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How Do I Increase My Running Vertical?


My standing vertical is around 28" but off a run I don't get much higher, 3 or 4 inches (at the most). I was wondering what kind of increases other people had with their standing vs. running vertical. Here's my info:

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 180
Standing vert: 28"
Running vert: 31-32"

Any ideas on how to increase my running vertical?
I'm going to start doing plyos and sprint work.


I would ahve to think bounding would. Since you are exploding using one leg. But basically any plyometrics would help. Ther weighted lunges, squats, and dealifts.


I had the same problem. I almost thought that my standing was better than my running vert. My problem was technique off of a run and jump as well as my body not being able to absorb the shock from a run and jump. My leg muscles were not able to apply full force after the run, because they were not conditioned to absorb the shock of landing from the last step of the run, right before the jump. Does this make any sense?

The cure for me was to practice, so my technique got better.

As well as perform depth drops and depth jumps to condition my legs to adapt to the force of landing, it makes you lighter on your feet and have more spring after a jump or a run.

Do some research on depth drops and depth jumps. If you are going to incorporate them into a program, you need to be aware how much stress it puts on your body as well as how long/short (time frame) of a depth jumping program should consist of, etc.


Do you jump off one leg or two? My previous post is sort of aimed at a person who would jump off two feet after the run, because that's what I do and that's what helped me.


Expose yourself to gamma radiation. Hopefully you'll get big and strong, as opposed to weak and cancerous. It's the risk you have to take to get to the top.




What's your deadlift? If it's under 300, just focus on heavy lifting. If you are strong but not very "springy" then you need to start getting into plyos.


Thanks for the help

I jump off two feet

my best DL is 335, wouldn't getting stronger have more of an effect on my standing vert, as opposed to my running?


335 is pretty good. Mamixal strength should definitly still be an important part of your program, but you can definitly get into some reactive stuff.

You are right, maximal strength does help your standing vert MORE than your running vert, but it is going to have a positive effect on your running vert as well.

You can definitly have a great vertical with your strength numbers (I know because I'm only a little above you and I'm right at about 39" from the run), but you should be sure to analyze your weaknesses. Here are two tests that you should do. You will need an accurate way to test your vertical (a vertex is good, a jump pad even better but a marked strip on a wall and some colored chalk can get you by).

1.) Force Output / Power Output Test

A lot of trainers talk about this test. Basically it is a test to see if you need more work on force (maximal strength) output or power (more towards the speed end) output. To do this test you do a maximal squat jump. Basically you dip down like you are going to jump up, pause for a full 3 seconds, then explode up into a full jump. Then you compare this to a maximal vertical jump. The barrier is right at about 85%. That is, if your vertical leap is 30" and your squat jump is 26", that's pretty normal. The bigger the difference, the more you need to focus on force production/absorbtion. If there is hardly any difference, you aren't using power as efficiently as you could be and you need to work on that.

2.) Power Absorbtion/Production Test

This is another pretty widely used test. Basically what you are going to do is test your vertical leap and compare that to your depth jump of boxes of various heights. Basically, up to a certain point, your depth jump should be higher than your vertical leap. It might look something like this:

Vertical Leap- 30"
4" Depth Jump- 31"
8" Depth Jump- 33"
12" Depth Jump- 33.5"
16" Depth Jump- 33.5"
20" Depth Jump- 33"
24" Depth Jump- 32"
30" Depth Jump- 28"

Usually there will be a pretty noticeable drop-off at one point. Make sure you get plenty of rest (about a minute between jumps) though, so you are not tiring yourself. Remember, it's testing, not a workout.

Basically this test shows you a couple of things. First of all, it shows if you have a weakness in power absorbtion. If your depth jump is not markedly higher up to a height pretty close to your vertical (20" box or so), you probably have a power absorbtion weakness. This is because when you do a depth jump you are giving your body extra energy to use in the subsequent jump, but if you can stabilize and absorb that power, you won't see an increase. If this is the case, you need to work on power absorbtion. This test will also set the guidelines for doing depth jumps. Typically you can do depth jumps from two heights. The first will be at the height where you attained the highest jump and the second will be the box height before the "drop-off". In the example I showed you, it would be 12" and 24" boxes.

I'd be happy to get a lot more into detail with the tests and what they show you and how you should structure your program based around their results and other information if you are interested.


Please do.



good post.



Thanks, and I'd love to see you jump in here because I've learned a lot from some of your posts.

To expand a little on my earlier post...

The straight up vertical leap is pretty much an expression of pure power, that is, it's pretty much right in the middle of the speed-strength continuum while your running vertical is a little more towards the speed end. So basically, whether you want to increase your standing vertical or your running vertical, you are looking to maximize your power output. I think there's pretty much 4 factors involved in power output:

1.) Force Absorbtion
2.) Power Absorbtion
3.) Force Production
4.) Power Production

Really I think the key is to just look at what step you are weak at and really make that the focus of your training. To do that, I think you have to do those tests to really see what you need.

As far as maximal strength goes (which is basically force absorbtion and force production), I kind of think of that as something that's going to hold you back from producing power rather than something that's going to keep improving your power output.

However, I think that with a lot of people, it really is holding them back. I definitly include myself in this category and I think a lot of athletes, especially high school athletes are in this as well. For a lot of beginners, improving your maximal strength will also improve your power, which is not true for more advances athletes.

I think that for most athletes, until you get to about a 2x bodyweight deadlift, maximal strength should definitly be more of a focus than plyometrics or other "power training."