied, but still spammed me with links to other “basketball programs”. thoughts?


  39. Taekun Says:

    im only 4’9 and im 9 i can only dunk a 7 foot 5 hoop plz help me


  40. Ysugar Says:

    Yeh hi I am 15 and play a lot of sports. I recently completed p90x2. I have now started insanity the asylum. What do you think About it? I’m actually having a little trouble understanding him describing some of the moves


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