A How Much Can You Increase Your Vertical Jump in 6 Months?
Any athlete who’s serious about their performance should make a habit of setting goals. And one of the questions I get from athletes who DO set goals is: “Hey Chris, how much can you increase your vertical jump in 6 months?”
This is a great question. The answer is, it depends.
The amount of inches you can increase your vertical jump depends on many factors. The main factor is your training experience. If you’ve never trained before, or you’re a beginner (trained less than a year) you can expect to increase your vertical jump by 8-10 inches in six months, following the right training protocols. If you’re intermediate (trained for 1-2 years), you can realistically expect to see your vertical jump up by around six inches. And if you’re advanced (trained for more than 2 years), you can expect to see it jump by, at most, 4 inches.
Now this all depends on your training methods.
Your training methods should be different based on your training experience to maximize your results.
Below, I want to dive deeper into the training methods you should use based on your training experience. The information below will serve as a blueprint for your vertical jump training customized to your training experience.
6 Month Vertical Jump Training Plan for Beginners (0-1 Year of Training Experience)
Beginners will have a very easy time increasing their vertical jump.
The reason for this is simply that their nervous system will rapidly respond to the new stimulus it is presented with. In this case, that new stimulus comes from training.
The rapid response of your nervous system will result in fast adaptations. But you need to present your body with the RIGHT stimulus to capitalize on the blank slate nature of your nervous system.
In general, beginners will want to emphasize explosive movements and training fast over moving heavy weights slowly. This is to develop fast twitch muscle fibers that will help with your bounce.
Here are a few training modalities you should focus on as a beginner:
1. Quality Movement
Quality movement is EVERYTHING as a beginner. The reason for this is simple: It’s harder break bad habits that build new ones. Movement is new to you, so it’s important we instill these good habits.
This means you spend time learning to jump and land properly. Be meticulous when you perform movements like squats, trap bar deadlifts, or any other weighted movements.
When you do this, you’ll avoid the headache of circling back to enhance movement patterns.
2. Connected Jumps
I use connected jumps at all levels, but they’re especially important beginners.
Connected jumps can enhance the energy efficiency and force production capacity of all of the joints involved in the vertical jump. This includes the ankle, knee, and hip.
Some of my favorite connected jumps for beginners include:
- Pogo Jumps
- Squat Jumps
- Lunge Jumps
Again, these may see simple, but they’ll be monumental in your journey to a higher vertical jump.
3. Unilateral Plyometrics
Another critical piece of your vertical jump training for beginners are unilateral plyometrics.
Unilateral plyometrics are critical for a couple of reasons.
The first is that unilateral plyometrics work each leg’s ability to absorb and produce force individually.
The second reason unilateral plyometrics are critical is that they build stability in the lower extremities.
Some of the best unilateral plyometrics you can perform are:
- Single Leg Box Jumps
- Single Leg Tuck Jumps
- Power Skips for Height
Stick with those and you’ll be on your way to a higher vertical. (for a list of some single leg plyo’s, click here)
4. Force Absorption Training
Force absorption is another massively overlooked aspect of vertical jump training. Many athletes look to box jumps and other “fancy” plyometrics to put more bounce in their step. But, most don’t realize that the more force you can ABSORB, the more you can produce.
So, if you keep this fact in mind, you should realize that force absorption is KEY.
But, how do you train force absorption?
The best ways to train force absorption are with eccentric-focused movements.
Eccentric focused movements are movements that emphasize the lowering portion of movement
Begin your eccentric training by lowering down in a controlled manner in all of your movements. Jumps, squats, deadlifts, and more should all be done with a controlled eccentric tempo.
As you feel yourself gaining more eccentric strength, progress this by adding tempos. Start with a 2 second eccentric, then progress to 3 seconds, then four.
5. Resisted Plyometrics
Finally, you’ll want to implement many resisted plyometrics into your training.
There are many plyometric movements that can be resisted, such as:
- Box Jumps
- Pogo Jumps
- Squat Jumps
- Lunge Jumps
- Low Squat Jumps
And a bunch more.
But, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind while performing these movements.
First, resisted plyometrics should be no heavier than 10% of your bodyweight.
Second, make sure your properly performing the movement before you add weight. Adding weight without movement efficiency is a recipe for disaster.
6 Month Vertical Jump Training Plan for Intermediates (1-2 Years of Training Experience)
If you’re an intermediate, it means you’ve already taken advantage of all of your newbie gains, and you need a more dialed in approach to training. Thus, your approach to training for a higher vertical will change as well.
In this stage, you’ll perform more strength training,and advance your plyometric training to get your body to react.
It’s also important to note that you’ll use all of the modalities I laid out in the previous section. You’ll use these modalities in addition.
1. Reactive Plyometrics
In the beginner stage, you worked on your fundamental movement, and you build your force absorption capacity.
Reactive plyometrics will build on both of these characteristics.
A reactive plyometric is simply a plyometric in which you reactive off the ground into another jump. An example of this is a rebound vertical jump in which you step off of a raised surface, react off the ground, and explode into another powerful jump.
Some of my other favorite reactive plyometrics are:
- Depth to vertical jump
- A Depth to broad jump
- Depth to split lunge
- Depth to MB Vertical toss
- Single leg squat drop to box jump
And a bunch more (to see some of these demonstrated, see this blog post).
The key to each of these movements is to minimize ground contact time and quickly transition into an explosive jump.
2. Absolute Power Training
In the last stage, we developed a base of force absorption. Now that we have that, we can confidently train force production in isolation with plyometrics that remove the stretch reflex. I call this absolute power training.
The main example of absolute power training is a seated box jump. The seated box jump has no counter movement, therefore, the athlete cannot use the stretch reflex to produce more force. Here, the athlete must simply rely on the elasticity in his lower body.
You can also perform this kind of training by performing isometric holds before jumping. If you take a box jump for example, you would lower down to your normal depth for a jump, hold for 3 seconds, then explode up.
This, again, will limit the involvement of the stretch reflex and build your absolute power.
3. Triphasic Training
As I mentioned above, in this stage you’re going to place more of an emphasis on weight training.
In the beginner stage, you focused on lighter weight movements performed quickly and foundational movements performed with great form.
Here, we’re going to crank things up a notch with Triphasic Training.
If you don’t know, Triphasic Training is one of the methods I used to increase my vertical by 12 inches (more on that below). In the most simple terms possible, it’s taking time to emphasize each portion of a lift to build certain qualities.
So, one block will be dedicated to the eccentric portion of a lift, one block will be dedicated to the isometric portion, and one block will be dedicated to the concentric portion.
Again, this builds certain qualities that you can’t receive with traditional weight training. Qualities that will help you become more athletic and jump higher.
6 Month Vertical Jump Training Plan for Advanced (2+Years of Training Experience)
Finally, we arrive at advanced athletes.
These are athletes who have been lifting for 2+ years. Their nervous systems have seen a lot of stimulus, and it’s going to take everything and the kitchen sink to see an increased vertical jump.
Have no fear. I’m going to help you here.
Just like the intermediate stage, you’ll utilize all the training methodologies from the previous stages to increase your vertical. But, you’ll also sprinkle in some more advanced stuff that will help you tremendously.
1. Sports-Specific Vertical Jump Training
Everyone has a reason for jumping higher.
Some just want to dunk. Others want to leap over their competition to grab a pass. Some want the ability to spike the ball.
Whatever it is, in this stage, you’re going to perform jumps that are specific to your goal.
For example, if you want to dunk, you’ll practice dunking.
If you want to spike the ball, practice that.
If you’re a hooper looking to grab more boards, practice continuous jumps touching the rim for time.
You’ll have to get a little creative here, but these maximum effort jumps will surely put more bounce in your step.
2. Accommodating Resistance
Accommodating Resistance is my favorite lifting method to develop power. And it’s the best in my opinion.
Well, if you’ve ever met a powerlifter, chances are they didn’t have a 40 inch vertical. In fact, they probably weren’t very athletic at all. But, they could probably lift a TON of weight.
They could produce a lot of force, but they couldn’t do it quickly.
They had strength, not power.
And in simple terms, power comes from moving weights fast.
That’s what accommodating resistance encourages you to do.
Accommodating resistance, in the form of bands, forces you to accelerate through an entire movement, and perform that movement faster than you would without bands.
Because in a regular squat, as you move towards the top position, there’s less tension. In other words, the weight is easier to move.
When you add accommodating resistance, you keep the tension on throughout the entire movement. This forces you to move the weight FAST.
In general, I like to keep the weight no more than 70% of your one rep max. I usually stick around the 30-50% range.
3. Contrast Training
Contrast training is simple. It’s performing a heavy, resisted movement followed by a weightless, explosive movement that uses a similar movement pattern.
For example: a squat followed by a vertical jump.
When you do this properly, your muscular performance should be heightened in your vertical jump.
Post-activation potentiation. Post-activation potentiation is essentially an increase in your muscular performance due to the muscle’s contractile history. In other words, the performance of the body is heightened after a near-max effort muscle contraction.
You can use this training methodology with your vertical jump training, not only to get your muscles used to performing better, but also to turn strength into power.
The Plan I Used to Increase My Vertical Jump 12 Inches (As an Advanced Lifter)
It was pretty crazy. Even unbelievable. A few years back, I increased my vertical by 12 inches in 9 months after years of training for college football and the NFL combine.
It’s called the Flight System.
And a few years ago, I released it to help athletes all over the world jump higher. Whether they wanted to dunk, catch more passes, or grab more boards, they found solace in The Flight System.
Since I know you’re serious about your vertical jump training (as you just read this entire post)…
I want to offer you The Flight System for an exclusive discount.
You won’t find this anywhere else.
Skeptical? Click the link below to read more about The Flight System and the impact it’s had on athletes around the world.
That way, you can make an informed decision.