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33 Surefire Ways To Increase Your Vertical Jump

By Alex On November 17, 2010 Under How To Increase Vertical, How To Run Faster

I just finished watching that movie with Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman, “Couples Retreat”.

It was pretty good — one of the characters reminded me of those people who always talk about what they want without ever taking it seriously or working at it — those kinds of people can be hard on people like us, who work harder than anyone.

But we don’t need to talk about that right now.

What we should be talking about is the vertical jump and dunking.

Now jumping high and dunking will always be that elusive unicorn we’re constantly trying to bag because:

* People like it

* Girls like it

* It looks cool

* It feels cool

* It’s the qualification EVERY coach and scout looks for…they want to know you pass the “athletic test”. And if you’re skying in the air, you pass.

If you’re not, then…it’s probably time to do something about it.

And if that’s still not enough, how ’bout the 2 million+ people who search for information on dunking EVERY MONTH? Yeah..

So with all that mind, I just put together this list for you called, “33 Surefire Ways To Jump Higher”.

It’s not every single trick in the world for jumping higher, just 33 of the best ones. Enjoy.

33 Surefire Ways To Increase Your Vertical Jump

1. Stop focusing on the strength of your thighs and start worrying about your glutes.

2. Add bulgarian split-squats to your workout regimen.

3. Change up the rep scheme of your current workouts. If you’ve been going heavy and low reps for a while, switch it up and go lighter for more reps. Vice-versa too.

4. Add ONE lower body workout to your current schedule for the next 3 weeks (on top of what you’ve been doing), then on the 4th week, drop ALL lower body workouts, let your body fully recover and re-test your VJ.

5. Add low-level depth and drop jumps to your workouts if you’ve never done them before. Do them for sets of 3-6 at the beginning when you’re at your freshest.

6. Add higher-level depth and drop jumps to your workouts if you have some experience with shock training. Be sure to take a couple weeks off from them to allow supercompensation to take place before re-testing your vertical jump.

7. Use PAP (post-activation potentiation) before testing out your vertical jump.

8. Use contrast training inside of your workouts to recruit even more HTMU’s (high-threshold motor units).

9. Take a couple minutes each morning and night to relax, close your eyes and visualize yourself jumping higher than you ever have (dunking too, if you want).

10. Find a magic genie. Ask him for hops.

11. Cut dairy from your diet. This isn’t necessarily based on science, but I’ve just noticed that when athletes cut dairy, a lot of systemic things get better, including athletic performance.

12. Make sure you’re firing up your CNS in your warm-ups. Use basic quickness exercises like Pogo Jumps and Wideouts for this.

13. Do barbell hip thrusts like Bret Contreras teaches.

14. Get a barbell. Put 70-75% of your squat max on it. Do a speed-set of squats for 3 reps at four separate times a day. Do this 4-5x a week. Each week add some weight. See what happens.

15. Plan LONG-TERM. Make sure your training is periodized and makes sense. I like the “Accumulation/Intensification/Explosiveness” model, which I’ve made a couple videos about in the past here on this blog.

16. Stiffen up your plantar flexors. Do 1- and 2-legged pogo jumps for a set of high-quality reps whenever you feel like it (don’t be completely cold when you do this though). Throw them in throughout the day for a few weeks. Enjoy the difference.

17. Get stronger at chin-ups. Martin Rooney was the first person I ever heard talk about this, but he noticed a trend that athletes who could do more chin-ups could jump higher, because their proficiency at chin-ups meant better Relative Body Strength.

Getting stronger at chin-ups won’t directly make you jump higher, but indirectly, it might.

18. Try supplementing with L-Tyrosine or Caffeine before going to the gym. I’ve found both can really fire my ass up and make me more explosive for a 3-4 hours after taking either.

19. Lose weight. No one fat and shorter than 6-5 is dunking anywhere.

20. Jump. Jumping is a skill like anything else and and like all skills, you gotta practice it to get better at it.

21. Try a good jumping program. I would’ve recommended my own Flying In Four, but it’s no longer publicly available (I’ll explain why some other time). I like these three:

The Jump Manual

Vert Freak 2.0

Vertical Jump Bible

22. Try Paused Jump Squats. Do them for 4 sets of 5 reps (to do them, put a barbell on your back with 30% of your bodyweight on the bar (so if you weigh 200 lbs., you’d have the barbell weigh 60 lbs.), squat down into a half-squat, pause for 3 seconds to let most of the SSC (stretch-shortening cycle) dissipate and then explode up in the air as high as you can).

Land, re-gather yourself and squat back down for another rep to continue.

23. Take a break. A lot of athletes have been doing way too much work and never lot their bodies or minds recover. A good 7-10 days off could be exactly what the Alex ordered.

24. Understand this cycle:

Beliefs –> Potential –> Actions –> Results.

If you BELIVE you can jump higher, you’ve now given yourself the POTENTIAL to JUMP higher.

If you don’t believe you can jump higher or dunk, you DO NOT have the potential to do so and therefore, will not.

Remember this: If you don’t see it in your mind first, it won’t happen.

25. Get a great training mentor. Find someone local around you that you trust. Or apply for Diamond Athletic Coaching with me. If you’re a serious athlete, I’d love to have you.

26. Use bands in your training to take advantage of the “accommodating resistance technique”, like with the Squat Flex.

27. Stop all long-distance and slow cardio work, except for walking. Walking is actually AWESOME and I recommend it to everyone. Outside, on a treadmill, flat, on an incline — doesn’t matter. Just walk all the time.

28. Go absolutely bat-shit crazy for 5-10 seconds before testing out your vertical jump. Blast your most motivating song (mine right now is Wiz Khalifa -Black and Yellow), scream, run around, amp yourself up…get that giant rush.

Then relax for another 10-20 seconds, re-gain your composure and go jump. Higher.

29. Meditate for 60 seconds. Focus on your breath. See yourself jumping higher. Do this 5 times a day. This will also straighten your teeth and give you the eyes of George Clooney. Maybe.

30. Use isometrics in your training. Even better, use them as the very first exercise to create that potentiation effect for the next couple exercises.

31. Stretch the hell out of your hip flexors. Even better again, superset hip flexor stretches with glute activation drills, like the standing glute exercise we show you in The Truth About Quickness 2.0 and the glute bridge.

32. Tie your shoes tighter. It’ll give you a more secure, stable base from which you can get more power from.

33. Do 12 bands on the Squat Flex.

Although if you do get 12 bands on the Squat Flex you won’t just be jumping higher, you’ll be dunking. Seriously. How is that even possible? Check it out:

It’s called the “Squat Flex Dunking Guarantee” and it actually, in all seriousness, says if you get to 12 bands, you’re GUARANTEED to be dunking. It’s. That. Simple.

And it must be working ’cause its caused a friggin’ HYSTERIA in my inbox, Facebook and Twitter account the last few days. Not to sound over the top, but people seem to be actually going nuts over this thing..

Some people love it. Some people hate it. And everyone gets emotional about it.

I for one recommend people try it out for themselves — where else can you find a guarantee that says

Our “Dunking-Machine” Will Make You Dunk Or All Your Money Back.

Totally shameless. Entirely irresistible. But it’s the truth. See for yourself:



The Squat Flex

It’s on sale too right now for almost 200 HUNDRED BUCKS OFF (summer shopping, anyone?)…I’m not sure when that’s gonna end though. I’d get over there now if you’re interested.

I gotta get going though — you ROCK. Peace.

Your Coach in Speed and Quickness (and occasionally vertical jump),


2 comments - add yours

November 19, 2010

awesome alex

Great tips! I really think dropping the dairy is an interesting tip and definitely agree that the barbell hip thrusts that Bret Contreras talks a lot about is a key component!