T Nation

Vertical Jump

What are some good routines for increasing vertical jump? I used to have about 34.5 inch vert but had knee surgery and now it is only 31-32. I have gotten my legs plenty strong (sq. 3X bw) but the vert has still not come back. I know plyos should help, but are there any specific routines somone could suggest?

T-mag has a routine called White Men Can Jump by Ian King. Search the archives.

I would suggest power cleans. Probably the best specific weight exercise for vertical jump. I tore my MCL a couple years ago, and cleans helped bring my vert all the way back.

At this point, you need to focus on speed strength rather than max strength. Your squat is very much high enough for a great vertical jump. You need to integrate some dynamic movements such as jump squats (check out this weeks issue for the article by Chad Waterbury), power cleans and snatches and some one arm dumbell snatches. Push presses are also a great exercise to develop explosive power. Also, you need to do some jumping. I’m not really familiar with plyometrics, but to maintain my vertical jump, I would go out to the basketball court and dunk the basketball for 15-20 minutes a couple times a week. To make it even harder, you could try dunking a medicine ball.

My suggestion would be to start off your quad dominant workout with jump squats (put the bar on your back or hold dumbells) then proceed as normal. For your hip dominant leg day, start of with power cleans or snatches and then proceed as normal. Then go out and jump around on the basketball court. With a vert as good as yours, there is no reason you can't dunk unless you are shorter than 5'6" or have really short arms.

I used to be able to dunk, but not right now.  I have been working on getting my leg strength and size back, neglecting most everything else.   My knee has been through a lot in the past 1.5 years: an acl reconstruction which didn't work so well, then a second surgery, and then a long football season which didn't feel so good.  My right (surgery) leg still is somewhat scrawny compared to the left, but it is starting to look better.   

I’ll definitely incorporate these exercises into my training program this summer.
One question is what is a push press? I didn’t see that term defined in any of the articles.
Thanks alot.

Push press is basically an overhead press that starts with leg drive. You start with the bar racked on the front delts, drop down into a 1/4 squat and then explode the bar up into an overhead lockout. You will be able to use a lot more weight with a push press than you can with a standing military press.

If you can't dunk. I would suggest doing some depth jumps twice a week and also some practice vertical jumps. Email Coach Davies for some suggestions on plyometrics or try to find a good book on plyometrics for some suggestions. I have not spent enough time working on them, because I just like to go out and play some basketball and practice jumping by trying out different dunks.

explosive jump squats! laters pk

I would recommend investing in a weight vest (10-30lbs) and just play basketball with this on. The added weight worked well for me increasing my vertical.

Perhaps the other guys know a bit more about this, particularly where to find it. Entering terms like speed strength…etc. Anyway the basic principle is start heavy and progress to speed or power, specific to what you want to achieve. This theoretically aids motor recruitment. My partner and i did a sprint test supporting this theory. For jumping though - i.e. 85% 1RM on Squat for example(always be careful not to reach fatigue), then speed it up with Smith machine jump squat 45%1RM then progress to vertical jumps. You could probably add power cleans or Medicine ball work but that is the theoretical basics. The execution is up to you, though i would suggest further research.

In Chad Waterbury’s article on jumping box squats, hes says you can do them with a narrow stance. How is this possible?

Agent U - I’m not sure I understand your question. Does it cause pain to use a narrow stance or is it a lack of flexibility that makes it difficult?

Neither. It just seems that the movement is impossible. If you keep your knee bent at no less than a hundred degrees with your feet on the floor straight out in front of you, your feet about 6 inches apart, you simply cannot jump. The reason being is that your center off gravity is too far backwards and you cannot simply push off the ground. You would first need to pull, but in order to do this, someone would have to be standing on your feet. But then you could not jump. It works with the wide stance because you are able to push outward and thus emphasize your hips and glutes. ANd from the article I read when I was trying to figure out what the heck a box squat was, (Tate, Introducing the box squat), he said "Never push downward. Act as if you’re tying to spread the floor apart. " I just don’t see how this can work with a narrow stance.

I agree that Tate’s box squat technique only works for wide stance squats. When you bring your stance in to a narrow position, the quads have to play a greater role and there is no way that your shins can be at the angles that Tate suggests while doing wide stance box squats.

I think that the box is just a reference point in these exercises to break the eccentric-concentric chain and limit the stretch-shortening cycle.

Go ahead and set up the wide stance jumping box squats as Tate suggests, but for the narrow stance box squats, you will have to use a more traditional high bar back squat motion, where your knees must travel forward to allow for the proper center of gravity alignment.