How to Jump Higher in Basketball

Basketball player

Basketball is a sport that requires you to shoot with accuracy, run like the wind, outmanoeuvre other players on the court, and jump, whether you want to dunk or you want to shut down another player who’s trying to get past the defense to make a layup. But being a good player on the court takes skill and plenty of practice. But with consistent training and dedication, you can learn how to jump higher in basketball and become a better defensive player, dunker, and have more control over your body mechanics.

The Vertical Jump

Learning how to jump higher may sound simple, but it actually involves extensive training. If you have a good vertical jump, you’ll find that it’s going to totally change how you play the game and make you a better, well-rounded player. A higher vertical jump can help your team to get more steals, blocks, and rebounds. It can also allow you to dunk, which not only will boost your confidence as a player, but it will also definitely get your team pumped to go in and crush the opposition.

Before you begin trying to increase your vertical jump, you’ll first need a baseline to go from. Having your jump measured before you begin training will show you how much progress you make over the next few weeks and can help to keep you motivated and determined to work even harder.

To measure your vertical jump, you’ll need to have one person around to help, a piece of chalk or a marker, and a ladder. Next, you’ll find a pole or wall that’s tall enough that you won’t be able to touch the top when you jump.

Stand next to the wall or pole, extending your arms above your head. This is called your standing reach. Your friend can mark your standing reach at this point. From a standing start, you’ll jump as high as you can and try to touch a spot of the pole or wall. Your friend can then climb the ladder to mark where you touched. The distance between your jumping reach and your standing reach should be measured. This is your starting point for your current vertical jump.

Jump Training

man working out

A jump training program often consists of two to three phases that are three to four weeks in length each. This is because as you work through the program, your muscles will become accustomed to the workout’s intensity. Because of this, you need to keep increasing the workout length and intensity in order to continue to challenge your body and increase your vertical jump.

Your jump training workout should be performed every second day, to allow your body to get some rest between each workout, this means that one week you’ll train for three days, while the next week you’ll train for four. Basically, you can expect eleven workouts for each phase, adding up to thirty-three workouts in total. During your training, you’ll also need to take a week off between each of the phases to allow your body to recover fully and your muscles to repair themselves so that they can grow more explosive and stronger.

Resting Between Intervals

You should have a one minute recovery time between each set. Keep a stopwatch handy when you’re training so you can time your recovery period and get right back at it, immediately, once that minute is up.

Track Your Progress

Keeping track of your progress is essential since it can keep you motivated or even help you to determine what you need to change about your training if you’re not seeing as much progress as you expected.

Exercises

Below, you’ll find the exercises to use to increase your vertical jump and have you dunking in a month. Aside from a jump rope, you don’t need to use any type of equipment for jump training.

Most people are familiar with jumping rope and it involves holding a rope with both hands and swinging it constantly. It’s a great way to get the blood flowing, the heart rate up, and strengthen the muscles in your legs.

Four corners is a common basketball training exercise and one that can be very challenging if you’re not currently in shape. This exercise involves visualizing four dots in a square, each of which should be about fifteen inches apart. In order to complete the square, you’ll need to hop from dot to dot, clockwise, for several reps. Every four hops counts as one rep. You can try this exercise using both legs during the first week, then progress to using one leg only.

Squats

How To Make a Squat

There are several different types of squats to choose from, and most types will do wonders for leg strength. Slow-motion squats are a good choice for jump training. Begin by standing with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Next, you’ll slowly lower yourself until you’re in a deep squat. During this time, ensure that your heels are resting flat on the ground and hold this position for two seconds. Rise up slowly to the starting position. The rise and descent should each take four seconds. Make sure you keep your back straight and your head up for each rep.

Tuck Jumps

This move involves descending into a deep squat, then jumping as high as you can, bringing your knees up to your chest.

High-Reach

This move is very similar to the tuck jumps, however, you’ll be reaching as high as you can with this move, instead of bringing your knees up to your chest.

Lateral

This type of jumping exercise involves standing parallel to a line on one side of you, then jumping back and forth sideways over the line. Once you start making some progress, you can try this move using one leg only.

Lunge Jumps

Begin with a normal standing position and take a step forward using your left foot, and a step backward using your right foot. This is the starting position. Next, you’ll jump as high as possible and switch your leg positions.

Calf Jumps

Jump up and down without bending your knees, landing in the same spot. You probably won’t get very high off the ground, but you’ll get an intense calf workout.

Toe raise

Begin in a standing position and raise up onto your tiptoes, slowly lowering yourself back down. Avoiding rocking up and down and do it slowly instead. If you have trouble performing this move on a flat surface try doing it on a stair.

Practice on Your Home Court

If you have a portable basketball hoop, you can practice your jumps on the court, where you’re sure to notice a significant difference in how you move and how high you jump. This will also allow your sore muscles to become accustomed to certain moves on the court and can help to improve your vertical jump further. If you don’t currently have a way to practice at home and you have the space, then I recommend the Spalding NBA Portable Basketball System.

Measure Your Progress

If you’re familiar with basketball shooting fundamentals and training, then you already know a strict workout regimen can have a big impact on how you play and move on the court. At the end of the first month or phase, have your friend measure both your standing and jumping height again to note any progress you’ve made. Try not to be too disappointed if you haven’t made much of an improvement in the first month. You’re more likely to see a bigger difference during the second and third phase of the training program. If you’re really determined to see more progress by the end of the second phase, then I recommend increasing the number of sets and reps for each exercise.

If you’re not seeing any results by the end of the second phase, then you may need a more focused, controlled training program. I recommend Vert Shock, which is a popular vertical jump training program that’s gotten some great reviews from players of all skill levels. This program can provide you with the type of structure you need to stay on task and see major results.

Final Thoughts

Jump training can be time-consuming, brutal, painful, and very challenging, even for the best players. But in the end, the results are totally worth it. Jumping higher will make you a more versatile player and a valuable asset to your team.

But learning how to jump higher won’t happen overnight. It will take two to three months to accomplish. You may notice some slight improvement at the end of the first phase, but it’s the second and third month of training, when you significantly increase the length and intensity of your workouts, that you’ll see the types of results you’re looking for. Over the coming weeks, make sure you push yourself with each and every workout, otherwise, you won’t see much in terms of results or added inches to your jumping height.