How to jump higher in basketball

How to jump higher in basketball

There is a one big question that bothers many young players: How to jump higher in basketball. Should you be tall and well-built to block shots, score, and dunk easily? Ask yourself this question.

How was Brandon Todd, 117-pound guy with a height of 5’5’’ able to make it above the legendary 6’7’’ tall Julius Erving? Leave alone that. How did he manage to do a 45-inch vertical jump, higher than the 43.5 inches by a 3-times dunk champion Nate Robinson?

What Brandon did is one great proof that your height and physique doesn’t matter. With proper training, you can make it past the tallest basketball height ever achieved.

So, why are other basketball players not able to break Michael Jordan’s record? They do it wrong because they still hold onto misconceptions.

This article has covered proven tips on how to jump higher in basketball, but first, let us do away with a few myths


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Common myths about vertical jump you have to let go:

  • Weight training makes one heavy and slow to jump – You can’t jump higher if your legs are weak. Your legs need power and velocity to lift your body off the ground.
  • Vertical jump depends only on one’s legs – Your vertical jump is worthless if you are slow and can’t dunk. All the muscles in your arms, belly, and legs matter.
  • You only need to jump more often to increase your vertical jump – Jumping higher requires powerful legs, stronger core and calf muscles. Jumping every time won’t help you achieve any of these.

With that in mind, here are some few tips on how to jump higher in basketball

1. How to exercise:

  • Warm up – Start your workouts by warming up. You can jog a few minutes, jump jacks or skip with your knees high until you feel some sweat.
  • Start with knee-to-chest Jumps – Stand with your legs wide apart. Jump as high as you can bringing your knees to your chest and land. This should be continuous, at least ten reps for three sets.
  • Follow by Jump Squats – Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat with your knees bent 90 degrees. Immediately, jump as high as you can. If it is your first time, start with five reps of 2 sets.
  • Depth Jumps – Place a box before you. Jump on top of it with both your feet and then jump off. Start with 20 seconds then proceed to 30 as you advance. Increase height with time.
  • Calf raises – You need stronger calves to lift up your body off the ground at a propelling speed. You can start with five sets of a hundred and increase the number as you improve.
  • Bodyweight squats – Vertical jump is all about propelling your weight as high as possible. Adding some weight to your training will make you feel light without them. Involve some body weight squats. With the help of a trainer, find a weight you can lift with ease. Place it on your back. Lower your body into a crouching position then stand. If you are comfortable enough, add jump squats. Do this approximately two to three times.

2. How to Stretch – Stretching is one of the often overlooked factors in any other sport, but the most important one. Tight muscles will prevent your legs from extending and increase the risks of injuries. So, stretch more often. Do a variety of lunges, static stretches and more, focusing on your hip flexor muscles, hamstrings, thighs, and calves. Here are some few things to remember.

  • Stretching should be done when your body is fully warmed up
  • Stretch each and every muscle to reduce the risk of injuries, but focus on hip flexors and hamstrings to improve your vertical leap.
  • Don’t overstretch as you may tear a muscle. Any injury may take a lot of time to heal, and this might be a drawback to your training. Don’t injure yourself.

3. What to eat – Focus on a diet that is low in fat and high in carbs. Include fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and milk to increase your mineral and vitamin intake. Get healthy proteins from skinless poultry, seafood or beans. Remember, you are trying to replace the fat mass in your body with muscles. So, avoid fatty or sugary foods.

4. Drink more water – Water is essential in every sweaty training. Not only does it help replace the lost water, but also improves your metabolism, blood flow, and many other things. Take at least 3 liters of water.


A high vertical jump enables you to get closer and above the rim making it easier for you to score, block high shots and most importantly, dunk. To achieve any of these, you need to have stronger legs that can easily lift your body high above the ground, do a perfect slum dunk and land it safely. In short, it all depends on the power your legs can produce. The tips above on how to jump higher in basketball will help you increase your vertical leap, but all this depends on how far you are willing to take it.

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