10 Exercises to Enhance Vertical Jump and Explosiveness

Having a higher vertical jump and explosive power can greatly benefit athletes involved in sports such as basketball, volleyball, and track and field. Not only does it allow athletes to jump higher and reach for rebounds or spike a ball, but it also improves overall athletic performance. In this article, we will explore 10 exercises that can help improve your vertical jump and explosiveness.

1. Squats

Squats are a foundational exercise for developing lower body strength and power. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, lower your hips down as if sitting in a chair, and then push through your heels to return to the starting position. Gradually increase the weight to challenge your muscles and enhance explosiveness.

2. Box Jumps

Box jumps are a plyometric exercise that focuses on explosive power. Find a sturdy box or platform, and with both feet on the ground, jump onto the box using your arms for momentum. Step back down and repeat the exercise for multiple reps. This exercise helps improve the fast-twitch muscle fibers responsible for explosive jumping.

3. Calf Raises

Strong calves are vital for generating power and increasing your vertical jump. Stand on the edge of a step or a raised platform with your heels hanging off. Rise up on your toes as high as possible, then lower your heels below the level of the step. Repeat for several sets to build calf strength and explosiveness.

4. Lunges

Lunges strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which are key muscles involved in explosive movements. Take a step forward with one foot and lower your body until both knees form a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the starting position and alternate legs. Add weights to increase resistance and difficulty.

5. Depth Jumps

Depth jumps are an advanced plyometric exercise that trains your body to produce maximum explosive power. Stand on a raised platform, step off, and immediately upon landing, jump as high as possible. Land softly and absorb the impact. This exercise helps improve reactive strength and explosiveness.

6. Power Cleans

Power cleans are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Start with the barbell on the ground, explosively lift the weight while simultaneously engaging your lower body and core, and then catch it in a front rack position. This exercise improves overall power and explosiveness.

7. Step-ups

Step-ups are a unilateral exercise that builds strength and power in one leg at a time. Find a sturdy box or platform, step onto it with one leg, and push through the heel to lift your entire body up. Step back down and repeat with the other leg. Add weights to further challenge yourself and enhance explosiveness.

8. Plyometric Push-ups

Plyometric push-ups target the upper body while incorporating explosive movements. Start with a traditional push-up position and lower your chest towards the ground. As you push up, explode off the ground, clapping your hands before landing back in the starting position. This exercise improves upper body explosiveness.

9. Single-Leg Hops

Single-leg hops focus on improving balance, stability, and explosive power in each leg individually. Stand on one leg and hop forward, backward, or laterally, landing softly and immediately springing into the next hop. Perform multiple sets on each leg to develop explosiveness in both legs.

10. Sprints

Sprints are an effective exercise for improving explosive power and overall athleticism. Find an open space and sprint as fast as you can for a short distance, then rest and repeat for multiple sets. This exercise targets the muscles responsible for explosive movements and helps develop speed and power.


Incorporating these 10 exercises into your training routine can significantly enhance your vertical jump and explosiveness. Remember to gradually increase the intensity and challenge your muscles to continue progressing. Combine these exercises with proper nutrition and rest to optimize your athletic performance and achieve your goals.