T Nation

Vertical Jump Help



Any critique on my programming?



You need to OLY lift if you want to dunk, specifically the power snatch. All these lifts are good but none are explosive. You need power work.


This is a bit confusing man. In one thread you’re asking for help to dunk, when you admittedly can’t touch the rim, then in a thread I link for your benefit, you post about how the OP should be doing Olympic lifts to help is dunk?

I don’t see how you can recommend doing something, when you are pretty far off from your own goal.


My training log isn’t asking for help. Its a training log.

He can do all the deep squats and dead lifts he wants but if he can’t develop into actual jumping or oly lifts (intended to move fast) he never will. He’s training like a big angry white dude that doesn’t jump.


Jumping vs. Olympic Lifting for explosiveness?



Try super setting 1-3 heavy squats with 3 max jumps

Single leg jumps/hops

Lateral/forward/backward jumps

Start working on the power clean ASAP. Study YouTube vids and/or find an experienced coach to teach you

Good luck!


What can i say, hmmmm… work more on explosiveness, with your own bodyweight. like seated jumps, jumping lunges, depth jumps,hill run. Work on abs, shoulders tho, stretch your achiles. Use foam massage roller for your legs, before and after workout. Hope it will help you.


BTW i dont understand how vert shock didnt helped you, you might done it before all weightliftings, when you had weak legs, i want to try that tho, but can’t afford it :’( P.S i would like to see your jumping form, iam almost sure its pretty bad :slight_smile:


Some tips on the vertical jump, backed by research:

  1. The best way to increase jump height is to combine Strength Training with Plyometric Training.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23828282

  1. Jump with your hips. Better jumpers (compared to worse jumpers) tend to have a more hip-dominant jump strategy. Strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and spinal erectors.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16338725

  1. Use the French Contrast Method (e.g. Heavy Squat, Body weight Jumps, Weighted Jumps, and Accelerated Jumps all paired together). French Contrast is highly effective at improving jump height.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29351162

  1. Do split squats as they activate the Gluteus Medius and Adductor muscles to a greater degree than normal Back Squats.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4831851/

  1. Before training, use Post-Activation Potentiation, as it has been shown to increase jump height in the short-term. Do a few reps of a heavy squat, drop jump, or tuck jump.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24584048

  1. Train the upper body. When comparing the jump with and without arm swing, men jump significantly higher when they use the arms compared to women. Researchers speculate this is because of greater upper body strength and power in men than in women.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17530965

  1. When testing vertical jump, squat down a little bit lower than you naturally do. Researchers find that people jump higher when they lower more than preferred. This gives you more time to produce force.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4355311/

  1. Increase ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. Research shows those with poor ankle dorsiflexion have to change their jump strategy, come on their toes sooner, and jump lower than people with better dorsiflexion.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5011569/

  1. Take caffeine. Taking 5mg/kg increases jump height ~2% more than a placebo.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26626028

  1. Use a concentric-only style of lifting for some of your training. Example: Trap Bar Deadlift started from a deadstop, Bench Pin Press, and DB Deadstop Row. With these, only the upwards portion of the lift is performed. Research shows this style of training leads to greater fast twitch fiber recruitment, over time enhancing high-velocity strength better than normal training.

Study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959853


What are the best single leg exercises for vertical jump? I think I should reintroduce strength with those so i don’t irritate my back.


I like Bulgarian split squats and reverse lunges. I think they’re good for the hips in terms of hitting the various glute muscles better than squats.

All that matters is that you train the muscles/movements involved in jumping - - hip, knee, and ankle extension.

Plyos help you fire the muscles quickly but the power and force potential comes from strength work. I’ve had good luck maintaining a decent vertical by doing BW jump squats immediately after heavy squats. You could do the same thing with single leg movements but I’d start with low intensity stuff, possibly even with double leg jumps building up to single leg stuff.


+1 for reverse lunges.

I prefer those to BSS. Also, front foot elevated (up to about 6") reverse lunges to get more ROM is another great variation.

I used to do tons of single leg glute bridges - love those, mostly for the activation component.


The only reason I mentioned split squats is that I feel like they focus more on my quads. That could be good for jumping because when I load up my knee goes past my toe so I’m loading the quads more than during a barbell squat. I’m not sure which muscle group contributes more to my vertical; I just assume they’re both important.

In 2007 I increased my squat depth and it seems to have magically improved my standing vertical. Suddenly I was able to get pinned in the post, do a quick and somewhat deep squat while bringing the ball to my chin, and explode up, through and above everyone and dunk two handed.

Prior to that particular season of training I’d never been able to do that. I was getting close to 11 foot without any step or approach. Add in some movement like a drop step or approach and I was getting even higher and spending more time in the air. Basketball was glorious for awhile…and then I dislocated my knee.


Ah nice! Makes sense.

For knee past toe, I allowed that to happen with my squatting. My squat technique looked alot like my plant in a double leg jump (from a run up).

For knee past toe unilateral, BSS like you said or forward walking lunges. I just don’t personally like how BSS feels, so I defer to lunge variations. I love forward walking lunges though. Can get a nice knee past toe form while remaining really strong in that position, and you get that “landing” stimulus which you don’t get with most strength exercises. I liked to try and land deeper into the forward lunge, not land high and dip down … so try and land deep with a more minimal dip to hit ROM, or just land and pop right out.

Also 11’ is no joke pure vert! sick! And ya, basketball is sh*t for injuries. I stopped long ago because of injuries in that sport. That was the first sport I was dedicated to.