Science Looks At Safely Increasing Explosiveness in Teen Basketball Players

Vert Shock: How Much Can You Gain?

The question of how much can you increase your vertical jump (VJ) is one that many people ask. Some believe it’s not possible to get any higher than what you are now; others say they have seen some great gains with very little effort.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t want to spend time or money on expensive equipment just so you can make a few extra inches. And if your goal is to improve your VJ, then there’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars on a gym membership because even though it might seem like it helps, the results aren’t always worth the cost.

So how much do you need to achieve maximum height? What about if you want to go beyond the current top professional basketball players?

There are several factors that determine whether you’ll reach your goals. These include genetics, strength level, body type, age and more. But before we look at those variables, let’s first take a closer look at what exactly happens when someone jumps up into the air.

What Happens When Someone Jumps Up Into The Air?

When you jump up into the air, you go through a specific sequence of movements that involve several joints and muscles. Your lower body works in unison with your upper body in order to create the force that allows you to leave the ground.

The exact same jumping motion occurs whether you’re going up or going forward, sometimes even when you’re sitting down or pushing off from the ground. The only thing that changes is the way your muscles need to react when you’re going up or coming down.

To jump straight up, you would push off from the ground with your legs while keeping your back and arm muscles loose, then you’d bend your knees and hips once you’re in the air. Finally, you would extend your knees and hips to land. It’s a simple matter of coordinate muscle movements in the right direction.

So Just How High Can You Go?

As with all aspects of the body, everyone is different and this extends to jumping as well. Some people are simply more gifted than others in this area.

The average person can only jump up to around six inches, give or take a little. This is because we’re born with the ability to contract certain muscles to a greater or lesser degree than others.

However, this doesn’t mean that everyone won’t be able to improve their height. There are still a number of methods out there that claim they can improve your vertical jump by such-and-such amount or inches.

Most of these are outright scams and rely on the placebo effect (the idea that if you think something will work, it will for a while even if it is ineffective in the long term). There are, however, a few that do actually work. These are ones that focus on training the muscles involved in jumping in a way that they are not used to.

One such method uses weights to strengthen your body and make it better able to handle the pressures of jumping. This is different from ordinary weightlifting in that you’re not actually moving the weights, just holding them at different points while your body is in a particular position.

For example, you might lift a light weight in your hand and hold it out to the side, then slowly move it up next to your ear. These types of exercises might at first seem odd or ineffective for building strength, but they target the muscles in ways that they aren’t used to so that they grow stronger and able to handle stresses that they weren’t targeted in the past.

How Much Can You Increase Your Vertical Jump?

So now we come to the all important question, just how much can you increase your vertical jump if you use these methods?

Unfortunately, there is no definite answer. Everyone is different so you might see a big increase, a small increase or even no increase in your height.

The best way to gauge whether or not these methods are working for you is to keep track of your progress. If you begin to see an increase then you know the methods are working. If not, perhaps you’re doing something wrong or your body is just not capable of increasing your jumping ability by a large amount.

The good news is that there are other methods out there that can help you jump higher. Many of them fall into the category of scams, but there are a few that are legitimate and can help you on your quest to dunk like Nate Robinson.

Science Looks At Safely Increasing Explosiveness in Teen Basketball Players - Picture

The main thing to note about any of these methods is that they require dedication and lots and lots of practice. You can’t just try one of them once and think that you’re going to see immediate results, you really have to work at it and put the time in if you want to get anywhere.

One method is to simply jump repeatedly in the hope that your muscles will adjust to the exercise and you’ll be able to jump higher. This is similar to how athletes who compete in the triple jump or long jump are able to jump much further than the average person, their muscles have simply adapted to the stresses that they place on them when they jump.

This won’t work for everyone though and takes a lot of time, probably years. You would have to jump regularly from a stand still in the hopes that your muscles, tendons and bones will all grow and strengthen in the right way to allow you to jump higher. It’s a slow process and people who don’t have a lot of time may not see results, but if you can put in the hours then it will pay off.

Another method is similar and that’s to use a rebound machine. These can be purchased online or in some specialist sports stores and can help to train your muscles and allow you to jump higher. You simply place one foot into the machine and then jump up and down as fast as you can.

Sources & references used in this article:

The effects of a complex training protocol on vertical jump performance in male high school basketball players by D Roden, R Lambson, M DeBeliso – Journal of Sports Science, 2014 –

Effect of Plyometric Training on Selected Physical Fitness Variables among Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad Basketball Players by PBA Varma, NS Dileep –

The Effects of Plyometric Exercise on Lower Extremity Force Production and Reactive Strength in Adolescent Female Basketball Players by RB Hill – 2020 –

Effectiveness and time-course adaptation of resistance training vs. plyometric training in prepubertal soccer players by Y Negra, H Chaabene, T Stöggl, M Hammami… – … and Health Science, 2016 – Elsevier