The advantage of height is not a natural gift given to all basketball players. It’s what “at-first-glance” separates taller players from the pack, which leaves smaller players at a physical disadvantage. Taking this into account small and average height players should be focusing on improving their athleticism through power and strength exercises for jumping in order to balance out the playing field.

Follow the basic tips and techniques below to activate and prepare your joints, so you can safely achieve the maximum vertical jump.

  • Always warm-up before doing a jumping test or drills. Jump rope for example will get the blood flowing and warm up the muscles.
  • Do several slow, controlled toe raises to prepare the feet and ankles for jumping and landing.

There are many ways to improve vertical jump, below are 7 effective exercises which include plyometrics, strength and power building processes. Strength by performing basic weight training exercise using slow, controlled movements, and build power with faster dynamic movements. Improve the speed of movement to build power with explosive, quick exercises.



The most common plyometric exercises include hops, jumps, and bounding movements. One popular plyometric exercise is jumping off a box and rebounding off the floor and onto another, higher box. Box jumps will also provide practice for jumping.


Full Squats

This barbell exercise will build both strength and power. It’s also one of the best total body exercises you can do. Dependant on your age and ability, full squats with your bodyweight as the resistance is just as beneficial at the beginning stages of incorporating this exercise.


Weighted/Dynamic Step-ups

The step-up is a great all-around exercise that you can do almost anywhere. It builds strength in your quadriceps, and can also be used as part of a cardio workout.


Overhead Walking Lunges

This exercise builds power, strength, and speed in your legs as well as improves core strength during movement. All you need is a weight and room to walk.


Single-leg Squats

You can do single-leg squats into seated position on a chair. It works your hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and calves while strengthening your core and helping flexibility.


Stair Running

This high-intensity workout helps build speed, power, and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Not only targeting the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, and calves, but also helps to improve the overall core strength.



These short bouts of intense running can be combined with your jogging routine or focused on as its own exercise. The muscle build will increase your power and performance.


The above 7 exercises will help to improve the muscles needed to increase your vertical when jumping. Base the addition of weights to these exercises according to your age and personal ability. If there are other drills or exercises you wish to focus on to help you improve, let me know in the comments below. Stay safe out there!

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