One of the most common questions young basketball players want to know is what is the best vertical jump workout program around that will help me increase my leaping ability. Thanks to the worldwide coverage of the NBA, YouTube and also dunk contents we are now seeing so many exceptional leapers that make spectacular dunks.
In this article we will delve into some of the most effective jump training programs around and which one I like the best.
At this point it is important to point out that there isn’t only one system that works. It is like lifting weights, there are so many effective workout programs that will let you get a muscular physique. The same goes for jump training. However, there are also a lot of junk programs floating around as well as bad advice that don’t really work.
What you want to look for is something that works well and fits what you can do. Let me explain, if you are a youngster who’s still growing you may not want to lift heavy weights so look for a program that doesn’t use weights. If you know you have difficult with long programs then look for one that doesn’t take 3 to 6 months, since you probably won’t complete it.
Top Vertical Jump Programs Available
The Jump Manual
This is my top pick. I’ve tried a lot of programs over the years and this was the first one that gave me solid results. Before trying this out I used a lot of different programs that did not really amount to much. Most of them centered around volume jumping where you did a ton of jumping to try to get the results. I can tell you this works for some people but for others not as much.
The Jump Manual introduced me to the term work smarter, not harder. Not that you don’t need to work hard, because you do. And you have to dedicate yourself to the program to get the best results. But there is more to getting results than using a brute force method.
With this program I was able to up my vertical by 9 inches in 3 months. This was great for me because it allowed me to at least match up with other guys. I barely got off the ground before getting these results.
Here, the 3 months (12 weeks) are divided into 2 week programming cycles, where you do exercises based on a set schedule. The routine is straightforward but you need to be religious in following the routine, from the pre-workout tasks to the post workout section. See our review here.
Vert Shock Jump Training System
The other advantage of the Vert Shock system is it is also shorter than the others. In total you’ll spend 8 weeks doing the program. And before midway through the 8 weeks you’ll already be seeing very nice gains in your vertical leap.
One more thing I like about Vert Shock is it shows you how each of the exercises are done in detail. The videos makes it easy to follow the training and exercises so you don’t end up doing it wrong.
This system was developed by a former NCAA Division I player and used by one of the best dunkers in the world. View our review here.
Vertical Jump Bible
My last pick is the Vertical Jump Bible. This jump training program offers a mix of strength training workouts with plyometrics. It also explains the science of the jump so you know why some guys are explosive off the ground and others aren’t.
It also explains the differences between one legged jumpers and those you take off using both legs. Everyone falls under one or the other category where you jump higher using one leg or both. Knowing the mechanics of this and what technique and exercises to train for helps you optimize your vertical leaping abilities.
I put this behind the two above because there’s more work into learning this system. There’s a lot of reading involved which you do first and more workouts to do. The result is though you also build a stronger body not just increasing your vertical. Check out our review here.
What Should You Expect from Jump Workouts
The results of the training programs above will depend on a few things.
- How high do you currently jump now – the higher you jump the bigger the chance you’ve used up most of your body’s and muscle’s maximum potential. This is not to say you won’t get improvements. For example someone who already jumps 40 inches may get another 2 or 3 inches. But someone who currently jumps 22 inches can gain as much as 8 to 15 inches. There is diminishing rate of return because the human body has its limits.
- Your maximum potential depends on genetics – some people have more fast twitch than slow twitch muscle fibers in their composition. This makes them more explosive and can jump higher in terms of potential. The same way goes for those with long Achilles tendons. These blessed individuals naturally jump smoother and higher than those with shorter Achilles tendons. These you CANNOT CHANGE. You are born with them. But what you can do is train your body, lower your body fat and build the correct muscles and improve technique. Doing this will result in big gains in leaping ability.
- Getting proper training – this is the reason I chose the top 3 vertical jump training programs above. They teach you the proper way to get results. They are all different so you can go through them after one works to add to what you’ve gained. But importantly you don’t spend time experimenting since the systems that work are already put in front of you.
- Dedication and Diligence – this one is all up to you. How much do you want it? Do you kind of want it or do you really want it bad? If you do, you’ll need to complete the programs and do the exercises as prescribed. Don’t change it and try to be better than the experts. Also watch what you eat. The programs have guides on nutrition so make sure you do those too not just the exercises.
Things to Remember When Doing Any Jump Training Program
- Don’t add more reps. Don’t follow those old school thinking of doing hundreds and thousands of jumps. There are better more efficient ways of increasing your vertical. Follow the program as planned because every exercise, including the spacing of the days to workout and days not to workout serve a purpose.
- Make sure you get proper rest. Don’t overtrain by going on and on and skipping the rest days. This only hampers your development. Also don’t spend late nights partying, get your sleep. That’s when your muscles recover and your jump improves. It’s not in the training or workouts where the muscles make improvements, it’s in the recovery when you’re resting.
- Don’t do this program when the season is ongoing. There’s a reason NBA players train with specialists during the off season and not during the season. Doing so will burn you out and overwork your muscles. If they don’t get enough rest, they don’t get stronger, they just get more tired.