Every athlete wants to increase their vertical jump. The vertical is often used as a comparison between athletes, and is very indicative of the athlete’s ability to produce power. Of course, greater jumping ability also has obvious carryover to athletic performance on the field, especially in sports like basketball and volleyball.

So what’s the best way for someone to increase their vertical?

These days it’s popular to have kids take a class that spends an hour entirely on jump training. There are countless products out there that use resistance jumping (where bands are attached to the athlete and they repeatedly jump) that claim to be the best way to improve the vertical. These tools may have some merit, but I’ve found they’re really only beneficial with advanced athletes.

The best way to improve someone’s vertical jump is to 1) teach them how to jump correctly and 2) get them stronger.

It’s actually really simple. The only problem is that it’s not sexy like these jump trainers. Everybody wants to do the same things that professional athletes are doing. And there’s nothing wrong with that – except that you’re probably not a professional athlete! Those guys have earned the right to use the advanced tools. We have to master the basics first.

I’ve had high school kids increase their vertical jump by 10-15% in just 4 weeks. How did we do it? We learned how to jump correctly, and then we started to get stronger. But here’s the kicker – we never even picked up a weight! We used solely bodyweight exercises to build a great foundation.

Once that foundation is built, then we get really strong in the squat and deadlift. These exercises are all about the production of force into the ground. What’s a vertical jump? You guessed it. The production of force into the ground.

Quit wasting your time with Vertimax classes. Learn how to deadlift and squat properly, get really strong in those exercises, and watch your vertical continue to increase. This will work for the 99% of the population that doesn’t have a 40 inch vertical. Build you strength levels first, and then you can play around with advanced methods.