T Nation

How to increase vertical jump?


Hey, I have a 25", and I really want to get it up to 30-35" but I don't know how.. I don't even know if this is the right place to post this, but I thought since Olympic lifting is explosive and your vertical jump has to do with how explosive you are, this would be an okay place to post.. Anyways, can anyone help me increase my vertical jump???


it depends what your body needs. it could be that you lack explosiveness, or it could be that you lack strength. if you're not a strong squatter then increasing your squat would probably add a few inches to your vertical. at that point you would then be better served adding in explosive movements like the olifts, various jumps, plyos, etc.


my 5 rep max for squat right now is 245lbs , and I just started powercleans, I powerclean 135 for 3 right now, but im not yet at my max, im slowly increasing it from workout to workout , im not sure what i lack..


Just be patient with it man... get stronger on the squat, keep doing power cleans (from hang or blocks), do vert jumps, depth jumps, and do some RDL's.


My main priority is to increase my squat, but I really want a massive vertical too, out of curiosity, why do you suggest doing power cleans from blocks? I don't have blocks so I have to do them from the floor, is that still okay?


Do them from the hang then (mid-thigh).


Okay, not to be annoying but can you explain why? I am really curious, what's wrong with off the floor?


For explosiveness and vertical jump alone, there's no point in starting it from the floor.

In olympic lifting competitions though you start from the floor. You don't compete, so you don't have to.

I think I read Broz saying its mostly squat that increases it(and of course.. you know.. actually doing vertical jumps) rather than the oly lifts but I've no idea what would be the best. I THINK both would help.


The thing is, I don't deadlift so powercleans is my only exercise off the floor, so I'd like to keep it, would it still work? :S and I see, thank you. :slightly_smiling:


bilateral vertical jumping is a quad dominant movement. deadlifts aren't really going to increase it. high bar, ass to grass olympic style squatting will, especially for someone who hasn't done all that much squatting before. that being said, i don't see why you can't add deadlifts to your routine anyway.

like andy said, do your cleans from the hang. this is good for vertical jumping because you can get a countermovement before the explosive pull, just like in a jump. i would also add in other jumps like depth jumps, box jumps, and plain old vertical jumps, but i think first and foremost you will get the most gains right now simply from getting stronger legs through squatting. eventually you'll reach a point of diminishing returns with your strength and that's when you'll benefit from becoming more explosive by doing jumps and olifts.


I do a low bar wide stance squat :confused: should i switch to highbar? Sorry for asking so many questions, and oh i see, the hang clean makes sense now :slightly_smiling:


high bar olympic style (also called athletic stance for a reason) has more carryover to the jump.

Also... make sure you get up as fast as possible in your squats. Kinda obvious.


This is going to cause some controversy, but I generally find it to be true. As per CoolColJ's jump calculator. for trainees with experience in the squat as well as jumping, a 36" vertical correlates pretty well with a double bodyweight Olympic style squat. Similarly, it's about a bodyweight power snatch. Again, this assumes you've got some coordination and proficiency with all 3 movements. It's certainly possible to have one without the other.

Anyway, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to jump a lot. Technique and coordination is hugely important in vertical. You can move all the weight in the world, but if you don't know how to swing your arms or explode the right way, you can't have a great vertical.

Can I ask what you're trying to improve your vertical for? Play a specific sport or just for giggles?


Mmm i see, what if i squat low bar and go hips below knees, how much will i need to squat? and how about powercleans? Would a 1.5xBW PC be okay? Because i dont have the mobility for the snatch :confused:
And tbh its just for giggles :slight_smile:


You should be able to power snatch since you're catching the weight in a high position, mobility doesn't really come into play.

Obviously there's no hard and fast rules. Just as there's no direct translation between low bar wide stance squat, olympic back squatting and front squatting for all people. I think suffice to say you should be moving significantly over body weight if you're expecting to jump more than 30". But again, some guys will be jumping 40" and never have squatted before in their lives. Since you're not actively being recruited in pro sports, I'm going to doubt that's you.

I ask if it's for a sport because if you do an activity that involves jumping a lot like volleyball, gymnastics, some martial arts, some track events, etc. you're probably already going to have good jumping technique and may not need to spend extra time just jumping.

This link was passed around when I was back in high school. Obviously a lot of the information is outdated, but it gives you an idea of some plyos you can be doing. I got up to ~36" and I wasn't seriously squatting and hadn't started olympic lifting yet.

I think it goes to show the specificity of jumping. In the 6 years since I last did the program, my vertical has been tested on a vertec at worst at 30" and at best at 36". My squat and olympic lifting have improved a ton, yet if anything my vertical has gotten worse. The key difference being that I don't really do anything that involves jumping anymore. Obviously while strength plays a big part in jumping ability, in my case ~20% of jump height might just be practicing jumping.


a power snatch doesn't require much mobility at all, it's a full snatch that requires mobility. anyway that calculator is just a guideline. based on my squat and power snatch, my vertical jump should be absurd according to that calculator. if vertical jumping is all you're worried about, then if i were you i wouldn't concern myself with reaching certain numbers on my lifts, i would only concern myself with whether or not increasing the lifts was also increasing my vertical jump.

also, you will be doing yourself a disservice to not squat olympic style for vertical jump development. just sayin


anyone who can vertical jump 40 inches without having ever done a squat is naturally a very strong dude and i would wager would also become a strong squatter pretty quickly, i.e once they became technically proficient in the movement.


I made the same assertion here on T-Nation and was given hell for it. But I agree, for the most part, if you're lagging in any part of that correlation, it's most likely technical proficiency.


it only makes sense. i believe it was louie simmons who said "give me someone fast and i can make them strong," or some variant of that lol. whoever gave you hell for that was probably not very smart.


I should probably mention I'm not all that interested in increasing my vertical jump, I just wanted to know if I could do it while on the routine I'm on, Bill Starr's Big 3, doing squats, and power cleans etc, so if I can't with those exercises, I'll eventually focus on it, but thank you all for the information! It really opened my eyes, I didn't really think the type of squat or the type of Olympic lift you did makes much difference, I guess I just wasn't thinking :confused: Thank you all!