How to jump higher? Exercises to achieve it

Jumping high is a must-have skill in sports like basketball, track and field, and volleyball. Although it is true that physical conditions, the strength of the lower trunk and the power of the athlete himself determine how far he can go vertically, some focused exercises help.

On a daily basis, training to improve jump height is helpful when climbing stairs, obtaining greater elasticity and having balance when performing certain movements.

What is necessary to jump higher?

Contrary to what is believed, height is not a determining factor when jumping higher. This is demonstrated by several studies that support the hypothesis that power and execution have a greater value in practice.

In mathematics, power is the result of strength and speed of execution. If you want to improve your vertical jumping spectrum, then you should focus on the strength of the muscles involved in the action and the speed of the impulse.

In this sense, the following criteria will serve as a guide for you to start a training plan to jump higher:

  • You must do comprehensive exercises: the leg muscles are not the only ones involved in the process. Glutes, lower back and abs are also actively involved.
  • Work on strength: You shouldn't just focus on the speed of the jump technique. Obtaining the necessary strength is your first objective.
  • Do it in real contexts: after all, you are training vertical jump to apply later in a particular discipline. Your routine should leave a space to contextualize some exercises according to the sport you practice.
  • Measure your progress: You will only know how much you have improved if you measure your progress objectively. Mark a wall with the help of chalk, an adhesive, or a stencil. Then record yourself jumping vertically once a week and discover how much you have improved.
  • Seek professional help: the latter if you are a high performance athlete. There are personalized exercises based on your height, physical condition and discipline.

Exercises to practice to jump higher

To jump higher you should focus on three types of exercises:

  • Those that increase the strength of the muscles involved in jumping.
  • Those that improve your speed.
  • Those who perfect take off / landing technique.

Lunges or dumbbell lunges

The lunges they are the most complete exercise in terms of building integral muscle. The quadriceps are the area with the greatest involvement, although you also work the glutes, lower back, abs and calves. There are many variants, but the classic forward stride is the best of all.

You can use dumbbells or a barbell. You decide the weight based on your physical capacity, although remember that it should be less than what you lift with squats. A correct execution consists of the following:

  1. Stand with the dumbbells at your sides and with your feet slightly apart. For reference, they should be parallel to natural shoulder width.
  2. Initiate the movement by striding forward. The torso must be upright at all times and your thigh must be parallel to the ground. Try to make a 90 degree angle.
  3. Bend your knee to the starting position. Again, you should do it with the trunk of your body straight.
  4. Repeat step 2 with the next leg.

If it is the first time you do the exercise you can do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps. After a couple of days you will increase them to 12-15, and then reduce them to 6-8, but this time with more weight.

Squats are a classic exercise to improve quadriceps strength.

Squats with weight

Squats target the gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Good technique helps to strengthen the lower body and the extra weight gives greater results in terms of strength.

To do weighted squats well, follow these guidelines:

  1. Get into a starting position with your feet spread parallel to the width of your shoulders. Your feet should point slightly outward (never forward), about 15 degrees.
  2. With your gaze straight ahead, your torso upright, and your shoulder and back muscles relaxed, roll your hips down and back. You shouldn't just bend your knees, but rather mimic the action of sitting down.
  3. Lower yourself until your quads make a line parallel to the ground. Avoid letting your knees go over your toes. Draw an imaginary line vertically and serve as a border to avoid injuries.
  4. Return to the starting position with a firm abdomen and holding the horizontal bar firmly.

You can do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps if you are starting. Ideally, you should choose a weight that, although it represents a challenge, you can finish it without major problems.

Read also: The best squat exercises

Power clean

The power clean, also called two times, is a classic weightlifting exercise that is included in workouts crossfit. It is an explosive movement that involves many muscles in the body.

The variant that you will train is the following:

  1. Stand in an upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart and facing outward (15 degrees). The bar should be in front of you at the level of your shins.
  2. Bend at the waist with your back straight and hold the bar. Your hands should be slightly wider than the width of your knees. The chest should be elevated and the shoulders back and firm.
  3. With a neutral gaze, raise the bar towards your chest. Use your glutes, feet, quads, and abs for stability. The bar should rise above the knees, so you must lift your body and use the momentum that is generated.
  4. Naturally, just before the bar reaches your chest, your torso will drop a bit. This movement will help you generate more force to carry the weight. The bar should rest on your shoulders / chest.
  5. Return to the starting position taking care of the posture of your back.

As it is a high intensity exercise, you should start with very little weight and then increase it only when you see fit. This time you will do 3 sets of 8-10 reps with a 4 minute break between each.


Plyometric exercise routines are common in cycling, track and field, and soccer. They are the opposite of isometric exercises, as they are based on the stretch-shortening cycle (CEA).

This cycle is reduced to take advantage of the explosive force generated. Several studies support its benefits to achieve higher jump. So we start with the burpees, that fulfill these purposes.

There are dozens of variants, although the classic style is enough to start. Follow these instructions to perform a correct technique:

  1. Start in an upright position, with your back straight and with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat down to the ground in a quick motion and place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  3. Jump up and bring your legs back until your back is parallel with the ground. Your legs should be fully extended and your hands should be steady on the surface.
  4. With a jump return with the legs together to the squat position. Your arms should be extended when doing this movement.
  5. Finally, do a vertical jump as high as you can. Use the strength of your legs and when you fall bend your knees to cushion the weight of your body.

Try to do the movements in a limited area. Although it is normal for you to move a couple of centimeters with the jump, draw an imaginary area of ​​one meter that you cannot get out of.

Do 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps. It all depends on your physical condition and your stamina. After a couple of sessions you can add the variant of doing a push-up when you are in a horizontal position with respect to the ground.

The burpees they are a complex and explosive exercise that takes time to train you properly.

Tuck jumps

Also known as jumps with knees on the chest or fold jump, is one of the most explosive plyometric exercises you can add to your routine.

There are dozens of variants depending on your level, although the following is the standard one:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend the hips and knees in a half squat and, with a quick movement, raise the knees with the help of a jump to chest height.
  3. To do this, create momentum with your arms outstretched, raising and lowering them with speed.
  4. When you fall you should slightly bend your hips and knees to cushion. On the ground, do a slight two-inch jump in between and bring your knees back up to chest level.

Do 4-5 sets of 10-12 reps. Try a couple of test jumps to familiarize yourself with the technique. When you can do 3 movements in a row landing in the same place, then you are ready to proceed with the full exercise.

Squat jumps

The jump squats concentrate the muscular impact on the trunk and the lower part of your body. There are variants depending on your physical condition and you can even add weight to increase the level of difficulty.

The classic exercise consists of the following:

  1. Stand upright, with your legs shoulder-width apart, your back straight, and your gaze straight ahead.
  2. Lower your hips and bend your knees into a squat. Your quadriceps should form a parallel line in relation to the ground. Make sure your knees don't go over your toes.
  3. As you go down, bring your hands in a natural motion toward your chest. Then you will jump about 8-10 centimeters taking advantage of the momentum of your hands, bringing them back.
  4. As you fall, bend your hips and knees to complete the squat. Repeat the movements keeping the cadence with your hands towards your chest and then towards the rear for more balance and to gain momentum to jump higher.

You can use a medicine ball or a dumbbell if your body weight is insufficient.. Do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps. Try to do the exercise in the shortest possible time and implosively.

It may interest you: Routine of military exercises for sports lovers

Box jumps

Box jumps are perfect for training your vertical ascent progressively. You can start with just a couple of centimeters and go over a meter. They require strength, drive, and focus:

  1. Start with a small drawer, preferably one that has been designed for exercise. These generate friction on the ground to stay firm and are soft to cushion movements.
  2. Stand in front of the drawer at a distance of a foot or two (it depends on the height of the object). Do this with your legs apart and parallel, your back straight and your eyes on the landing site.
  3. Bend at the hips and knees and, with the help of the momentum of your hands, jump to the near end of the box. Following the inertia, finish the movement until you fully extend your legs.
  4. When you are up, do a jump to return to the starting position. Bend your knees and hips to cushion your descent, then repeat the movement from the previous step.

If you have never done this exercise, you can descend without jumping. Just step back off the box and jump back as directed. Do not try very tall boxes, as you can fall or injure yourself due to poor technique.

It is also not advisable to use tall objects that can move with the force of your jump. Start with 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. Then you can increase the size of the box and the repetitions.

Counter movement jump

Counter-motion jumping helps you improve your technique without the natural momentum of your arms. Responsibility is concentrated exclusively on your lower body.

To run it follow these steps:

  1. Stand in an upright position with your arms supporting your hips. The back should be straight and the feet parallel with a slight outward opening.
  2. Lower your hips and bend your knees into a half squat. With the generated momentum jump as high as you can.
  3. As you fall, bend your knees and hips to cushion your weight. Repeat the movement with an interval of a couple of seconds.

When practicing your ascent technique without arm thrust you should try to reach your limit. Use a tape recorder and assess your progress with the help of marks on a wall.

Jumps on one leg

No matter what discipline you practice, it is very likely that you will have to push yourself with one leg vertically. In volleyball, basketball, or soccer, some plays lead athletes to jump using the muscles of one foot.

So that your performance in these cases does not deteriorate and your balance is not compromised, you can try the following exercise:

  1. Stand upright and bend one leg toward the back.
  2. Use your hands to achieve the perfect balance. You will need, in the same way, to apply greater tension in the hip and in the abdominal area.
  3. Using an up-and-down hand motion for momentum, jump on one leg an inch in front of you.
  4. During the fall, flex your knee and hip to avoid injury. Regain your balance and repeat the movement.

Do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps. When you learn the technique, you can jump back and forth in an area no larger than half a meter.

Sports like soccer, basketball, and volley they require jumping for proper athletic performance.

Keys to jump higher

By including exercises to gain strength, speed, and improve technique, you can jump higher in a matter of weeks. For support, keep the following tips in mind to avoid injury:

  • Don't overload your knees: If you are a novice you should avoid going down more than 90 degrees during the descent or carrying more weight than they can support.
  • Warm up before and after each routine: stretch the muscles and prepare the body for the movements you will perform.
  • Set goals: both in the number of series and repetitions that you will do the following week, and in the extra centimeters that you want to add to your jump. Just set real goals.
  • Take care of the fall: This is the part of the jump that usually causes the most injuries. A sprain, for example, can keep you out of workouts for several weeks.
  • Use proper equipment: The garments you use should give you the freedom that each exercise demands. Wear appropriate sneakers.
  • Respect rest times: overtraining can prevent you from meeting your goals on time. Rest a couple of days a week for your muscles to recover.

If you want to jump like an elite athlete, you must train like one. Give your best in each workout and consult a specialist if you consider it appropriate. Jumping higher makes you stand out from others.