When it comes to the subject of vertical jump development, there is no better set of exercises to choose from than plyometrics. These jump-specific movements incorporate the act of jumping into the workout in some form, either as the main action or an additional one.

This makes these exercises very specific in the sense that they directly target the same muscles involved while jumping. Naturally, you might ask yourself "if that's the case, then wouldn't all plyometric exercises be a good choice?"

But alas, not all exercises are created equal, just like with weight training where certain options are better than others when it comes to a set goal. Basically, these plyometric exercises just work together more nicely and allow the workout to flow well.

With this list, we're simply looking at some of the best that you can incorporate into your sessions to begin seeing results in your jump. There are definitely more plyometric exercises to choose from, but these 4 can net you some amazing results on their own.

Best Plyometric Exercises For Jumping Higher

Do recall that the best way to make use of these exercises is to perform each exercise not only with proper form but also following the ideal approach of high-intensity low-frequency training. Everything should be done at maximum intensity, with few repetitions to avoid training below our maximum.

This is naturally done to push our bodies to their limits and activate the type 2B "fast-twitch" muscle fibers, allowing those fibers to be improved through use. These muscles will prove particularly important when it comes to the subject of muscle recruitment and our rate of force when jumping.

If wasn't already obvious, we'll be doing a lot of exercises that revolve around the lower body and core, with a few upper body exercises thrown in for the sake of body composition.

1. Box Jumps

Easily one of the most popular plyometric exercises, box jumps involve you jumping onto a box or platform from which you then descend, either by jumping off or gently climbing down. These are great in large part because they're very basic, allowing for easy integration into any workout.

Often boxes are used, with entry-level size being around 6-inches to 12-inches. These are highly recommended for beginners to establish themselves with the motion and form before moving onto higher platforms. With experience, you can go up to a height of 30-inches, which is usually the cutting off point.

2. Depth Jumps

Yet another fantastic exercise, depth jumps have you stand on a box and walk off with one foot before quickly bringing both feet down to the ground and jumping up. Perhaps lesser known due to its technicality, it also involves a box or platform and at first, may seem strange.

The idea is to counteract the force of gravity that pulls you down to the ground by pushing up and away from the floor; you delay your reaction until almost touching the ground to put greater stress on the lower body to move. It greatly works out the lower body muscles through this quick activation.

I would argue that box jumps and depth jumps make the perfect combination. Jump onto a box, then prepare to walk off the box and jump up once you touch the ground. They naturally transition from one to the other and are extremely effective when you have multiple boxes or platforms in a line to avoid having to turn around.

3. Squat Jumps

Perhaps even more simple than the other two exercises due to the absence of equipment, squat jumps are done by squatting down, jumping up, and then landing down in a squatting position. Alongside the extension of the lower body, the arms are also used in swinging them up and down to provide additional momentum.

This exercise lends itself to many variations, such as using dumbbells that are held either at the sides or above the shoulders. You could also use a barbell held over the shoulders and behind the neck, but in that case, you would follow a slightly different pattern.

Instead of jumping, squatting, and jumping again, you would jump, squat, stand up, squat, and then repeat. The difference is having a moment to pause in the form of standing up from the squat, and this is particularly important for preventing injury and keeping your knees safe (I would also recommend this for dumbbells).

4. Medicine Ball Overhead Throw

This last recommendation is more so just to mention the medicine ball and how amazing it is to use. There are loads of ways in which you can use the medicine ball, so I just chose the overhead throw as an example since it involves triple extension.

To do this exercise, you take your medicine ball and hold it in front of you around the middle torso, then toss it up and fully extend your arms, ankles, legs, and hips. It'll often fall somewhere behind you, so be sure to do this exercise in an open area without too many people.

Again, it would be criminal of me not to suggest that there are more ways of using the medicine ball. Get creative with it; another variation is the broad jump, where you hold the medicine ball at chest level, throw it to a wall, jump towards the wall and catch the ball (generally in a squat position).


So, what do you think about these exercises?

Perhaps you already knew about a few of them, but hopefully, I gave you a new option to add to your training regimen. Any one of these exercises would at the very least add a lot of movement to your workout, but they're truly fantastic for developing a greater vertical jump.

Author's Bio: 

Ball Amazingly is a basketball blog that covers various topics on becoming a better basketball player, information regarding basketball and training, and content made to entertain.