Now you want to jump higher in basketball, jump higher in volleyball, or just jump higher or you wouldn’t be reading this. You’re going to try out the best programs available, so where do you start? If you want to increase your vertical jump you need to know how much your jump is improving, you need to be able to measure it. You need to know how to test your vertical jump.

Ideally you want to measure it at every training session. Your coach may have some fancy vertical jump test equipment to quickly measure the difference between your standing reach and your maximum jump, but how do you do it when you’re doing those extra sessions on your own?

Probably the easiest way to get your highest jump is to use the rim. Of course this should be 10ft but you should measure to be sure. Then make your best jump with your arm straight, and make sure your arm touches the rim. As your vertical improves you should be touching the rim further and further down your arm. Now if you want to know the numbers, measure the distance from the tip of your fingers to the part of your arm that touched the rim. Add this to the height of the rim. Now subtract your standing reach from this total, and you’ve got your vertical jump.

How to test your vertical
Let’s just do a quick example to make it clear:
Standing reach 86in
Height of Rim 120in
Your wrist touches the rim – Fingertip to wrist 9in.
Vertical jump = 120 + 9 – 86 = 43in

Another easy method is to measure against a plain wall. Just put some chalk or something that marks on your fingertip. Make a mark on the wall for your reach while standing, then another from a jump (take care, don’t get too close to the wall!). Measure the difference between the two marks, and that’s your vertical.

Obviously if you can’t quite reach the rim yet then use this method. And if you do this somewhere private like your own yard then you can leave the marks and immediately see the improvement from the previous sessions.

Use the same principle to measure your jump from running, standing, one foot, and two.

So now you know how to test your vertical jump without the need for specialist vertical jump test equipment, you can easily record how much you increase your vertical jump every week. Don’t get discouraged if you are lower on some days. Your vertical can vary from day to day due to fatigue and muscle condition. What is important is to make sure that you are improving and increase your vertical jump over time. And only regular measuring will allow you to see the gradual increase from all your hard work.

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