9 Best Training Drills & Workouts To Increase Vertical Jump: Soar Higher

Workouts to increase vertical jump

Alright, let’s get this party started! If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to add some serious inches to your vertical jump.

A powerful vertical jump is the crown jewel in many sports, from basketball to volleyball, and even in some dance forms. But here’s the kicker: It’s not just about being born with springs for legs. With the right training drills and workouts, you can significantly improve your vertical jump. And today, I’m going to share some of my favorite exercises that’ll have you reaching for the skies in no time.

So, let’s jump into it!

Warmup Exercises

 Reverse Sled

1. Reverse Sled

First up, the Reverse Sled. If you’ve never tried it, you’re in for a treat. This exercise is fantastic for warming up those leg muscles and getting them ready for some serious jumping action.


  • Activates the glutes and hamstrings.
  • Increases blood flow to the lower body.
  • Prepares the muscles for explosive movements.

How to do it:

  • Attach a sled to a harness around your waist.
  • Stand facing away from the sled’s anchor point.
  • Walk forward, pulling the sled behind you. Ensure you’re driving through your heels and engaging your glutes.
  • Continue for a set distance or time.

Pro Tip: If your gym lacks a sled, try a variation on the cable machine. Attach a comfortable grip, and walk backward. Take a couple of steps back ensuring your foot includes full toe to heel contact through the step.

2. Tibialis Raise

Heard of the saying “Chicks dig big Tibs”? It’s that muscle in the front of your shin, it plays a big role in your jump. The Tibialis Raise is all about giving this muscle some love.


  • Strengthens the tibialis anterior.
  • Helps in preventing shin splints.
  • Prepares the lower leg muscles for jumping.

How to do it:

  • Sit on a bench with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Place a dumbbell or weight plate on top of your feet.
  • Lift your toes towards your shins, raising the weight.
  • Lower back down and repeat.

Fun Fact: The tibialis anterior is one of the few muscles that can be worked out every day. So, no excuses!

Alright, that’s your warm-up sorted. Remember, warming up is like preheating an oven. You wouldn’t bake a cake in a cold oven, so don’t jump on cold muscles.

Quad Strength Exercises

Alright, gym fam! Let’s dive—oops, I mean, let’s jump right into the quad strength exercises. Remember, the quads are the powerhouse muscles that give your vertical jump that extra oomph. So, if you’re looking to soar like an eagle (or at least dunk like LeBron), these exercises are your ticket to the skies.

3. ATG Squat

The ATG (Ass to Grass)

The ATG (Ass to Grass) front squat is all about depth. By going deep, you’re activating the entire quad muscle group, ensuring balanced development.

If you’re looking for evidence, look no further than Stefan Holm, a former Gold Medalist in the high jump at only 5’11, who swore by this exercise.

How to do it:

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the barbell in front of you, resting on your shoulders or across your back
  • Keeping your chest up and core engaged, lower down into a squat, going as deep as you can, and maintaining a natural path.
  • Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Pro Tip: If you lack the mobility, elevate your heels by placing a plate beneath them.

4. Quarter Squat

The quarter squat focuses on explosive power

The quarter squat focuses on explosive power. It’s like the espresso shot of squats – short, intense, and it’ll give you a quick boost!

We’ve worked the full range of motion with the ATG Squat, so let’s now build the muscles used most dominantly in a jump.

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower into a squat, but only a quarter of the way down (only go slightly lower than you would bend down when jumping).
  • Explode back up to the starting position.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the quarter squat can help improve sprinting speed? So, not only will you jump higher, but you’ll also run faster. Talk about a two-for-one deal!

5. Single Leg Squat

Unilateral exercises, like the single-leg squat, help address muscle imbalances. Plus, if you’ve ever tried hopping on one leg, you know it requires balance. This exercise is like that, but on steroids.

How to do it:

  • Stand on one leg, with the other leg extended in front of you.
  • Lower down into a squat on your standing leg, keeping the other leg elevated.
  • Push through your heel to return to the starting position.

Progression: Start by having your heel elevated on a plate, and squat down onto a bench. As you get better at the squat, lower whatever the seat height.

Alright, folks, that’s a wrap for our quad strength exercises. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are quads of steel. So, stay consistent, prioritize form over ego-lifting, and soon, you’ll be jumping over obstacles (or at least small boxes) in no time!

Explosive Strength Exercises

Alright, my high-flying friends! If you thought the quad exercises were the bomb, wait till you get a load of these explosive strength exercises. These are the secret sauce to adding some serious air to your jumps. Let’s get that dynamite ready and light the fuse!

6. Nordic Hamstring Curls

Nordic Hamstring Curls

Hamstrings play a pivotal role in generating that explosive power you need to launch off the ground. Nordic hamstring curls are like rocket fuel for your legs. Not for the faint of heart, one of the hardest bodyweight exercises period.

How to do it:

  • Kneel on a padded surface with someone holding your ankles down or hook them under a sturdy object.
  • Keeping your body straight, slowly lower yourself forward using your hamstrings to resist the motion.
  • Once you’ve gone as far as you can, push yourself back up to the starting position.

7. Reverse Nordics

Reverse Nordics

Think of reverse Nordics as the yin to the Nordic hamstring curl’s yang. They focus on the quads and complement the hamstring work beautifully. By training your quads in their extended phase, you are helping to bulletproof the muscle.

How to do it:

  • Start in the same kneeling position as the Nordic hamstring curls.
  • This time, lean backward, keeping your body straight and using your quads to control the motion.
  • Return to the starting position.

Fun Fact: The reverse Nordic is a favorite among gymnasts for building quad strength and flexibility. So, channel your inner Simone Biles and give it a go!

8. Lying Cable Hip Flexor

Lying Cable Hip Flexor

The hip flexors are often the unsung heroes of explosive movements. Strengthening them can give your vertical jump a significant boost. In fact, hip flexors are proportionally the muscles that professional athletes have larger than ordinary people.

How to do it:

  • Lie down near a cable machine, attaching the cable to your ankle.
  • With your leg straight, pull the cable by flexing your hip, bringing your knee towards your chest.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Pro Tip: Start with a lightweight to ensure you’re using the hip flexors and not compensating with other muscles.

Alright, jump squad, that’s your explosive strength workout sorted! Remember, it’s not just about strength; it’s about power. And with these exercises in your arsenal, you’ll be packing some serious power in those legs.

Building Stability

Let’s keep the momentum going! We’ve warmed up and powered through our quad strength exercises. Now, it’s time to add some stability to that explosive power. Because let’s face it, what’s a rocket without its stabilizers?

9. Glute Bridge (Smith Machine)

Glute Bridge (Smith Machine)

Why it’s rock-solid: The glute bridge, especially when performed on a Smith machine, is all about targeting those glutes and building a solid foundation. Think of it as the bedrock upon which your explosive power is built.

How to do it:

  • Set the barbell to the bottom of the Smith machine.
  • Lie down and position yourself so the bar is centered over your hips.
  • Create a triangle shape between your upper and lower legs.
  • Extend your hips, unracking the bar, and push upwards until your hips are fully extended.
  • Hold the contraction briefly, then slowly lower your hips back down.

Pro Tip: Push through your heels to really activate those glutes. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a hip circle around your knees for some extra glute activation.

Bonus: Bulletproof Your Abs and Shoulders

Alright, before we wrap up, let’s talk about the unsung heroes of a powerful vertical jump: the abs and shoulders. Strong abs and shoulders provide the stability and support needed to maximize your jump strength.

A couple of my favorite exercises for these muscle groups include hanging leg raises for the abs and dumbbell front raises for the shoulders. Incorporate these into your routine, and you’ll not only jump higher but also look and feel more balanced and powerful.


What other equipment can enhance my vertical jump training?

Incorporating regular jumping, along with resistance bands, plyo boxes, and ankle weights can further intensify and diversify your vertical jump training.

How often should I perform these exercises for optimal results?

As often as your body allows. At least 2-3 times a week, while allowing adequate rest between sessions for muscle recovery.

Can beginners start with these exercises, or is there a prerequisite?

Absolutely! While beginners can start with these exercises, it’s essential to focus on form and start with lighter weights to prevent injuries.

Are there any dietary recommendations to complement this training?

A balanced diet rich in protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats can support muscle growth and recovery during vertical jump training.

Final Thoughts

Alright, my high-flying friends, that’s all the wisdom I’ve got for you today. Remember, a strong vertical jump isn’t just about raw power; it’s about the right training, consistency,  and always prioritize proper form and progression.

So, keep pushing, keep jumping, and always remember: if you’re not flying, you’re not trying!