Learn How to Jump Higher & Add Inches to Your Vertical Jump

Learn how to jump higher and how to increase your vertical jump up to 12 inches with this simple, FREE basketball training program you can do in your own backyard.

how to jump higher

Who knows, with a lot of hard work, some good basketball jump training drills, and a nice growth spurt, you might even be able to dunk one day!

You know, it's funny. When basketball was invented it was intended to be played on the ground below the basket. But, throughout its history, as players have become taller and more athletic, lots of exciting action takes place well above the rim!

Let's be honest right up front

Not everyone can be a great leaper.

We're all built a little differently. Some players have the musculature, athleticism, and physical build which allow them to fly gracefully through the air...

While others jump like they have anchors tied to their feet!


Here's the good news

It is possible to learn how to increase your vertical jump no matter your starting point.

There are all kinds of jumping programs and equipment that promise great vertical leaping improvement and do indeed provide great results.

But I'm going to share with you some vertical jump drills you can do with little equipment. 

We used this program with our college athletes as part of their summer basketball conditioning program. 

The program consists of 4 basic vertical jump exercises:

Not everyone will see an increase of 12 inches, but even if you only improve your average vertical jump by a couple of inches, you've already made yourself a better player. You've given yourself a chance to out jump your opponent to pull down more rebounds and score more points.

I challenge you to give this program a try for 12 weeks and see what happens.

You'll not only improve your leaping ability, but you'll become stronger, more explosive in your jumping, and your heart will get a lot stronger due to the cardiovascular nature of some of the activities.

I'll start with a description of each of the exercises and then give you a 12-week workout chart.

So, come on. Let's learn how to jump higher!

How to Jump Higher
Vertical jump exercises

How to Jump Higher
Rope Jumping

vertical jump exercises

Jumping rope is one of the best conditioning exercises around.

It's great for stamina, footwork, coordination, and strengthening your legs.

Not only will it help you improve your jumping height, but it will help you get up and down the floor a lot easier.

The program starts with 100 repetitions, so you need to be able to jump 100 times without stopping before you can really begin.

Here are some quick jump rope tips for best results:

It's best to jump on a soft surface like an exercise mat, carpet, or other flooring that has some give in it. Jumping on a hard surface like your driveway for extended periods of time can definitely make your legs sore.

Wear tennis shoes with a nice wide base. You risk turning your ankle if you jump in flip-flops or shoes with a high base.

Make sure the jump rope is the right length. You should be able to step on the middle of the rope while holding each end and the handles should come up just under your armpits. If it's too long, you can shorten the rope by tying knots in it, moving the handles down, or wrapping the ends around your hands. If it's too short, get a new one. It's really frustrating and uncomfortable using a rope that isn't long enough.

Relax when you jump and look straight ahead. If you feel yourself getting all tensed up, make a conscious effort to relax.

Jump off of the balls of your feet. This is the only part of your foot that should hit the ground. Don't let your heels touch.

Keep your feet close together.

Use your wrists when turning the rope and keep your hands close to your hips. If you use a lot of extra action with your arms, they'll get tired a lot faster.

How to Jump Higher
Bench Blasts

This exercise is great for developing the explosive power you need to get up in the air quickly.

The only equipment needed is a strong bench, chair, aerobic step, plyometric box, or even a bottom row bleacher. Anything that's high enough to allow a 90° bend at the knee, is stable, and will support your body weight will work.

Start with one foot on the bench and one on the floor, facing the bench.

Push upwards with the foot on the bench, as strong as you can. While you're in the air, change your feet using a scissors-type movement so you land with the opposite foot on the bench ready to perform another bench blast.

Make sure you push upward with the foot on the bench, not the one on the floor.

This exercise will probably feel awkward at first, so give it a few practice tries before you get started.

How to Jump Higher


The squat is just about the best lower body strength exercise you can do.

It really helps strengthen the quadriceps muscles in your thighs as well as your hips. After several weeks, you'll definitely start to see some definition in your thighs from this exercise alone.

The only equipment you need for this is a book or board that's about 2 inches thick and wide enough to stand on with both feet.

To start, place the heels of your feet on the book with your feet 8-12 inches apart and your hands on your hips.

Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then raise yourself up again slowly. Keep your head up and back as straight as possible throughout the exercise. To help do this, pick a point on the wall just above eye level and look at it while you're doing your squats.

Don't go any lower than parallel to avoid hurting your knees.

How to Jump Higher
Calf Raises

This is an excellent exercise for developing your calf muscles, those muscles on the back of your lower legs, which help you jump quickly when you don't have time to squat for a full-blown leap.

The only equipment you need is the same book or board you used for the squats and a sturdy chair or wall to lean against.

calf raises

To start, place the balls of your feet on the edge of the board with your feet a few inches apart. Place your hands on the back of the chair and use it only to help keep your balance. Pick one foot up and hold it in the air while you exercise the other one. Then, switch legs and repeat.

Lower your heel as far as possible or all the way to the floor, whichever comes first. Then rise all the way up on your toes. A full set is considered complete after you have exercised both legs the required number of repetitions.

How to Jump Higher
Chart your progress

So, now that you know how to do the exercises, here's what the vertical jump program looks like.

This Progression Chart has been designed to help you reach your maximum basketball jumping height. It's meant to be a guide that you can use every day (or at least 3 times a week) as part of your basketball training.

For some of you, the workouts may be fairly easy. For some, the workouts will be more difficult. The first couple weeks have been designed to gradually break you into the routine and limit muscle soreness.

After the first two weeks, if the workouts seem easy, increase the number of repetitions you perform for each exercise to suit you. If the workouts are too hard, cut back. You don't want to overdo it, but you don't want to waste your time by not pushing yourself either.

At the end of 12 weeks if you want to progress even further, either increase the number of sets, the number of repetitions in each set, or all of the above.

How to Jump Higher
Progression Chart

Click here for a printable chart to track your vertical jump workouts.


Test your vertical jump before beginning the program and then track your improvement  each week.

There are several vertical jump measurement tools on the market but, for the cheap and easy method, just use a pencil. Make 3 jumps against a wall or post and mark as high up as you can jump.

Then with a yardstick or tape measure, see how high off the ground you reached. Chart your maximum height.

I challenge you to give this basketball jump training a try. I guarantee that learning how to jump higher will definitely improve your game!

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