Episode # 46

Epic Vertical Jump Q&A

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Released on January 14, 2016

In this weeks episode, Joe answers questions specifically directed towards improving vertical jump performance. Below you will find a list of the topics covered during this show…


00:10:10 – Joe reveals the simple test that will help you troubleshoot the “weak link” in your vertical jump

00:22:20 – Joe’s “skinny calf theory” gets challenged by a listener!

00:31:35 – Volume recommendations for jumps and plyos

00:39:35 – Biggest plyometric training mistakes

00:46:15 – Joe D’s Top 5 dynamic-effort strength exercises for improving the vertical jump

01:01:00 – Joe D’s personal experience using isokinetic machines for power development

01:05:00 – The theory behind static stretching your hip flexors [before testing your vertical jump]… plus a new “pre-jump” stretching recommendation!

01:11:45 – Analyzing your Box Jump performance compared to your Vertical Jump performance

01:17:05 – Is it possible to make significant improvements in vertical jump height or is it mainly genetic?


Drop me a comment below and let me know what you thought of the show!

Do you have a vertical jump question that didn’t get answered on today’s podcast? If so, you can post your question in the comments section below as well. [If I get enough questions, I’ll do an “Epic Vertical Jump Q&A – Part 2”  for you guys 🙂

-Joe D. 


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  1. Joe, thanks for the terrific podcast. I see you giving a lot of great advice on bilateral jumps and would like to know a little bit more about unilateral jumping.
    In your opinion what are the top 5 exercises for improving single leg jumping ability?

  2. Joe, do you have any recommendations for training single leg jumping specifically? It seems I see most of your athletes performing jumps that would carry over more to double leg jumps. Any suggestions for strength or jump exercises that have good carry over to the type of single leg jumps from an approach like you see in basketball? Thanks for the incredibly informative podcast!

  3. Thank you Joe for the time you take to talk about this stuff.

    I opend my gym here in germany. You give me that inspiriment of helping athletes.
    I have the same tinking like you and love to listen to you podcast when i do some office stuff 😉
    Also getting new input from you for my workouts and everyday problems with my clients.

    I hope one day i see some of my clients in the NFL or as an Olympics winner.
    And maybe we will meet some day. I would love to!

    Peace from Germany.


  4. Joe man! I can’t find the video of Jill Miller using yoga ball in squat rack you were talking about! Can you provide a link? And one of you using lacrosse ball to open chest and shoulders? Thank you I appreciate it man!

  5. Joe, what’s a good shock plyometric progression for a lifter that can deadlift 2xBW and squat around the same? I know there’s a lot of info on the drop and depth jump, but there’s no sample list to tell you how to progress. I’d be most thankful if you could answer this question since I’m highly interested in implementing these exercises and benefiting from them but have no idea how to do so. Greetings from a longtime podcast listener and a future DeFranco Inside Member… maybe not soon but one day. Your stuff is worth it. Looking forward for that answer.

  6. One of my favorite podcasts yet, A part 2 would be awesome!
    I would love to know do you do plyos before strength workouts or do you have dedicated plyometric days for your athletes.
    If I do plyos before my lower body days I can only fit in one or two plyometric exercises before it affects my workout?

  7. Joe- Thanks for the podcast! First time listener and absolutely one of the most informative podcasts that i’ve ever listened to. I’ve been playing basketball for decades, but have never lifted weight with my legs. Do you have any recommendations for people starting out with these 4-5 routines, balance…split squats? At what point can you begin training with resistance bands? What resistance types/brands and lengths of bands would you use for each of these routines? Thanks!

  8. Amar – I did NOT know about that app, so THANK U for sharing.. I want this blog/podcast/forum to be a place where people can come to learn, discuss, and SHARE new information – so your input is much appreciated. I’m definitely going to check out that app now..

  9. Joe D,

    First of all, thank you very much for the podcast. We really appreciate it, and most importantly we learn so much stuff every week! Thank you.

    I did not know you were a comedian…”if your box jump and your vertical jump are the same, you need some MAJOR mobility work brother” that me laugh like crazy. Thanks for that moment.

    Regarding the 1st question, your were referring to determining the force-velocity profile of an athlete. To complement your field test (static jump vs CMJ) you mentioned, there is an interesting app (My Jump) that will allow you to determine your profile, either strength or velocity oriented. Furthermore, it will help you design your program depending if your athlete needs more strength or more speed work. There is even an article to help interpret the results you get from the app: “Interpreting power-force-velocity profiles for individualized and specific training”, by Morin et Samozino 2015. I used it and found it very helpful and easy to use.

    May be you know the app already. Also, there is an app for determining your sprinting characteristics (MySprint).

    Hope that helps advancing our field and keep educating us. You are doing a fantastic job.

    Thank you from Switzerland!!!

  10. Mario – First of all, I appreciate you listening all the way from Australia! As far as your ankle mobility is concerned, I recommend you do a weighted calf stretch each and every day (twice a day if possible). It’s simple, just place the front half of your foot on a stair (and let your heel hang down). For example, If you’re stretching your left calf, your left foot will be placed on the edge of the stair with the heel hanging down. Your right leg can just “hang” behind you. You will hold a weight plate, dumbell or kettelbell (20-45lbs.) in the left hand to help “pull” your body down and increase the intensity of the stretch. (Your right hand can hold a banister or the wall – for balance/support.) Hold this stretch for 30-60sec. then repeat on the other side. Perform 1-2 sets, 1-2X a day. Use this stretch as your daily “staple”, but you’ll also need to do some “active” stretching and soft tissue “self care”. For this, I highly recommend going to YouTube and searching “Kelly Starrett ankle mobility”. He has a TON of great stuff that will last you a lifetime. The key is staying CONSISTENT with your ankle mobility. If you’re really tight, you’re going to need to do something everyday to counteract that. The good thing is, it only takes 5-10min each day. Good luck brother. -Joe D.

  11. Joe,

    You mentioned progression for jumps in terms of volume to ramp up slowly over time. My question is in regards of progression from one type of jump to the next. As in, when would it be appropriate to program say for example a weighted box jump vs. hurdle hops? Does that all depend on the phase of training you are in?


  12. Joe, you mentioned mobility a few times in this video. Personally, I really struggle with this aspect of my training, especially in my ankles. It’s so bad that I can’t do an air squat without falling flat on my backside or can’t perform a Vertical jump without being on the balls of my feet. Can you makes some recommendations on how to address this issue and how you handle this with your athletes. My current vertical jump is at 30 inches and I want to get to 35! Btw great podcast, always love your helpful advice! Listening all the way from Australia!

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