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3 Steps to Improve Your Vertical Leap

3 Steps to Increase Your Vertical Leap from an Olympian

Written by
July 8, 2014
Updated April 12, 2018
Category: Pros

Whether you want to dunk like Jordan or clear the high jump, these three steps will take your vertical leap to new heights.  

The Key to an Enhanced Vertical Leap

As we all know, your body contains several large muscle groups. To increase your vertical leap all you need to do is apply those muscle groups to work in the same direction, working toward the same goal. The summation of force produced by these large muscle groups is the effect of triple extension.

You have your major, larger muscle groups getting everything going, generating power and your smaller, ancillary muscles are going to give you those extra five, six, seven, or even eight inches on your vertical leap.

3 Steps to Increase Vertical Leap

The first thing to understand is that your body is more powerful and explosive when performing dynamic movement; that’s why in top end speed there are more forces at work than at a steady state.

Vertical Leap Step 1:

Don’t get down in a squat position to begin your jump. You always want to start at the top, go down, and come back up. There is more power when using a full range of motion as opposed to a static start.

Vertical Leap Step 2:

Begin by releasing your body, getting as tall as you can, and up on your toes. Stretch the front side of your body, reaching your arms for the sky. Come down nice and slow, bringing your hands down low beside your calves. In the bottom position you should be loaded at the calf, the ankle, the knees, and the hips, keeping  your heels on the ground.

Vertical Leap Step 3:

As you come up envision you are deadlifting 900 pounds, this is not a fast movement. First, come up with your hips to get the momentum going. Next, everything comes from the knees. The hands and the knees have to go at the same time. Think of your hands as little projectiles guiding you in the direction you want your body to go. Slow down, slow up. You want to extend at the hips, knees, and ankles. The hands will go up as well.


That’s all there is to it. I have a 42″ vertical leap, before I started with triple extension exercises and understood what was going on with biomechanics, I was stuck at about 27″ or 28″. Follow the steps laid out above and watch your vertical leap soar.

"Trey Hardee is an American track and field athlete who specializes in the decathlon. He is a former NCAA Champion, a two-time World Outdoor Champion, a member of the United States 2008 Olympic team, and the silver medal decathlon winner of the London 2012 Olympics. Trey Hardee's personal best of 8,790, which he set in Berlin in 2009, currently ranks 4th in the event in American history and 9th in the world all-time."
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