Getting a higher vertical jump easily warrants you a competitive advantage in any sport, whether it be basketball, volleyball, and even the high jump.
In certain sports, like volleyball and the high jump, your vertical quite literally determines your ability to play the game; in other sports, such as basketball, a high jump contributes immensely to your ability to defend, rebound, and obviously, dunk.
Jump training has been shown to have benefits that extend beyond a higher jump, such as an overall improvement in athleticism, making it a solid option for sports players.
However, attaining a high vertical isn’t easy; you’ve got to be willing to put in the work of arranging your workout routine, eating properly, and resting, all while handling everything else in your life.
That can make jump training a bit of a hassle at first, especially for newcomers that have no previous experience with plyometrics or weight training, the two core components that make up a good jump workout.
Jump programs help offset the confusion and trouble of doing everything yourself by providing a guide you can follow with the proper vertical jump training to increase your vertical.
Well, that should be the case, but the vertical jump community has seen a massive amount of programs spring up over time, some of which are amazing, and others of which are best left unmentioned.
For that reason, I’ve distilled the selection process down to provide you with a list of what I believe to be the two best vertical jump training programs that are currently available.
I’ve based my selection not only on personal experience but also on the program’s credibility, structure, and how well it delivers results.
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The Best Vertical Jump Training Programs
Before continuing, I do want to say that each of these vertical jump programs has their own strengths and weakness, and as such, may cater more towards specific individuals.
I don’t say that to detract from their effectiveness; these two programs easily beat the rest of the competition in their ability to deliver results, and regardless of which one you choose, they’ll both offer plenty for improving your jump as long as you follow through with them.
However, even though these are the best vertical jump programs, your decision should be based on which program suits your needs specifically since in this manner you’ll be able to maximize your own personal use of the program you choose.
1. Vert Shock
At the top of my list of best jump training programs is the mind-blowing Vert Shock program that was released back in 2014.
From its release, this program garnered heaps amounts of attention thanks in part to the results it was getting for athletes across the globe, increasing their vertical by as much as 15 inches in as little as 8 weeks.
This exposure gave Vert Shock the reputation and credibility it now holds many years later as one of the best vertical jump programs.
I’ve tested various other programs, and from personal experience, I can tell you that Vert Shock easily takes the cake.
My results with Vert Shock were a whopping 12-inch increase to my vertical.
I had my doubts, but it’s no real surprise as to why the program did so well when you consider the people behind this gem.
The creator of Vert Shock is Adam Folker, a former Division I college basketball player at UC Irvine, now a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist.
He worked alongside Justin “Jus Fly” Darlington, a professional dunker, and together they blended their expertise and years of experience in the realm of vertical jump training to create a program based on sound principles that are backed by science.
Now the reason why this program came to hold such a title and the reason why it’s here on this list is primarily due to the program’s effectiveness and efficiency in its approach to improving jump height.
In specific, it uses a method called “Shock Training” to shock the muscles into activation, leading to the development of the Type 2B muscle fibers, also referred to as fast-twitch muscle fibers, which contribute immensely to your ability to jump.
Looking at the program’s structure, it’s entirely composed of plyometrics, with no weight training involved, and is separated into three distinct phases:
This phase is the first week of the program which acts as a precursor that prepares your body for the following phases. It can definitely seem to be the most challenging week as it plunges you straight into intense workout sessions composed of plyometrics, as well as both bodyweight and jumping-specific exercises.
This phase is the next six weeks of the program, weeks 2 – 7, which is where you’ll see the most results in your vertical. The workout sessions consist of a variety of different exercises, most of which target the lower body and core, and all of which are meant to be completed at maximum intensity.
This phase is the final week of the program, and of the three phases, this one can be considered to be the most demanding on your body. Here there’s a greater emphasis on jump-specific exercises with an increase in the repetitions per session. This helps to improve both muscle memory and jumping form.
The three-phase approach makes it easy to follow, with a very lean structure that is direct in its approach to training.
Once you purchase the program you’re given access to the member’s section, which can be reached on any device.
Here you’ll find the workouts laid out in PDFs containing all of the information for each day of the week. With each exercise, there are corresponding instructional videos, all of which are recorded in high-quality and nicely arranged in a video library.
Aside from this, you’re also given additional bonuses, such as tips on improving your jumping technique, as well as tools for keeping track of your vertical jump and even your diet.
However, the true magic of this program is how fast it gets results. For a whole two months, you’ll train 4 to 6 days per week, performing a variety of plyometric exercises in intense workout sessions the entire way.
The program pushes you to your limits, and in doing so you effectively improve on the speed and explosiveness of your jump, thereby adding inches to your vertical.
What are the Negatives of Vert Shock?
Vert Shock requires serious time dedication for its two-month time-frame. The exercises are exhausting, lasting an hour or more, and resting properly is critical to getting results.
That means it’s a good idea to set aside some time to do this program since it’s draining and trying to do much else during this time is going be rough.
Aside from a few more negatives I mentioned in my review on Vert Shock, there really isn’t much else to say.
What are the Positives of Vert Shock?
Vert Shock finishes quicker than most, taking only 2 months to complete, and results are already seen about halfway into the program.
The focus on using strictly plyometrics allows you the flexibility to perform exercises from home or even at a park, giving the user the convenience of training where they want, instead of requiring a gym.
However, its simplicity is really what makes it shine as the best vertical jump program; all you have to do to improve your vertical is to follow the workout plan and you’re good to go.
Who is Vert Shock For?
Vert Shock is for people that are in the beginner to the intermediate-range since it uses plyometrics and has a straightforward approach that most anyone can follow.
Especially for beginners, the absence of weight training, and the speed at which the program goes makes it easy to start training and see results quickly.
They also have a weight training module that’s separate from the main program which you can purchase.
It’s labeled “Complex Training Techniques”, and is composed of weights only, making it a great routine to follow after finishing the main program.
I will say that if you consider yourself injury-prone or if you’ve had previous injuries in the legs, then perhaps you should look into a different program.
Vert Shock is very fast-paced and involves a lot of jumping, pushing you harder than most other programs to get you such impressive results within a short time-frame.
I know I saw impressive results, and if you’re interested, then I can’t recommend it enough.
2. The Jump Manual
Next on my list in second place is The Jump Manual, a program released back in 2007 that has stood the test of time maintaining its spot as one of the great vertical jump programs.
Receiving much the same hype at its release, it delivered impressive results that skyrocketed its status in the vertical jump community.
I found this program after undergoing Vert Shock, so I didn’t quite hit as big as a mark as I’d hoped, but increasing my already developed vertical by another 6 inches was still an accomplishment.
However, when I finished it I walked away from the program with more than just an improved jump height.
The Jump Manual is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to the value it delivers, covering everything on increasing one’s vertical jump in extensive detail.
The program provides you with a digital ebook that holds a large amount of information on the 9 major areas that impact your vertical, those being strength, speed, muscle recruitment, form, nutrition, and more.
Yeah, it’s a lot of knowledge, and on the surface, it can seem pretty overwhelming. Even so, much of it is extremely useful, and it helps to have that information in mind when moving onto the actual workout regimen.
The ebook also brings workout sheets in the form of PDFs that breakdown each day of the program.
Looking at the program’s structure, it’s comparatively unique; it’s a 14-day training routine that essentially loops itself for three months, which is the total duration of the program.
In this routine, you have:
Plyometric exercises are performed in the first week of the 14-day routine, improving on both speed and explosiveness, which will also contribute immensely towards muscle recruitment.
Weight training exercises are performed in the second week of the 14-day routine, building your overall strength which will aid in maintaining balance when jumping while also providing additional force.
Your core is trained throughout both weeks to increase stability. The workout sessions last less than an hour, and workouts such as planks are used to target various muscle groups, such as the abdominals.
Recovery & Rest
On rest days a recovery routine is set in place that uses stretching to maximize your gains. This will release tension from your muscles, thereby allowing your body to properly rest, and you’ll also increase your flexibility.
As you can see, the creator meticulously designed this program to cover every facet of vertical jump training while also supplying you with the background info to understand what you’re doing.
For more than ten years the structure of the program has continued to thrive, helping many with improving their jump height, and constantly being refined and tweaked to match the most current scientific discoveries and research.
The program truly lives up to its slogan, “Proven jump training based on science. Not hype.”, and the fact that it continues to dominate over many modern programs is a testament to The Jump Manual’s effectiveness.
What’s even more surprising is that this program, as large as it is, was created by just one person.
The creator of The Jump Manual is Jacob Hiller, an athletic performance coach, and certified trainer.
His credibility is indisputable, having been certified as a personal trainer by the ACE (American Council of Exercise), and the experience he has in vertical jump training is impressive, having helped athletes with improving their vertical for more than ten years.
Hiller clearly knows his stuff, and this program is the direct result of his efforts to create the best vertical jump program that he possibly could.
Along with the exercises, you also have instructional videos that can be accessed from the video library.
The Jump Manual is truly a program that goes above and beyond within its three-month timeframe, acting as both a resource for additional knowledge and a guide that takes you through a proven vertical jump training regimen.
What are the Negatives of The Jump Manual?
The program requires you to have access to a gym or gym equipment as it makes use of weight training. I’ll mention that it offers weight training alternatives in the form of bodyweight exercises, but you won’t get the same results without undergoing the intended workout regimen.
The time it takes to complete the program is about average, lasting 3 months. The results, however, will take a while to see as you need to stick to those 12 weeks to really see a difference in your jump height.
Finally, the program shows it’s age, with videos that are rather low quality, and the layout of the ebook being bland. These are really just aesthetical problems, everything else in The Jump Manual holds up, but they are worth a mention.
What are the Positives of The Jump Manual?
It is the most complete program, covering everything on both theory and factual evidence regarding jump training, and using both weight training and plyometrics to develop all aspects of your vertical.
All of this is packed into a well structured, three-month-long, workout regimen that cohesively works to get you results.
There’s very little else out there that does this successfully, and the few notable programs, such as BoingVert, are cluttered with a lot of fluff and filled with tons of additional exercises that are unnecessary.
Who is The Jump Manual For?
I would say that the program is best suited for people within the intermediate to the advanced range, however, The Jump Manual can work for anyone.
It’s slower-paced than the Vert Shock program, making it a safer alternative for the select group of people that are injury-prone.
However, it does make use of weight training, which can be an issue for some who don’t have access to a gym or equipment, and the trade-off of being a slower program means that results take longer to see.
For most people, this program will prove to be too much, taking a longer and more complex approach to vertical jump training, with a large amount of learning material to digest.
Collectively, these drawbacks hold The Jump Manual from being the best vertical jump program, however, they by no means make the program bad.
On the contrary, weights are an important part of training jump height, albeit to a lesser degree when compared to plyometrics, and making the program longer gives you more time to ease into the more complex training regimen while absorbing the information provided.
That’s why I recommend this program for the person who is already fairly experienced with vertical jump training and wants to expand both their results and their knowledge.
These two jump programs are the top two when it comes to vertical jump training, but that doesn’t mean that these are the only jump programs you have to use.
There are other jump programs to choose from online, and my recommendation when searching for a vertical jump program is to make sure they meet the following criteria:
• People have had success with the program.
• The creators are credible and are certified as trainers or coaches.
• The program is backed by both factual information and results.
• The structure of the program is easy to understand and follow through with.
These are four simple yet critical needs that every vertical jump program should meet to be considered worth your time and money.
Without meeting these needs, a program may suffer in its approach to jump training, hindering your overall potential.
Vert Shock and The Jump Manual meet those points with ease, going beyond just the entry-level needs by being the best in terms of credibility, structure, and results.
It’s because of this that these programs far exceed the competition by a large margin and are truly the best vertical jump programs.