Many qualities go into making a great basketball player. Height is often thought to be most important, however, the ability to jump high with power is valued more. Many athletes wish to improve their vertical, but have been met with little success because they do not know how to do so. Below are a few tips that will help to improve a vertical before this upcoming season.

Squat Jump

This exercise targets the most muscles used for a vertical jump. Align feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a deep squat, then jump up as hard and fast as possible. Do until failure. This movement will go a long way to improve a vertical.

Toe Raises

Toe raises can be done anywhere and at anytime. Simply lift heels until only the toes and balls of the feet are on the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then lower heels. Doing this exercise on a raised surface, like a stair, allows for a wider range of motion and a deeper workout. Do so with just the toes on the stair, leaving the heels to hang off.

Eliminate Knots in the Leg

Knots exist all over the body, reducing each muscle’s potential. If affected in the legs, they will slightly reduce the muscle’s ability to propel a jump into the air. The best way to reduce knots is to use a foam roller on the calves, hamstrings, quads and IT bands.

Depth Jump

Start by standing on a box. Lower one leg onto the ground while keeping the other on the box. Only touch the toe and ball of the foot onto the ground, keeping the heel up. Push off the ground as powerfully as possible, returning both feet to the starting position.

Jumping Rope

Utilizing a jump rope habitually in a workout routine is crucial in a sport like basketball. Jumping rope helps build a foundation for a vertical jump. It requires ample use from calves and surrounding muscles, toning them like no other workout can.


Make these exercises a part of training to help see results in a vertical jump. Measure jump progress on a weekly basis to get an idea of what movements work best.