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How to Jump Higher! The Science Behind a Better Vertical

For many athletes vertical jumping is a critical component of their sport. The prep step or approach to the vertical jump is key in getting maximum power for the highest vertical.

Power = speed + strength

The average approach is a two-step process which consists of a preparation step (aka penultimate step) followed by a powerful jump. The preparation step helps the person generate the necessary speed and momentum to transfer power through the lower body to reach a high vertical with a combination of power, strength and control to ensure a successful jump.

The “prep step” found in this week’s TOTW helps you generate maximum power for the highest vertical and is found not only in Surge Fit but in many other sports and athletic activities like the volleyball spike, basketball jump shot, high jump in track and field or a box jump in your favorite circuit class.

What is the “prep step” aka penultimate step?

It's the second-to-last step before you jump.

As you approach your jump, you want to take a longer stride in your prep step

Your prep step will lower your center of gravity...

And your final step will springboard you into the air.

This lets you fully capitalize on your momentum to maximize your lift.

Your “prep step” approach will determine how much force (and height) is created in your jump. Here are some tips to nail your approach so you can get the highest vertical!

Tips to Jump Higher

1. The longer your prep step is, the more velocity and force you generate.

2. Swing your arms back to generate even more power

3. Bend your knees into a squat to use the strength of your legs to transfer the built up power

4. Feet hip distance at take off to transfer all the horizontal forces into vertical ones.

5. Keep your head up and your chest slightly angled forward to help all that horizontal momentum switch over to vertical power.

With all these movements occurring quickly one after another, your body will have built up quite a bit of force, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re in an optimal position to absorb all of that energy by landing soft, toe-heel with bent knees.

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