The Best Basketball Vertical Jump Training Programs For 2017
As a basketball fanatic, my jump is critical to my game. At just 6 ft tall I’m smaller than many of my teammates and opponents and I often find myself at a disadvantage because of this. That makes my jump height all the more crucial.
Since high school, I’ve been testing vertical jump programs and until recently I never had much success. I found most programs helpful for building leg strength and speed, but absolutely useless for increasing my vertical jump no matter how hard I pushed myself.
After wasting so much time, energy and money on programs that didn’t work, I decided to do a bit of research into the science behind the vertical jump. I wanted to know exactly what I needed to work on to help me jump higher.
All of the programs I tried claimed that simply by increasing leg strength and velocity, my vertical jump would improve. However, in the course of my investigation, I discovered that this is not the case. Sure, it might work for some people who have inherent genetic traits that make jumping higher easier, but for regular Joes like me it was a bit more complicated.
I found that a number of other factors besides strength and speed affect vertical jump and the reason I didn’t have success with any previous program is because they failed to address this.
Armed with this new-found knowledge, I began to search through every jump training program I could find looking for one that covered all bases. Surprisingly I found 2 and immediately began training to see if my theory was correct. I’m happy to report that with some hard work and dedication my vertical increased by a total of 14 inches.
I feel I should warn you first that although these programs work, they are not a magic solution. If you’re serious about increasing your jump, be prepared to put in the hours training. Otherwise, you might as well be throwing your money down the toilet.
The Vert Shock Program
The first program I tried was Vert Shock. This one is a new kid on the block. Given the huge hype around its release, you’ve probably already heard of it.
Created and developed by Adam Folker and Justin ‘Jus Fly’ Darlington, Vert Shock immediately grabbed the attention of coaches and athletes. With their extensive background in basketball, Folker and Darlington built the Vert Shock system with maximum results in mind.
The Vert Shock system consists of 3 phases. You have the Pre-Shock Phase which lasts for one week and is more of a warm-up to the rest of the program than anything else.
After that, you enter the Shock Phase which lasts 6 weeks. During the Shock Phase, your nervous system is literally shocked into making your body jump higher. This is achieved by using targeted explosive plyometric training which is a revolutionary training method that has become increasingly popular among professional athletes.
The final phase of the program is the Post-Shock Phase Vertical Workout, where all of your training becomes ingrained in your body’s muscle memory.
The entire program lasts 8 weeks and promises to add 9-15 inches to your vertical jump. I’ve written a very good review on the vert shock system. I would have to say this is the best vertical jump program on the market today.
Just look at my friend’s results from this program!
The Jump Manual
The secound effective program I found was Jacob Hiller’s Jump Manual. The Jump Manual is a complete vertical training program made up of written guides and video tutorials. It promises to add up to 12 inches to your vertical jump.
Created by renowned basketball trainer Jacob Hiller, the key to the program is its multi-faceted approach. Aware of every element that affects vertical jump, Hiller developed the program to focus on 9 crucial aspects. When all 9 of these factors work optimally together, it maximizes explosion and upward propulsion.
The Jump Manual centers on a 2-week workout cycle which is repeated over the course of 12 weeks. The workout is called The Max Explosion Workout and it centers not only on the muscles you use for jumping, but also on the muscles you don’t use that can cause resistance to your jump.
Hiller also stresses the importance of proper pre-workout warm-ups to increase performance and minimize the risk of injury.
The workout includes 3 precise exclusive exercises developed by Hiller that cannot be found anywhere else.
Although the program has been around for a few years now, it has evolved over time in line with more recent scientific studies. In my opinion, The Jump Manual is the most comprehensive vertical training program around. You can read my review of The Jump Manual here.
Coach Jacob Hiller did a great Interview on ESPN and you can watch it right here!
Jump Manual vs Vert Shock
So we have established that both programs are effective, but how do they measure up against each other?
At 8 weeks, Vert Shock takes a whopping 4 weeks less than The Jump Manual to complete. Both programs average out at around 5 workouts per week. However, the individual Vert Shock workouts take significantly less time to complete.
The 2 programs differ greatly in exercise type. The Jump Manual focuses heavily on building strength through weights, whereas Vert Shock revolves around jumping exercises and plyometric training. This makes the Vert Shock exercises more high-impact. Some might argue that there is a greater risk of injury with the Jump Manual weight-lifting exercises. However, I believe that with the high-impact nature of the Vert Shock training, the risk of injury is equal for both programs.
Which Vertical Training Program Is Best For Me?
There are obvious pros and cons to both The Jump Manual and Vert Shock. However, because of their different approaches, each program may suit some people better than others.
Vert Shock is an intensive program focused on fast results. The methodology behind it is that it is easier and quicker to increase speed than strength.
Besides the short duration of Vert Shock, one of the biggest pros is that you don’t need any gym equipment to train. All of the exercises concentrate on jump training. The biggest downside to this is that plyometric training is high-impact, so if you have any history of injury or joint issues then this program might be too much for you.
On the other hand, The Jump Manual exercises are lower-impact. They are based around weight-lifting so you need some gym equipment.
The Jump Manual may suit the older player better as there is less strain put on the joints during training. Also, the program focuses less on speed and more on muscle strength to create a higher jump. This makes it better suited to players who have ‘slowed down’ a bit through age.
If you have any history of joint problems or knee/ankle injuries then The Jump Manual would probably be the better program for you.
Personally, I prefer The Jump Manual, but that’s probably because I’ve hit my thirties and I need to be kinder to my aging joints and bones! I love Hiller’s approach and although it is a slower program with more gradual results, I have to say I got some fantastic improvements from it.
If I was back in the first flushes of youth Vert Shock would definitely appeal more to me. With the focus on speed play and plyometric training, it is perfect for the younger player who is more concerned with agility than muscle power.
Whether you choose The Jump Manual or Vert Shock, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort you are guaranteed amazing results. There’s no magic or gimmicks involved, just a lot of expert knowledge from the program developers to help you target the right areas of your body.
I always envied taller players, believing that they had an advantage over me. Thanks to these 2 programs, I can now shoot and defend better against my opponents, no matter how tall they are.