4 Tips to Improve Your Vertical Jump in Volleyball

Do you want your vertical jump to be at an elite level, compete with the best of the best in volleyball? Well if you want to improve your vertical jump you will need to train to an elite level too.

With the right approach to training and consistency you can improve your vertical jump to compete with the elite. Like developing any new skills it doesn’t happen overnight, it requires dedication and hard work. Here are the tips which if you apply will improve your vertical jump and over time surpass the goals you had set in the first place:

1. Build Strength and Stability

 Single Left Deadlift with Dumbbell - Project Pure Athlete

We want to build a better foundation here. The more stable the foundation, the more explosive we can be off of it. Also, just as important as the athleticism we can gain is the injury resiliency we can build though strength and stability training. This can be the things you might immediately think of like squats or lunges, but it can also be mixed in with movements that get you on one leg or that challenge your balance. The more stable, strong, and confident we are in athletic positions the more explosive we will ultimately be.

Try out some movements we use here at PPA and get the benefits of both strength and stability out of one movement.

  • Single leg deadlift with a Dumbell in one hand.
  • Rear foot elevated split squat

2. Build explosive power

Skater Jumps - Project Pure Athlete

With the strength and stability training, often things are moving much slower than they are in a volleyball game where reaction times and getting to the play quickly are vital.

Here in explosive power training, we are aiming to get a little closer to that speed we see in a game. A key we like to use for this is to not make it look exactly like it would in the game, as counterintuitive as that may sound. By choosing to cycle in movements that are different than what you see in practices and games, we can help get your body to be more coordinated and well rounded as a jumper. This will lead to better results while also helping to keep you healthier in the long run.

A great example to try for our volleyball ball athletes is:

Skater Jumps

Here we are starting by jumping off of our outside leg (let’s say left leg to start), and we are jumping far towards our right. When it’s time to land, we will be landing on our right leg and while we bend at the hips and knee to control the landing we will be allowing our body to get stacked over the right leg. The left leg will move behind the right leg our out past the right side of the body.

Now we are in the bottom on the landing and we are, as fast as we can, reversing direction to jump off our right leg back towards the starting position where we will be landing on our left leg in the same way that we just landed on our right leg. Jumping and landing off of each leg constitutes 1 rep. Start by doing sets of 3-5 reps focusing on landing and jumping quickly. 

3. Build Core Strength/Stability

Plank Pushup Reaches - Project Pure Athlete

While it’s nice to have a great set of abs, what we are talking about here is the ability to stay strong and stable through your core and torso while moving under high loads. Make no mistake about it, even though it’s just your body weight when we are jumping and cutting reactively in volleyball there are high loads and demands placed on the body. By creating a strong and stable core, you will be able to hold better postures and change directions quicker with out losing potential power along the way.

With our training programs we place a huge emphasis on stability through the core and hips on almost every exercise. Give this one a try and see how your core lights up:

Plank Push Up Reaches

Start in the position of push up at the very top. Your hands are in contact with the ground under your shoulders, your body is in a rigid straight line like a plank of wood all the way down to your feet. Be mindful to keep your hips inline. Squeeze your core and glutes, then pick up one arm and reach it out in front of you to tap an object like a volleyball, after tapping it bring the hand back the the starting position and do the same thing on the other side.

The key here to making it effective is to try to not let your body rotate as you reach. Use all of your might to fight the urge to shift your weight and lift one side of your hips.

4. Quick Contact Jumps

 Line Hops - Project Pure Athlete

In jumping, but also all over in sports, there are quick movements. The better we can get at being relaxed, then quickly contracting to move, then relaxing again, the better we will be at having a competitive edge in all of those little quick movements to the ball, or jumps off the ground.

One simple drill we like to use is the following:

Line Hops

Pick a line on the court or place a short easy to clear object on the ground. Start on one side of the obstacle and jump to the other side This doesn’t need to be a big jump, think about landing on the other side as quickly as you can from your jump. We are going to land and immediately jump back to the side we started from.

The goal here is to jump/land/jump as quickly as possible. Key is to stay relaxed, being tense will slow us down. Also, utilize your arm strike effectively. This refers to striking into the ground as you land, and pulling back up in the direction of your jump. Sequence these arm strikes with your body jumping and you will feel the boost.

Well now that you have some tools to get you more explosive… Time to get training!

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