How to Increase Your Vertical Jump for Basketball

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Talking about basketball advantages, you should never miss out on the vertical jump. Vertical jumping is a saving glory in a sport that uses jumps to make points and get a hand of the ball. Since you are here, you may want to know how to increase your vertical jump for basketball.

It is essential to understand the height that you can jump is not intrinsic; there are exercises to jump higher—which we will learn in this article. Just a glimpse of this blog, your vertical jump training program includes power and strength drills. Read the following sections to know more.

First Things First_ How to Measure Vertical LeapFirst Things First: How to Measure Vertical Leap

Before answering how to jump higher, you must understand the fundamentals first—-that is, to know how to measure vertical leap. There are two ways to measure your vertical leap, and having no equipment is not a problem.

This section will teach you the basics of measuring your leap and continuously learn how to do it yourself. Now that you are so invested in this article check out the rest of this section.

Measuring Vertical Leap With Equipment

In most cases, gyms and sports facilities use a piece of equipment called Vertec Vertical Jump Tester to ascertain how high you can jump accurately. You do not necessarily need to buy this specific tester because a lot is available in the market.

Moving on, you must also understand that there are two approaches to measuring your leap using a tester: the full and the standing approaches. There is not much difference between these two methods—whatever you are most comfortable with, you are good to go. Here is a YouTube video for your reference.

  • Standing Approach

1. First, prepare a measuring device with you. Again, it does not matter what brand you have; whatever is available will do.

2. Second, you need to measure the height of your reach. Stand beside the measuring device while your arms reach as high as possible. Walk through the equipment and keep your arm as tightly as possible. You may do this method twice to ensure an accurate result.

3. Next, jump off both feet to reach the highest bar you can touch. Remember, you should not take any step before jumping—hence the reason it’s called the standing method.

4. Lastly, calculate your leap by subtracting the height you have jumped from your reach measurement. The formula is: Jump Height – Reach Measurement = Leap Measurement.

  • Full Approach

1. Again, measure your reach with the measuring device you have. It is essential because you will use this to calculate your leap height.

2. Contrary to the standing approach, you may take some steps before jumping off the ground. The idea here is to maximize your ability to reach your highest bar. Also, start by running a few yards.

3. The last step is to measure the height of your jump by subtracting the height you have jumped from the measurement of your reach. The formula is: Jump Height – Reach Measurement = Leap Measurement.

Measuring Vertical Leap Without Equipment

No equipment? Well, worry no more. There is an alternative method you can do to measure your leap. You must prepare a few materials like chalk and measuring tools like a tape measure. Here is a YouTube video for reference.

  • Without Equipment

1. First and foremost, you need to find a tall wall to show your jump’s height. The ideal one is an exterior building wall.

2. Even if it says, you need to prepare tape or chalk without equipment.

3. You can stick the tape to the wall using your middle finger or put chalk on the middle finger and tap the wall. Then, reach the highest height you can. This is the same method as the abovementioned approach.

4. For the standing method: just like what you did using a measuring device, jump as high as you can without taking any steps. Again, you can stick tape on your middle finger or put chalk on your middle finger to mark your jumping height.

5. For the full method: Instead of jumping off without a step, you may take as many steps as possible to maximize your potential.

6. Lastly, calculate the height of your vertical leap by subtracting the height you have jumped from your reach measurement. The formula is: Jump Height – Reach Measurement = Leap Measurement.

What is the Average NBA Vertical LeapWhat is the Average NBA Vertical Leap?

The average vertical leap of NBA players is 71 centimeters or 21 inches. This is almost half higher than the average vertical jump of a human, which is 10 inches. Well, they owe it to the power training they are used to doing daily.

Despite jumping 28 inches is already a huge feat, it is nothing compared to the star players in the NBA league. Some players can reach 40 inches, which you will learn about in the latter part of the blog.

5 Helpful Drills and Exercises to Increase Vertical Leap5 Helpful Drills and Exercises to Increase Vertical Leap

Now that you are stoked, you may want to know how to increase vertical leaps fast. Again, like any other basketball skill, it needs dedication, consistency, strength, and power training.

Exercises to Improve Vertical Jump

Exercising is one of the secrets to how to jump higher because it allows you to increase your strength while taking off the ground in the long run. Plus, it is an effective way to build power.

Below are some of the most effective exercises to increase vertical jumps fast.

  • Squats

Doing squats increase vertical leaps. To do it, you can tweak the traditional squat by adding posterior arm throws. Slowly drive the hips downwards while placing your hands behind you. Watch this YouTube video for a better visual reference.


  • Kneel to Leg Hop

To do it, you need to perform a half kneel and then do one leg hop. Start by planting one foot on the ground while kneeling slowly; after getting used to it, you can incorporate a hop when standing. It increases the leg strength necessary for jumping. Watch this Youtube video better for better visual reference.

  • Burbee

This exercise is effective overall, but it also increases your power. Hence, you will improve your power, endurance, and strength. To do it, you have to combine mountain climbers and to jump. Watch this YouTube video to learn how to do it.

Drills to Improve Vertical Jump

What’s the difference between a drill and exercise? A drill is a series of exercises. Now, drills are also excellent ways to improve your vertical jump. Check out the best drills you should know of.

  • Plyometric Drills

When talking about how to jump higher, plyometrics should never be missed out on. Plyometrics involves jumping from one point to another point. Hence, it allows you to strategically improve your jumps by making a consistent and targeted effort daily. Watch this YouTube video that provides plyometric drills for you. 

  • Agility Drills

Another way to improve your vertical jump is to increase your agility. The reason is that your leap measurement depends on how quickly you take off the ground when jumping. Some agility exercises include high knee runs, sprinting, carioca, etc. Here are some agility drills you can try at home.

Top 5 NBA Players and their Vertical LeapTop 5 NBA Players and their Vertical Leap

It is already known that the NBA league has some of the most talented players in the world who are blessed with above-average skills. Averagely, humans can jump up to 2o inches, but some exceptional players can jump double the average height. Check out the top 5 players with the highest vertical jumps.

1. Michael Jordan (48 Inches)

This player needs no introduction, as everyone knows how great this legend is. Michael Jordan recorded 48 inch of a vertical jump. His best vertical jump stat was during the All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk in 1988.

2. Darrell Griffith (48 Inches)

Another vertical jump legend made it to the list: Darrell Griffith. Griffith earned the monicker “Dr. Dunkenstein,” which solidified his NBA career with the Utah Jazz.

3. Jason Richardson (46.5 Inches)

Richardson’s record is incontestable because he won a back-to-back record in the 2002 and 2003 All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk competitions. He started his NBA career when the Golden State Warriors drafted him in 2001 as their 5th overall pick. Meaning he won slam dunk awards in the early days of his career.

4. Anthony Webb (46 Inches)

In 1986, Webb took the NBA by storm when he joined the slam dunk competition as a rookie. True to his determination, he recorded 46 inches of a vertical jump.

5. James White (46 Inches)

Last but not least is James White. He got drafted in 2006 as the 31st overall pick of the Trail Blazers, but he then moved to another league. He had a short NBA stint but recorded a historic vertical jump of 46 inches. Imagine what he could have done if given many opportunities.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Increase Your Vertical Jump for Basketball

Vertical jump is among the most prestigious skills in the NBA league since it helps your team gain an advantage with better dunking chances. The question is how to increase vertical jump for basketball.

The best answer is to do strength, power, and agility training. Exercises like squats will help you increase your vertical jump fast. Start training as early as now if you wish to become a dunk god in the future.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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