Whether it is to finish a jump stop in the paint, to elevate over your opponent for a pull-up jumper, or to battle in the trenches to grab a rebound, having the proper vertical jump technique is essential to developing you’re two-footed vertical and is a crucial step in improving your performance on the basketball court.
Basketball players should take special note of how athletes in other sports such as volleyball execute the two-footed jump. Watching how these athletes elevate over the net to spike a ball is a great example of the fundamentals needed to improve your vertical in hoops and is a great way to add a tally to your stat sheet.
Although the two-footed jump is an essential tool in your basketball arsenal, many athletes struggle to find the proper technique to maximize their vertical jump. Luckily there are five easy steps that you can break down in order to have a perfect form for dunking.
Step 1: The Approach
Jumping mechanics is essential to have a great vertical leap, the approach to your two-footed jump is all about the speed you generate as you reach the explosion stage. Speed creates momentum and momentum produces air, it’s that simple. As you approach the jump you should not be solely focused on generating speed, however, as you should also be focusing on maintaining maximum control of your body.
I cannot count how many times I have overrun my jump because I generated too much speed on the approach. This led me to be off-balance as I elevated, which greatly reduced the height of my vertical jump.
Step 2: The Final Two Steps
As you generate speed, you also want to ensure that your last two steps before elevation are also your best steps. These steps will put you in the optimal position to use the full strength of your lower body to elevate.
To utilize the last two steps to their fullest be sure that as you approach the jump, your legs are loose and slightly bent. The last step should also be your largest, as you are essentially looking to control your body and stabilize yourself in the sweet spot on the floor. This stabilization will put you in the optimal position to attack the rim or the in-flight basketball.
It is also important that as you approach the explosion zone you have lowered your center of gravity by lowering your hips. This will allow you to maintain balance and will keep your jump from losing momentum, which causes your jump to extend outwards instead of upwards.
Step 3: Generating Arm Momentum
Using a two-armed swing achieves two major goals; 1) it creates further momentum as you approach your explosion zone and 2) it provides further stability as it lowers your center of gravity.
Oftentimes athletes will be so focused on the jump itself that they forget to generate the two-arm swing. Do not cheat yourself, this is an essential part of the elevation process and can add inches to your vertical jump.
Step 4: Take-off Zone
The quality of a jump is only as good as the zone from which it originates from. A two-footed elevation is not all about athleticism, it is about placing yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Thus, it is essential that as you approach the take-off zone, you plant your back foot while approaching the jump while your front foot approaches at a slight angle. The severity of the angle will largely be dependent on the speed at which you approach the jump.
Step 5: Elevation
Once you have reached the take-off zone ensure that you bend your knees, square your hips to the target, and spring upwards while straightening your legs. Never take flight with fully extended legs, however, as that can lead to injuries as you impact the ground on your landing.
Leaving a bend in your knees on the landing of your jump will also allow you to quickly elevate again should you need to keep the ball alive after your first attempt.
Why is Vertical Jump Technique Important?
As basketball players, we are more often than not jumping off of two feet. If you follow these five steps to have and train your muscles specifically in the areas that surround strengthening your two-footed elevation, you will see noticeable results that put you above the competition in no time at all.
With the proper jumping form, you can increase your vertical by 2″ to “3 inches. This difference alone is why every player should focus on having the perfect vertical jump technique. Follow these steps and you will have the tools to jump higher off than two feet.
Achieve Your Maximum Vertical Jump
While the biomechanics of jumping is important in having a proper jumping form it is equally as important to train correctly. You have to train your fast twitch muscles, and fibers these muscle fibers are responsible for explaining towards the rim and being quick off your feet. The best way to achieve a great vertical fast is to join a vertical jump training program.
You can see our guide to the two best vertical training programs here. The vertical jump program that is considered to be number one is Vert Shock. Personally, I completed this jump program and increased my vertical by 11 inches. Vert Shock will help you improve your jumping technique and will help you train your fast twitch muscles so you can achieve your maximum vertical jump.
Hopefully, this answered the question so many players have about how to jump higher off two feet.