How to Jump Higher in Basketball: 5 Quick and Easy Tips!

There was a certain point in my basketball career where I felt stunted. I was losing out on rebounds, getting my shots blocks, and losing the opening tip on a regular basis.

Suffice it to say, it was not a fun time.

I was yearning to figure out how to jump higher in basketball so I could help my team win games and be a more productive player on the court.

There’s not much worse than the feeling of letting your teammates down.

Jumping high is a huge part of basketball that you MUST improve if you want to be successful and not feel like a liability to your team.

A high vertical will help you dunk, grab rebounds, and block shots, making you a huge asset to your team.

You’ll need to do things like developing core strength, practicing your jumping ability, and strengthening your lower body muscles in order to increase your vertical jump.

Some are born with the natural ability to jump higher, while others need to put in the work to do so. Contrary to what Like Mike teaches us, it’s not all in your basketball shoes.

Early in my career, I was one of those tall guys who had a jump so short you could hardly slip a piece of paper under my feet before I landed.

These tips helped me improve my jumping ability drastically, and they can do the same for you! Read on to learn more!

What Is Vertical Jump?

Vertical jump is a term used to refer to the jumping ability of basketball players. It measures how high one can jump and involves both explosive power and leg strength.

The higher your vertical jump, the better chance you will be able to touch the rim, block and contest shots, rebound, and dunk.

Having a good vertical jump is an important skill for any basketball player who wants to perform at their best.

It’s also important to know how to measure vertical jump so you can keep track of your progress!

With the right vertical jump training and dedication, anyone can increase their vertical leap and become a better basketball player.

Reasons You Need To Know How to Jump Higher in Basketball

A high vertical jump can help you become a better defender, a more effective rebounder and shot blocker, and increase your overall athleticism.

Having a good vertical jump also helps with jumping higher to make dunks or get rebounds over taller opponents.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go in amongst the trees and come away with a hard-earned rebound? It’ll help your team win games and add some stats to the stat sheet!

By increasing the height of your vertical jump, you’re also improving your overall speed and agility. These are important in helping you get up and down the floor faster than your defender so you can get some easy buckets!

All in all, having a good understanding of how to increase your vertical jump is an essential part of becoming a more successful basketball player, especially if you’re working to acquire a basketball scholarship or want to play basketball overseas!

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Jump Higher In Basketball

Increasing your vertical isn’t as simple as playing hopscotch or double-dutch in your free time.

Bummer, I know.

You need to incorporate quality vertical jump exercises and have a planned jump training routine that you can do consistently. This is not a one-off exercise. You’ll need to work specifically on your jumping ability multiple days a week if you want to add inches to your vertical.

If this seems daunting, there are some great vertical jump programs out there that can help you structure workouts to optimize your training,

1. Improve Your Core Strength

To improve your core strength, do abdominal exercises, jump squats, and lifts like squats and deadlifts. These are challenging exercises, but you will definitely see a significant vertical leap increase after just a few weeks.

One of the most important aspects of increasing your vertical in basketball is having a strong core.

A strong core will help you maintain balance and stability, which are essential for generating maximum power in your jumps. Without balance and stability, you’re leaving yourself prone to various injuries that can take you out of games.

It’ll also help you get a nice 6-pack!

2. Strengthen Your Leg Muscles

Do exercises like squats, lunges, calf raises, squat jumps, depth jumps, and box jumps to help improve the strength of your leg muscles and build muscle memory.

If you’re new to these exercises, start out with body weight to work on form before moving on to adding a bar.

Incorporating these workouts into your routine will increase your balance while also building up your leg muscles so you can jump higher.

Your leg muscles are the mainstays of your jumping power and can increase your explosion and improve your vertical jump.

3. Improve Your Technique

First, your starting position should be feet shoulder-width apart and have a good arm swing as you jump. Land on both feet simultaneously and bend your knees slightly to cushion the blow from the ground.

You can even work on landing by standing on a box and letting yourself fall to get an idea of the best way to land and integrate it into your muscle memory.

Your jumping technique is a crucial factor in your jumping success.

Perfecting your technique can help you add some height to your jumps while also learning how to land properly and avoid injury when you’re actually playing basketball.

4. Practice Jumping Regularly

Try to get into the habit of jumping in every training session. Performing jumping exercises such as vertical jumps, jump rope, box jumps, or jump squats can help you jump higher. Make sure to jump and land with your feet shoulder-width apart on these drills.

In practice and workouts, work on exploding as high as possible when you finish layups and dunks to increase the effectiveness of the drill. Jump higher and higher on every rep, and you’ll be dunking a basketball in no time!

Practice makes perfect holds true even for something like you wanting to jump higher in basketball.

The more you practice your jumps, the better you will become.

If you find it difficult to know what to do, try investing in a good vertical jump program to help you out!

5. Find The Right Pair Of Shoes

Basketball shoes have features that are designed to maximize the power of a jump, such as cushioning in the sole and flexible midsole materials that can help absorb energy while jumping.

The right pair of basketball shoes will give you more stability when landing. They also provide better grip and traction, improving your overall balance.

If you’re lost when it comes to which basketball shoes to look for, don’t fret. Feel free to check out my post on the best basketball shoes for jumping!

Key Considerations For Successfully Jumping Higher In Basketball

When looking to increase your vertical jump, it is important to focus on strengthening the relevant muscles. This means targeting those specifically used for jumping – such as the glutes, quads, and calves.

Plyometric exercises (also known as jumping exercises) are highly effective when attempting to improve your jump height in training sessions. Using a jump rope is great for this. Jumping rope is a great way to get warmed up for practice as well.

You should also focus on improving your flexibility. This increases mobility in the lower body so you can move more freely when jumping.

Make sure that you warm up before attempting any exercises or jumps. This helps activate key muscles and reduces the risk of injury.

Finally, a healthy diet is essential for your body to function at its best. Eating foods that are rich in protein, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals helps give you the energy needed to fuel your workouts and increase your jumping ability.

Taking it to the Next Level: How to Dunk

Dunking is a great way to get your team energized and score some quick points, but it’s also an advanced move that requires skill and practice.

Practice jumping off both feet and one foot. Two-foot jumps will give you more power, while one-foot jumps will help you get to the rim much faster.

Start without a ball and continue to jump over and over again until you can touch the rim. The next progression is a tennis ball, and then finally a basketball.

Once you’re dunking a basketball, do it over and over and over again to get consistent.

I remember the first practice I started dunking. We were doing a fast break drill, and every opportunity I got, I would go up for a dunk. I didn’t care whether I missed it. By the end of the drill, I had blisters on my hands, and they even began to pop. Eventually, you’ll develop calluses that will keep your hands from tearing up like this.

Alternative Methods to Jump Higher in Basketball

I mentioned this a bit before but stretching is a great way to increase your vertical. It creates more springiness in your legs and is also a great way to protect yourself from injury.

Close your eyes and visualize the next progression in your jumping journey, whether it’s touching the rim, dunking a tennis ball, or dunking an actual basketball.

Play it over and over in your mind as if you’re actually doing it. The mental game of basketball is just as important as the physical.

The most talented player in the world won’t amount to much if he doesn’t believe in himself.


Jumping higher in basketball is a process that requires a lot of effort and hard work.

Ask anyone who can dunk whether it was an easy journey to get there, and they’ll say it wasn’t. You need to persevere and fight through adversity to get where you want to go.

It wasn’t easy for me, I’ll tell you that much…

It took me a while to get there. When I was a sophomore in high school, I was 6’6″ and couldn’t dunk.

I thought being tall meant I automatically could, but I was dead wrong. Each and every player has to work at it, and only those who persevere will get there.

By utilizing the tips and tricks outlined above, you can add some inches to your vertical jump and become a better basketball player.

Remember to incorporate strength training, focus on your technique, and jump regularly to see an improvement in your jumping performance.


What are the best exercises to help you jump higher in basketball?

Jumping rope, jumping form exercises like depth jumps, and strengthening your leg muscles with squats and deadlifts are all great ways to help you jump higher in basketball.

Jumping rope can help build your calf muscles and develop an ultra-quick second jump after you land, which is key for grabbing contested rebounds.

Depth jumps and lateral jumps allow you to work on your jumping form while also strengthening your legs. This is also a great exercise for learning how to land when you come down from a jump so you can stay free from injuries.

Strength training sessions with squats and deadlifts are crucial in injury prevention and adding explosion and height to your jump. Just make sure you look up the best practices for these exercises so you don’t injure yourself!

What is plyometrics?

Plyometrics is just a fancy word for jumping exercises. These exercises target fast-twitch muscle fibers in your legs, which can make your jumps higher and more explosive.

The first time you incorporate these exercises into your workout, you might be a bit sore, so make sure to do dynamic stretching and rest to allow your legs to recover!

What is the best jumping technique for dunking?

This varies by player. Some players are better at jumping off of one leg, while some are best off of two.

Essentially, both are good techniques. A two-foot jump will give you more power to finish through contact, while a one-foot jump allows you to get to the rim faster and slam it home before your defender knows what happened.

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