Having a tremendous vertical is essential in the game of basketball. But why is the vertical jump important in basketball, and what are the sheer jump benefits?
You may ask yourself why increasing your vertical in basketball is essential.
There was a study done that answers this question:
Jumping ability is used in many moves in basketball, from rebounding, defending, jump shoot, blocking till interception and offensive game. The vertical jump is the primary and essential skill in the jumping ability of a basketball player.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354907478_Study_Regarding_the_Development_of_Jumping_Ability_in_Basketball_Game
Why Is Vertical Jump Important in Basketball?
Based on this study above, Marcel Pomohaci and Sopa Ioan-Sabin from the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu found that the modern basketball game has become increasingly physical.
Coaches are now focusing on developing athletes who possess a combination of speed, strength, and accuracy.
One of the primary skills that stands out in this context is the vertical jump. It plays a pivotal role in various basketball maneuvers, including:
- Rebounding: Securing the ball after a missed field goal or free throw.
- Defending: Preventing the opponent from scoring.
- Jump Shooting: Taking a shot while jumping, typically near the basket.
- Blocking: Preventing the ball from going into the post or redirecting it.
- Interception: Capturing the ball during a pass.
- Offensive Gameplay: Various tactics are employed to score points.
The research was based on a questionnaire involving 20 basketball coaches from different levels. The findings emphasized the significance of the vertical jump for all players, irrespective of their position or height.
For instance, shorter players, such as point guards and shooting guards, need to compensate for their lack of height with a robust vertical jump.
The study also highlighted the role of coordination, endurance, nutrition, and appropriate rest periods in enhancing a player’s jumping ability.
Furthermore, the research underscored the effectiveness of plyometric and circuit training as methods to develop and enhance vertical jump capabilities in basketball players.
These three players are known for being high flyers and playing above the rim.
What Are the Benefits of Increasing Your Vertical in Basketball?
There are many benefits to improving your vertical jump for the basketball game other than jumping higher….
Let’s dive deep into why you need to increase your vertical if you play basketball.
1. Increase Speed
When you train your verticals correctly, you train your fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Training these muscle fibers and the muscle groups involved in jumping will have the side effect of increased speed.
As a basketball player, increased speed is a necessary trait to have…
For example, you will have a quicker first step when attacking the basket, you will have more steals, and you can move up and down the court faster than your opponent.
Your offense and defense will improve…
Does increasing your vertical starting to sound like a good idea?
2. Increase Strength
Overall, your strength will increase when you train your vertical…
Core strength and leg strength will be significantly impacted positively.
Playing defense will become easier because you can hold a defensive stance easier out on the perimeter…
While in the post, the defender will have difficulty backing you down because you will have a strong foundation in your core and legs; therefore, you can stand your ground.
3. Injury Prevention
One of the most significant benefits of training for your vertical leap is injury prevention, as long as you do not over-train….
One of the main injury-prevention benefits you get is ACL injury prevention; an ACL is one of the worst injuries you can have in basketball.
You need to do everything you can to prevent an ACL injury.
Stretching and training your muscles that increase your vertical will help prevent injuries.
4. Improve Jump Height
One of the main benefits of improving your vertical jump is increasing your jump height….
When this happens, you can play above the rim…
Playing at this level creates a few vertical jump benefits, like increasing blocks and making it harder for defenders to block you.
These benefits alone should inspire you to increase your vertical…
You will be a more improved offensive and defensive player that any player will fear.
5. Improved Coordination
A significant side effect of training your vertical is that you will gain improved coordination….
This comes from the plyometrics that you should be doing…
Technique plays a role in coordination because if you practice and have the correct jumping form, you will have a fluid jump where all your muscles should be in synergy.
Training your core will help with your coordination, too.
6. Mental Toughness
This is something that you will gain during the process of training your vertical…
Because it will not be easy, especially on the days that you are sore…
Mental toughness is a requirement in the game of basketball to become better than your opponent.
You must have a Basketball Mentality to continue training when you don’t want to.
Once you achieve this mental toughness, it will benefit other aspects of your game…
What Muscles Need to Be Trained to Increase Your Vertical
1. Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers
You should train your fast-twitch muscle fibers to increase your vertical jump. These muscle fibers are responsible for quickness and explosiveness. A mistake players make when training is focusing on training slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are responsible for power.
There are special exercises to train fast-twitch muscle fibers, and if you train correctly, you can even train your slow-twitch fibers to act as fast-twitch fibers.
2. Gluteus Maximus
Believe it or not, this is the primary muscle for jumping. Coaches and scouts look for players with bigger butts because it can indicate a higher vertical. You better start doing your squats!
This muscle is responsible for extending the hip and flexing the knee, two critical factors in making the body jump. Ensuring your hamstrings synergize with your other muscle groups to increase your vertical is vital for optimal results. For this reason, we do not recommend you do isolation exercises like hamstring curls. Instead, do exercises such as body squats and lunges; you can add weights to these exercises if desired.
It consists of 4 muscle groups: the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, and vastus intermedius. These muscles are essential for stability, so the quadriceps must work perfectly with the glutes and hamstring. When this synergy happens, you will have a smooth, powerful takeoff.
This muscle is crucial for jumping, but the calves are only 20% of your overall jumping power. The calves are not the most important but should not be neglected. The calves play a vital role in stabilizing the lower limbs, allowing optimal energy transfer for maximum take-off.
Your abdominal muscle plays a vital role in balance. Your core links your upper body and lower body during your jump. Without a strong core, your vertical jump will suffer, and you will become off balance. Jump Manual, created by Jacob Hiller, shows why your core is so vital when training your vertical leap.
How to Train Your Vertical
There are many ways to train your vertical jump, but many focus on the wrong aspects…
I am here to filter everything out for you because I have been in the game for a while and have done my research.
You can train your vertical by focusing on three training aspects…
Plyometrics training, weight training, and focusing on your technique.
I will go through these and show you what you can do to achieve that vertical you always dreamed of…
No matter if it is a 28” vertical or a 40” inch vertical.
The best way to train your vertical is by performing plyometrics exercises.
Plyometrics is doing exercises that exert maximum force in short intervals to increase speed and strength.
This is the concept that the #1 vertical training program Vert Shock is based on.
Plyometrics can be done without weights, meaning these exercises can be done at home or anywhere you are comfortable working out.
I can give you some of the best plyometrics exercises to increase your vertical today.
1. Jumping rope
This is a great exercise because you can get a lot of repetition. Jumping rope will increase your endurance and train the correct muscles to increase your vertical jump.
I recommend doing 100 reps x 3 sets and increasing when you feel ready while adding variable exercises like jumping with one leg.
Check out the video below for a beginner jump rope workout…
2. Squat Jumps
A great exercise to get your body used to the jumping and landing motion. You want to concentrate on the explosion and jump as high as possible when squatting.
To do this, you want to set your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor, and jump straight into the air.
I recommend doing 15 reps x 3 sets during this exercise in your workout routine.
My favorite exercise when It comes to plyometrics. This exercise hits every critical muscle for increasing your vertical jump. Also, burpees will work out your upper body and increase your endurance.
To perform this exercise, you want to squat to the point that your calves and hamstrings touch. Then, put your hands on the floor and kick your legs backward to a pushup position.
Do a pushup and return to a squatting position, then jump into the air with your hands above your hand. For best results, perform as quickly as you can.
I recommend doing 15 reps x 3 sets during this exercise in your workout routine.
Look at the video below to ensure you do burpees properly to avoid injuries…
Weight training can be a great way to increase your vertical, but you have to do it the right way…
If you are not careful, weight training can lead to injury…
That is why I recommend having a trainer if you do not have experience with weight lifting.
When done right, weight training can have benefits beyond increasing your vertical jumps, like improved posture, joint stability, and coordination.
Three weight-focused exercises are the best when trying to increase your vertical…
The squat involves all the major muscles involved in jumping: the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
When doing these, you want to ensure perfect form to get the most out of every set and prevent injury.
By doing squats, you will improve power to your lower body and, as a benefit, increase your vertical leap.
For a detailed look at performing a perfect squat, see the video below…
Deadlifts are known to help improve your lower back, but it also help strengthen your legs….
When doing a variation such as a sumo deadlift, there is a greater emphasis on the legs than the lower back.
You want to start with a lower weight to make sure you have the correct form since there is a higher risk of a lower back injury with this exercise.
Check out the video below to ensure you are doing sumo deadlifts correctly.
3. Weighted lunges
This is my favorite weighted exercise for increasing vertical jumps.
Lunges focus on your glutes and core, essential in developing an amazing vertical jump.
Lunges are considered just as crucial as squats when it comes to strength-building and vertical jump training.
Without a strong core, your vertical will be punished.
These can be done with dumbbells or a squat bar. I prefer dumbbells, but it’s a personal preference.
Watch the video below to learn how to perform weighted lunges.
This is something that many players overlook, mainly because no one thinks about it.
How you jump can have a massive impact on your vertical jump.
Having the correct technique can add 2-6 inches to your vertical.
The proper technique makes your body have a fluid motion, allowing all your muscles to work in complete synergy for maximum explosiveness.
Whether a two-footed or a one-footed jumper, you need the correct jumping form to take your vertical to the next level.
If you are a two-footed jumper or want to learn how to jump off two feet, check out an article I wrote here.
Tips And Tricks To Vertical Jumping
The above methods are the main ways to increase your vertical dramatically…
But there are tips and tricks that you can do to take your vertical jump to the next level and add a few more inches.
All professional players and high flyers follow these three tips and tricks to add those few extra needed inches to their vertical…
Let’s take a look at what these are…
Learn How To Land
Landing plays a vital role in jumping…
Knowing how to land can help you prevent injury like any ligament tears and help prevent wear and tear.
If you don’t think this is important, think about it…
The majority of jumping injuries occur while landing.
You must land in a way where you can absorb the force of the jump.
This is where the saying “land soft” comes from.
Landing perfectly can be challenging for a lot of people.
I recommend watching the video below to understand better what you need to do when landing.
An overlooked factor in vertical training…
Stretching can help with flexibility and recovery.
An added benefit of being more flexible and having a greater range of motion, in a sport such as basketball and a football it allows your joints to bend more than the average person, which provides for increased injury prevention.
Other great befits of stretching include
- Less pain and stiffness
- Decreased stress
- Improved performance
- Increased blood flow
Stretching before and after a workout or training session is best.
Two types of stretching need to be done…
1. Dynamic stretching
This type of stretching uses movement and momentum to stretch the muscle.
By doing dynamic stretching, you are preparing your body to move.
Examples of this stretch are trunk twists and leg swings against a wall.
2. Static stretching
This type of stretching allows your body to stay in one position to stretch the muscle.
Static stretching is excellent after a workout or on off days.
Examples of this type of stretching are bending over and touching your toes and holding that position without moving.
One of the most overlooked parts when it comes to training, especially when it comes to training for a better vertical…
With the correct diet, an athlete can recover better to prepare for the next workout…
Also, athletes with a proper diet show increased energy during and after workouts.
Food is fuel to the body; you want to give the right fuel, not the wrong fuel; therefore, stay away from fast food.
Instead, it would be best to eat a diet of high protein and reduced carbohydrates…
Studies have shown that athletes who follow this diet significantly increase vertical performance.
Some of the best-rated vertical training programs like the Jump Manual and Vert Shock…
Do a great job guiding you to the right nutrition for recovery and maximum gains in your vertical.
Best Vertical Training Programs
Two vertical training programs stand out above the rest…
These two have different approaches to how they will increase your vertical…
But they both are proven to work.
These two programs are Vert Shock and Jump Manual.
To see which might be best for you, check out this article, comparing the two.
1. Vert Shock
Vert Shock is a jump program focusing on plyometrics, meaning you can do this jump training program anywhere.
Vert Shock has a low risk for injury because you do not need any weights, but it still guarantees a 9-15 inch gain in your vertical…
Personally, it let me add an extra 11 inches to my vertical…
You can check out my personal experience if you would like.
Vert Shock includes tons of bonus material, so you get more than your money’s worth…
It is one of the most valued pack jump training in the game.
For a limited time, the creator, Adam Folker, is giving away his partner jump program, the “Jump Like Justin System,” for free; this program is usually a $97 value.
You can now get Vert Shock and the Jump Like Justin System for $67.
2. Jump Manual
Jump Manual is different with a different concept…
Regarding this vertical training program and vertical jump book, you will need access to a weight room.
You can do these exercises without weights but there is no point because you will not get the best results.
Since weights are involved, there is an increased risk for injury, so before diving into this jump program, ensure you have experience or plan to use a trainer.
Just like Vert Shock, this program offers bonuses nowhere near as many.
The program promises to increase your vertical by at least 10 inches…
If you work, you will make the 10-inch improvement mark.
If you want to lift weights, this could be the program for you.
Make one of these programs a part of your routine…
Like Paulo Coelho said “by changing the way you do routine things, you allow a new person to grow inside you”
This new person will reap the benefits of vertical jump training and become a better basketball player with an improved vertical.