There’s a lot of information on in this site and in the Jump Science posts on facebook and instagram. When I write, I try to give people actionable information. I hope that after reading it, people know what to do. It’s easy to write in a more subjective and philosophical way, use a lot of phrases that sound smart, and maintain a sort of political correctness by not making any strong statements one way or another. This can produce writing that sounds great but leaves the reader still wondering what to do. I try to avoid that and give a clear picture of how to use the presented information. That being said, I still get very general questions like, “What can I do to improve my vert?” So I want to provide a quick summary of how to improve jumping ability.

The 3 most important things you need to do…

  • Get flexible. Establish a thorough daily stretching routine.
  • Jump a lot. Do at least 50 full approach jumps per week.
  • Increase deep squat strength. 2x body weight is a good long term goal.

 

Your flexibility, how many times you have jumped in your life, and how much you can squat are about 90% responsible for your jumping ability. But that doesn’t mean those three things are a complete training program. There are other things to include, which serve the purpose of preventing injury or trying to eke out some of those remaining 10 percentage points.

  • Some hip hinge movement (ex. deadlift, hang clean).
  • Some multidirectional activity for movement variety (ex. basketball).
  • Strength exercises for easily neglected muscles (ex. lunges for adductors and rectus femoris).
  • Plyometrics.

Look around the site for more details on these various aspects of training. Here’s some links to get you started.

Stretching
How to Squat
Strength Training for Athleticism
The Key to Long Term Athletic Development
Taking Time Off
Periodization
If you want a program to follow, check out Jump Science 2.0.

 

If instead of jumping, you want to improve some other explosive athletic ability, the process actually remains largely the same. Let’s say speed is the goal. Replace the jumping practice with sprinting practice, pay special attention to hamstring injury prevention, and balancing strength and speed becomes more challenging. Otherwise things stay the same. Let’s say you’re training for football. Throw in some more upper body strength and injury prevention. Pull-ups and pressing are the foundation in that department. Let’s say you throw the discus. Add some emphasis on rotational power. Otherwise things are the same. Flexibility, practicing the sport, and squat strength remain the foundation.