Does Vertical Jump Training Work?
Question: Does vertical jump training work?
Short Answer: Depends on your goals. If you ONLY want to add a few inches to your jump then most likely yes. If you want to be a better and stronger athlete overall, then I think there are better choices then a 100% specific vertical jump program.
Long Answer: I’ve never been big on most vertical jump programs. While there are a few good ones out there, most are a splattering of endless pseudo plyometric jumping, crazy volume, and poor accessory training. They bank on “beginner’s gains” to build a reputation.
In other words, you take a kid that does nothing, sell him on the idea he can add 5 inches (sounds like my email spam folder…but we are talking vertical jumps here!) and have him jump around for 30 minutes 3 times a week will probably get him in better shape. I could take that same kid and have him run hills, do lunges, or any exercise really and get the same results. In this situation, the gains aren’t a result of the program it is a result of doing any exercise.
While the goal is to get those vertical jumping gains, if we are talking athletics, there should be also many other goals to accomplish – relative strength, maximum strength, speed, agility, conditioning – to name a few.
Somehow we don’t do “vertical jump programs” specifically at Synergy, and we still have a lot of high fliers (30+ in verts). I prefer to integrate dynamic movements into a more complete program.
On a related note, here is the DYNAMIC EFFORT METHOD EXPLAINED.
Here’s a sample video of the style of jumping working I am describing.
Notes: We cycle box jumps (less stress on landing) with hurdle or broad jumps (still need to learn how to land). Instead of sleds and farmers walks you can replace with with lunges or heavy DB farmers walks if you don’t have access to the handles.
Conclusion: Don’t associate increased vertical jump with endless jumping in your program. I know I will get plenty of keyboard warriors that will comment on the YouTube saying that “this is dynamic effort because the sled drag is slow and then you did conditioning with the prowler.” BUT since you are smarter than that, you know that you don’t have to crush your body with endless bouncing around to improve explosive power.
You also know that if you don’t build muscle and strength to help your body explode, then you’ve limited your gains.
- Joe Hashey, CSCS -
PS. If you want our COMPLETE ATHLETE WORKOUTS then check out Bull Strength. As a spoiler alert, I will be taking down Bull Strength this summer since the gym is too busy to maintain the websites other than this Synergy site. If you want to get on board, now’s the time!