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Improving your vertical leap is a crucial part of any player improvement program. The steps below, if followed during each workout, will not only increase the height you can jump, but will help give you the competitive edge necessary to truly “reach your full potential.”

Remember to rest your legs at least two days a week. Results will come from sustaining the exercise program, not performing it aggressively for a few weeks and then slacking off. Typically you need to complete 10-12 weeks of this program before you may see any results. Consistency is key. DO NOT take weeks off, it will only hurt your results. This program should be performed up to 3 times per week with 48 hours between programs.

Note: You may experience some muscle pain the first couple of weeks of this training. That’s OK. If your pain is prolonged past 2-3 weeks, you may need to seek medical help.


Step 1: Begin every workout by warming up your muscles and then doing extensive leg stretches. Because you’ll be building muscle fibers that are used for explosive activities such as jumping, stretching is of the utmost importance.

Step 2: Jump rope for its excellent cardiovascular conditioning. This step should never be skipped as it will be an important contributor to your results. 10-15 minutes of jump rope is critical.

Step 3: Incorporate sprints into your workouts. This builds muscle, which will add to your jumping ability. 10 full court gut sprints at full speed with rest in between. (To execute one gut sprint, begin on the baseline facing the court, sprint to closest FT line and back making a quick/tight cut touching the line with your foot and then return to your baseline starting point. Without stopping, sprint to Half Court line, opposite FT line and opposite baseline, each time making a quick/tight cut touching the line with your foot and then return to your baseline starting point. Completing this circuit of sprints one time is one gut sprint.)

Step 4: Run stairs on your toes. Start by running up a flight, one step at a time. Walk down and run back up, taking two steps at a time. Repeat as many times as you can manage. You should have a minimum of 20 steps that your running up, 5-8 sets.

Step 5: Do sets of elevated jumps. Begin by placing a step bench or platform on the ground (many health clubs have a platform for just this purpose). Stand on the platform, then jump backward onto the ground, concentrating on landing softly. Jump back onto the platform immediately, with a bouncing motion. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions. Be very careful when performing this exercise, as there is a potential for injury. Ask a trainer or spotter to help.

Step 6: Do sets of explosive jumps. Position yourself for an explosive leg jump by facing a secure platform and placing your right foot on it. Jump as high as you can, concentrating on exploding off the right leg. Scissor your legs once in the air, then land with your left foot on the platform and your right foot on the floor. Gather yourself and explode upward again, this time off the left foot. Do three sets of 10 repetitions, resting for about 30 seconds to 1 minute between sets.

Step 7: Do sets of double jumps. Execute a double jump by jumping as high as possible with both feet from a stationary position. Jump again immediately upon landing; using less effort. Repeat until you’ve accomplished three sets of 10 jumps each.