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NBA Vertical Jump Test


Anybody know about the NBA Vertical jump test?

I've never really seen it but always assumed a vertical jump was one or no steps off of 2 feet. Do they count running one foot as a vertical?


At the NBA combine your one-handed standing reach is measured standing flat footed, then they measure your standing vert and your vert off of the three steps. You're allowed three attempts at each, and if you beat your second jump on your third attempt you get a fourth.

Also, Lavine put up a 41.5" off the run at the combine but the Lakers claim he hit a 46". Safe bet that 46" is exaggerated by a few inches.


Ya if you look at the actual combine results they clearly label/separate the vertical tests. A lot of people will reference the higher number when they say 'player X jumps this high!" which is technically correct, but misleading because they make it sound like that's their standing vertical.

I will say though that standing vert is IMO an overrated number for most players in basketball. When are you actually jumping off both feet with no steps? Going back up for an offensive/defensive rebound right against the glass(I say going back up because if it's your first jump you probably took a step and went up off of whichever amount of feet you find more natural as an individual)?


They measure "standing vertical leap" and "maximum vertical leap" at the NBA combine. The "maximum vertical leap" is what WhiteFlash is talking about, and this is the number you usually hear about because it is the higher of the two.


If someone saying "player X has of vertical of Y" IMO this should mean standing vertical leap, but people often say this when they mean running vertical (aka "maximum vertical leap" at the combine).

Very true. Worse yet is when someone jumping on a 40" box then claims to have a 40" vertical. You can find a lot of these on Youtube.

The above is VERY impressive, but not a 64" vertical as the title suggests. I don't think there is any malintent, but people often misreport their "vertical jump" by not understanding what a vertical jump is.

Very trye again. I would say running vertical is also overrated. Very seldom in basketball do you jump (either standing or running) as you do in the test. Jumping higher is of course better, but I would say positioning and timing are more important for rebounding and blocking shots. Also a short player with an amazing vertical will not be able to get higher than a tall player with an average vertical. This also should be consider (maybe a reach+vertical stat?).

I love basketball and I love training so naturally I like the combine. However, when evaluating players actual game tape is a much better tool than combine numbers IMO. Same goes for the NFL.

Definitely. I understand you can jump differently depending on how you feel on a given day, but given the fact I am sure he would be trying to peak his vertical for the combine I find it hard to believe an almost 4" difference. Maybe he "cheated" on his standing reach a bit with the Lakers and the NBA measured his standing reach better. I people who coach combine prep teach players to cheat on standing reach.


The most basketball applicable way to run the jump tests would be max height off of 2-footed plant, max height off of dominant leg and max height off of weak leg, all measured off of a 2-3 step approach.


Good point one does not always get to jump off their preferred foot in a game. Again this is why I just like to watch players play basketball. I don't care what your vertical is if you can put the ball in the basket lol.


shiiiiittttt I'd lose like 6 inches at least going from my left leg vert to my right leg vert lololol


Haha, bet most would lose a lot more than that. The only guy I can think of that's as good a leaper of either foot (and both planted) is JR Smith. Most are either 2-footed jumpers or 1-legged jumpers, and a few can getup off of the 2-foot plant and their dominant leg. He's literally the only dude I've ever seen that doesn't have a "weaker" leg. Such a unique trait.


This isn't going to address anything you said, but what is the point of jumping to a stack that high? That jump is exactly the same amount of impressiveness if the stack is half as high, and it's exponentially safer. Then he jumps off the top of the stack which made the point of jumping up to the stack completely worthless. I can understand you may want to show off every once in a while, but I have a feeling this guy pushes the limits of jumping to these tall stacks often.


my weak leg is stronger than my strong leg.


The leg opposite the dominant arm tends to be stronger because people tend to leap off of that one.

The reason for that is basic biomechanics and conservation of momentum. The dominant arm opposes the dominant leg so that you don't run like a wobbling idiot.

There are cadaver studies showing a higher number of muscle fibers in the leg opposite the dominant arm in young adults who experience unexpected death, which also suggests that hyperplasia occurs in humans just like it occurs in every other species.


Why is it just as impressive if you jump to a stack half that high? It's clearly harder to jump onto a higher stack. I understand that jumping to a maximal stack is dangerous and probably not an incredibly efficient way to train.

But as a demonstration of power and skill, jumping onto a 64 inch box is impressive while jumping onto a 32 inch box basically demonstrates that you aren't a fat or crippled loser.


Well this is good news 20 years too late. I don't know why, but I always thought vertical was strictly 2 feet. Standing meant no steps and 3 step meant up unto three steps then plant with both feet and jump. My 2 step was easily 8 inches lower at my peak, caused all kinds of black man jumping insecurities.

I see a reason for both, when comparing closely sized athletes.


Jumping on to that stack can be done by bending your legs high, jumping 32 inches in the air with straight legs and no knee bend is pretty impressive.


Jumping to a 64 inch box or a 32 inch box isn't any more or less impressive if you jump the same height each time. The 64 inch box will look cooler, I guess, but it's not like you're actually jumping higher just because the stack is higher.


Box jumps are pretty low on the "increase your hops" totem pole. They're more of a flexibility exercise than anything. There's a guy running around now who calls himself an "explosiveness coach" who's worked with Mark Bell and posts ridiculously self indulgent YouTube vids of box jumps to epic music but at 6' tall and with crazy long arms is barely putting down 2-hand rub ins. My 32 year old, 5'9", 3 knee blowout havin' ass can still do better than that. Maybe I picked the wrong field...

Anyway, what Croatian is trying to say (I think) is that tucking your knees to your chin to land something is no more impressive than exerting the same force and landing something straight legged. It just looks cooler to the misinformed.


I think the guy you are referring to is Ryan Moody. I had to look him up lol. I real gem at 1:45 in the video below where he says he has been knocked unconscious, dislocated his hip, broken bones, etc. from falling of boxes. Exactly the reason someone should not being doing this sort of activity.

That being said I think boxes can be great tools for jump training, but no one seems to understand how to use them. The is no reason to increase the height of the box just for the sake of increasing the height of the box (and risk injury). However, what a properly chosen box will do is (safely) lessen the force you land with. Really the most stressful part of jump training is the landing, and by using boxes to taken away the landing one can preform a higher volume of jumps. But jumping on some ridiculously high box won't magically increase your vertical.

I think that is exactly the point, and I agree.


Well, I can sort of see that if you are landing with straight legs. But landing with straight legs isn't exactly low impact either. Either you judge it perfectly and land with no impact or you overshoot and land flatfooted with locked knees which is not really joint friendly. Alternately, you can bend your legs to absorb the impact and then it becomes an exercise in flexibility and balance as well as power, which is what you see above.

Now, I'm not going to defend the guy above as a guru, but it still looked pretty impressive to me.


I agree the box jump was impressive. Just higher risk of injury and not the most effective way to train for a vertical jump. Some people like to box jump for the sake of box jumping. They go for records and stuff like that. If that is their thing that is fine. It's just not my thing, but I won't deny there are some impressive box jumping feats.

And its not that you have to necessarily pick a box height that is exactly your vertical and land with straight legs. I use a box that is a little higher than my vertical so I tuck my knees some to get on the box. However, unless your are training for a box jump record there is no point in obsessing over using the highest possible box. Just use a comfortable box and take some of the landing impact away. No matter what height box you land on it does not change how high you actually jump.

I try to jump 3 times per week. I usually try for 2 days on the basketball court trying to touch rim, dunk tennis balls, etc. Then I do 1 day in the weight room jumping onto boxes. I find if a jump on the court every session I start to feel it in my knees and shins.

Hopefully that clears up the point I was trying to make.

Of course this is not the only reason to use boxes in vertical jump training (reactive strength via depth jumps, ricochet jumps, etc.). That is probably a discussion for another time and place since I have already thoroughly derailed this thread from Airtruth's original question. Sorry man I just like jumping :slight_smile:


If you jump the same height is the key. My point is you don't need to jump as high to jump onto a 64 inch box as you do 32 with straight legs. Getting your legs in the air so that you land with no bend would require a minimum 32" vertical. 64 inches will depend on your 1) your height 2) your flexibility 3) your vertical jump.