Best-selling JUMP MANUAL author shares EFFECTIVE exercise tips for JUMPING HIGHER!

exercises to increase vertical leap,

Exercises to Increase Vertical Leap - Body Weight Vertical Jump Training Exercises – One-Leg Squats

By Jacob W. Hiller, CPT, Performance Enhancement Coach, Certified Personal Trainer
Author of The Jump Manual

exercises to increase vertical leap, Body weight vertical jump training – The one leg squat.

The one-leg squat is the perfect alternative to traditional squatting and is one of the most essential exercises to increase vertical leap. It's an excellent way to increase general strength and can be performed with no additional load onto your spine.

Another excellent advantage of this exercise is that variations can be done that involve no deceleration (which is a common downfall of traditional squats). Deceleration is simply the slowing down at the top of the exercise movement, which can be risky when doing a traditional squat because of the load that is put on the spine. With the one-leg squat you can actually explode out of the movement, which is much better CNS (central nervous system) conditioning.

A correctly done squat will mainly target almost the entire leg, with the main focus on the quads and glutes. Quads and glutes are smotly made-up from fast-twitch fibers and making them stronger will greatly increase your ability to contract when at high speeds.

A one-leg squat can be punishingly difficult though. So much so that most of you will have to begin with variations of it and wait until your increase your strength levels to the point where you can perform a full one-leg squat. Here is how to do a full one-leg "pistol" squat:

One Leg Squats & Calisthenics -- powered by

Exercises to Increase Vertical Leap - Tips for Properly Executing the One-Leg Squat:

1. If you are not strong enough to do this yet (which is very likely) you can start by putting one leg on a chair. Be sure to keep the hip movement and thrust involved in the movement as much as possible to involve your glutes. Then, gradually lower yourself for the height of the chair until you can perform the full movement.

exercises to increase vertical leap,

2. Practice only the lowering or negative portion of the exercise, then stand back up and repeat the lowering motion again.

3. Your focus should not be on fatigue, it should be on muscle tension. Thus, alternating both legs to give the other a rest and completing the movement as explosively as you can is recommended.

4. Eliminate deceleration. Jump-out of the one-leg squat and land on both feet, then switch and repeat again. Eventually, you should try exploding from one leg to another and repeating the exercise multiple times. This will transfers onto your ability to increase vertical jump.

5. Once you can complete step (4) for 8 reps each leg you can start by adding light dumbbells or a backpack full of items; water bottles, canned goods, little brothers :) …

Exercises to Increase Vertical Leap - Few Words of Caution

If you have a history of knee problems or a past injury you will want to ease into this exercise. With only one leg supporting your weight too much wobble can occur and this will be taxing on knee joints. Start by using a pole to help yourself, or a couch, or even a friend to steady yourself. As you build more and more strength, you should be able to complete the one-leg lift with greater stability and more ease.

Exercises to Increase Vertical Leap - Conclusion

The one-leg lift is an excellent, but diffucult, variation of the barbell squat. When properly executed it'll involve your glutes and hams, eliminate deceleration and with a little creativity build the strength needed to maximize your vertical jump (in cooperation with other exercises).


exercises to increase vertical leap,

About the Author

Jacob Hiller has trained high school, college, NBA, and Olympic athletes, and professional dunkers. He has been developing vertical jump explosion techniques for over ten years and training coaches and athletes to maximize their potential. He has consistently helped athletes to gain 40+ verticals.

For more information on his exclusive JUMP MANUAL visit

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