T Nation

Vertical Jump Help


Hi all,
since these is vertical jump sub section on TNation, i have decided to post it here. I do need some help with my vertical jump. I am 5'10 with short arms and small hands that i cant palm the ball. Right now, I can almost touch the rim with a stand still jump and touch rim with a run up. my goal is to be able to dunk.

As we all know, a good vertical stat is composed of 3 factors, limit strength, reactive strength, and explosive strength. my current stats are 435lb squat, 455 dead, 215 power clean, 200 hang clean, 400 box squat. So I think my strength is pretty good, and explosiveness is not bad. I concluded that i may not have a good reactive strength which compromising my vertical. I did some exercises listed in vertical jump bible. Since I did it right and properly, i did see some improvements, but not huge.

my question is--is there any specific exercises for me to master the vertical? and also what is the proper form to preform a vertical. like how deep u bend? jump off the fore feet or the whole feet. i really appreciate.


Your squat is 435 but box squat 400? Also your clean compared to squat numbers is pretty bad. When I was cleaning 225 my front squat was 245-265 and back squat 275-285 for a few reps and I was not an Olympic weight lifter just enjoyed doing it as part my leg training.

It seems like you need to do some actual jumping or other explosive work. oh and at those numbers and being 5'7 I was able to touch rim easily and sometimes grab it. Looking for one magical exercise isn't going to help, there isn't one. What's your bodyweight and fat levels like? having low body fat can help quite a bit also.


yes, you are very right. I am working on my power clean. My front squat is around 300, but i dont like doing it. I think I did way too little run up vertical. i weight around 185, and bf is about 14% since I dont really cut



or hang around a track and do whatever workouts they do. If those are true squat numbers your legs are strong as hell but that's hard to believe unless your 25+. For you not to be able to at least run and dunk off of one leg would mean you have cement blocks for legs. They need to get moving, and trying to make up for lack of years moving them with some jumps might help you here and there but you won't really get to dunking.


well, i started doing sprints like couple weeks ago, i definitely gonna keep doing it. I think i was doing too much lower body strength exercises. and FYI, i am 28.


Have you tried jump squats?

Also the air alert program, or the program that comes with jump soles would probably help you a lot.

I would probably drop the weights to once a week and increase the reps. You may need a few sets where your struggling if you care about your squat numbers but for jumping drop the weight and do "rhythm" squats.


currently i am doing vj bible before the weights like twice a week. I did jump squat before but didnt stick with it. what is the rhythm squat? is it like squat down and bounce up on your toes but leave your toes on the ground? i was going to plan to do this


Your limit strength is obviously very good, but I disagree with you on your explosiveness. I think given your strength/bw ratio, you are quite a bit from your explosive potential. You and I have similar standing verticals but you squat almost 50% more than me. (I'm 6' 180. 27/31+ standing/running vert last time I checked months ago before my current 5/3/1 cycle.)

It seems your standing and running verts are not very far apart. While ultimately they won't be 8" different like some NBA players, I do think there's potential for quick running vert gains from technique and reactive work:

Knee bend depends on your build. Less bend if you're more reactive - look at some TFB videos and you see how little their knees bend. You will/currently be more of a strength jumper, so you will naturally have more knee bend to generate that force.

Jump off the balls of your feet.

Descend into your approach quickly. Pull yourself down rather than let gravity do the work. Look up "eccentric overspeed kettlebell swings." This teaches you to load up more elastic energy.

Reach back as far as you can comfortably/smoothly to load your arm swing.

Try to minimize time spent in contact with the ground for the last two steps (assuming 2 foot takeoff) and try to maximize force in that time. Focus on how hard you're pushing off the ground rather than how fast you feel you are at takeoff.


very helpful, i need more practice of running vj. does box squat well describe explosiveness? anyway, i still work to improve power clean and hang clean. i am not able to access to kettlebell, but for the elastic energy, i plan to do rhythm squat.


Is that a conventional deadlift?


yes, it is.
i do slightly less weight on sumo


This is awful advice. Air Alert should change its name to "fast track to tendonitis". The jumpsoles program is better, but there are about a million better things to do with your time.

work on your approach, jump/sprint as often as you can without negatives effects, get your hangclean up and lose bf. If your squat is legit these should help a ton.

For the record, here's me at 5'9" and 30 years old after two major knee blowouts-


Thanks Whiteflash, I ve seen yr video in powerlifting, it really inspired me.
recently i incorporated some sprints and running vj in my program, i still felt like my approach is kinda wrong
for vj, is hang clean really better than power clean?
btw, i have short arms and small hand that i cant palm the ball


Thanks bud. Glad you something out of it. Can you post a vid of your approach? Maybe we can dissect it and help you out. I personally think the hangclean and the squat are the two best things you can do for your vert. I used to believe that low bar powerlifting squats were best, but due to injuries have switched to high bar atg and I gotta confess that (if you're built for it) it's superior in every way for an athlete. Don't worry bud, if you noticed all my vids are dunking with two hands. If dunking is your goal, just gotta make sure you get your hops up so two hands ain't a problem. Good luck brother.


yea, i will shoot a vid on the weekend. i think the transaction between horizontal and vertical momentum is wrong cuz i felt a little stumble when i did the mini step
right now, hang clean is not my main focus, i only do it once a week and do power clean once a week. 4-5 sets of 3. i am still focus more on the big 3


Well bud, if your goals are improving your vert you need to shift your focus. ATG squats, push presses, and cleans should be your new big 3. Feel free to keep benching ('cause it's awesome), but I'd drop the deads. Too taxing. When training with certain moves, thou gotta ask yourself "Is the juice worth the squeeze"?


Deadlift is a drainer even though I do such low reps, I am gonna cut it to once every two weeks. Push preSS was newly incorporated in my program and I love it. I also do some jump exercises.listed in vj bible, is that cool?


Man, honestly never seen the vjb, but I've read some of Baggett's stuff and he seems to know what he's talking about. Actually, if you google his name his website should pop up. Once there search for "The Ultimate Split". Never done it, but looked over it several times. It'd be ideal for what you're looking to do.


just googled it, and kelly is right, less is more. my vj is sightly going up after 8 months just because i cut down the volume of plyo and lower body workouts.
right now, what i am worrying abt is as a 28 year old man, how much gas left in my tank, how much i am still able to progress.


You won't know 'til you try. Get on it and keep us posted.