Speed/ Plyometrics/ Conditioning

TOP 3 Special Strength Exercises to Improve Vertical Jump!



Q: Coach Defranco-

I recently graduated from university with a degree in exercise science. I have a desire to keep learning. Of specific interest to me is improving vertical leaping ability. To further my knowledge i recently purchased Special Strength Training Manual for coaches from elitefts. I also just purchased your power dvd – which btw, was beyond my expectations, so many exercises to choose from it is amazing!! After watching your dvd and reading through the special strength manual, my question to you is: If an athlete demonstrates adequate levels of maximal strength in the basic lifts (squat and deadlift), what are some of your favorite “special strength” exercises for improving leaping ability?? Do you have a top 5 list or something?? (I guess I just get overwhelmed with all the exercises that i’ve been reading about and seeing on youtube, dvd’s,etc

If you find the time to answer this it would be an honor coach. Thnx!! Aaron

A: Aaron,

My initial response to your question was going to be a long-winded explanation about how it’s impossible to narrow down the “best” exercises because there’s so many factors regarding the athlete’s strengths, weaknesses, physical maturity, training age, sport, technical jumping ability, flexibility, blah, blah, blah.

But then I said, “Screw it!” People love “lists” and articles that cut to the chase. Even people that hate to read will still read articles with the following titles: “Top 10 Foods to Burn Fat!”… “Best Triceps Exercises to Increase Your Bench Press!”…”Top 5 Pieces of Equipment every Gym MUST Have!”

Hopefully you get my point. I’ve come to realize that not every “Ask Joe” has to be an in-depth explanation of every single question. Every now and then, people just want to know what the hell they should do to jump higher, run faster or get stronger! Plus, it’s already 1:35am so I’m going to cut right to the chase and give you exactly what you asked for 🙂 Below you will find my current Top 3 List of Special Strength Exercises for Improving Your Vertical Jump!

[Without trying to sound cocky, I consider myself somewhat of an expert with regards to training athletes to improve their vertical jump. So I am extremely confident when I say the following three exercises have worked – and will work – for most high-level athletes looking to add inches to their vertical jump! NOTE: Remember that these are considered ‘Special Strength’ exercises and should only be used by athletes that possess adequate levels of maximal strength.]


Depth Jump into Underhand Med Ball Toss (for height)



Band-Resisted Kettlebell Swings

*NOTE: This exercise can also be substituted with Partner KB PowerBombs (as explained in POWER!).


“Dumbell Drop” Box Jumps 



#For more information regarding the science behind these exercises, as well as specific exercise execution, check out our newly-released POWER! DVD by clicking here >>> eXpLoDe!!

##Speaking of POWER!, check out what the “Godfather of POWER” had to say about this product!!! 

“Man, I’ve seen it all when it comes to training for sports! As a coach, author and athlete for over 50 years, I can tell you that there are precious few resources out there that can compare with the new DVD, “POWER!” by Joe DeFranco and James Smith. These guys are the real deal, folks! In “POWER!” they have given you practically every tool you will ever need in your quest for total domination in your sport! Buy it now. Don’t think about it.”
-Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D. aka “Dr. Squat”

Truly honored and humbled by the above testimonial.

-Joe D. 


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