How to Double Your Vertical Jump for Basketball – 12 Week Course

How to jump higher for basketball
Photo courtesy of Dirk Hansen

A good vertical jump is a valuable asset for all of your players to possess. It will help your team get more rebounds, blocks, and steals. It will also let a few (or many) players on your team dunk the basketball, which can lead to increasing your teams confidence, enthusiasm, and can it make the game a lot more fun!

If you are wondering if it is even possible to increase your vertical jump, you’ll be happy to know that with proper training, it is definitely something that can be improved.

I’ve developed this program over a number of years and have seen great improvements in the leaping ability of those who have followed it. I call it the Coach Mac Vertical Jump Program. Not a very creative name, is it? 🙂

I designed this program to be completely equipment free and also without the need for a large space. This program can be completed by anyone as long as you have a 2 x 2 meters of free space. Which we all do. So there can be no excuses for not completing the program.

Disclaimer: Obviously, I am not a doctor. If you or your players feel any pain in any of your joints during the program stop immediately and consult a doctor. You don’t want to make any previous injuries any worse.

Update for 2021!

Best Vertical Jump Program in the World

[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=””]I have found what I believe to be the current best vertical jump program in the world, and it’s Vert Shock by Adam Folker.[/thrive_text_block]

While there are a ton of success stories of players using my program and making massive gains (check the comments if you don’t believe me), I’m also realistic about the extent of my knowledge on vertical jump training.

Adam Folker is a former NCAA Division I basketball athlete and professional basketball player. He connected with Justin ‘Jus Fly’ Darlington who currently holds the title as the World’s #1 Highest Dunker to create the best vertical jump program ever.

If you’re interested, check out his program below. I highly recommend it.

Vert Shock by Adam Folker

If you’re not interested in it that’s fine! You’ll still make a ton of gains using my workout. And I’d love you to use it! I made a promise to myself that I’d share the best information and products I know about and I’m keeping that promise.

How to Measure Your Vertical Jump

As the saying goes, ‘You can’t improve what you can’t measure’.

The first step on your journey to increasing your vertical jump is to get a starting point of where your currently at so that you can track your progress.

Here’s how to do it;

Things you’ll need: Another friend to help you, a ladder, and either a permanent marker or chalk.

1. Find a wall or pole tall enough that when you jump you cannot touch the top.

2. Stand next to the pole or wall and extend your arm as high as you can above your head. This is your standing reach. Have your friend mark your standing reach with either a piece of  chalk or a permanent marker.

3. Now from a standing start, jump and touch as high up the wall or pole as you possibly can. You’ll need your friend to watch and see where you touch so that there’s no confusion. Get your friend to climb the ladder and mark where you were able to reach on the wall.

4. Measure the distance between your standing reach and your jumping reach. This is your current vertical jump.  

Important Information on the Coach Mac Vertical Jump Program

Warming Up

By reading my previous article on stretching, you’ll learn that it is important to warm-up your muscles first before stretching or performing any strenuous physical activity. I recommend jumping rope for a couple of minutes to warm-up and increase the blood flow to your muscles.


The program is broken up into three different phases consisting of four weeks each. This is because as you continue through the program your muscles will adapt to the intensity of the workout, therefore we need to keep increasing the workload in order to continue increasing your vertical jump.


Perform the routine every second day to give your body a days rest in-between workouts. This means that on week one you’ll be training 4 times a week, week two you’ll be training 3 times per week, and on week three you’ll be training 4 times per week. That ends up being 11 workouts per phase for a total of 33 workouts in the program. Also, during this program you will be taking one week off between each phase to let your body completely recover. You need to give your muscles time to fully repair in order to grow stronger and more explosive.

Rest Intervals

One minute rest in-between all sets. If you can, try to keep a stop watch with you when you’re doing these workouts. If you don’t have one my players have found it convenient to use the stop watches located on their mobile phones.

Record Your Progress

Keep track of how much progress you’ve made at the end of each rest week. It’s going to be hard for your players, but stress that if they really want to see results it’s best that they wait until the end of the rest week. We know how hard it is for players to be patient!


If you have any trouble understanding my descriptions of the exercises, YouTube them to watch a video of the exercise being performed.

Jumping Rope – A skipping rope is the only piece of equipment involved in the program. If you don’t have one a piece of rope will do just fine. If you don’t have a piece of rope either jumping up and down on the spot without much bending in the knees will achieve a similar result. Jumping rope involves holding a rope with both hands and swinging it around your body continuously.

4-Corners – Involves you imagining 4 dots in a square shape about 15 – 20 inches apart. To complete 4-corners you hop around the square in a clockwise direction landing on each dot for the required number of repetitions. 4 jumps and completing the square equals one repetition.

Single-Leg 4-Corners – Exactly the same as 4-Corners except performed on one leg.

Slow-Motion Squats – Involves standing with your feet shoulder width apart. From this position slowly lower down until you are in a deep squat making sure your heels are flat on the ground. Hold for 2 seconds before slowly rising back to the starting position. The descent and rise should each take 4 seconds to complete. Throughout the entire exercise make sure to keep your head up and your back straight.

Tuck Jumps – Tuck jumps involve descending into a comfortable squat and then jumping as high as possible and bringing your knees to your chest.

High-Reach Jumps – Are similar to tuck jumps, but instead of brining your knees to your chest, you just reach as high as you can. This is done best under a basketball ring or near a wall so that you can tell how much lower your reach becomes as you fatigue. Try to reach the same height through all repetitions. if you don’t have anything to measure against, that’s fine. Just jump as high as you can each repetition.

Lateral Jumps – Lateral jumps are performed best with over a line or a stick. They involve standing parallel to the line on one side and then quickly jumping sideways back-and-forth over the line. Over and back equals one repetition.

Single-Leg Lateral Jumps – Exactly the same as lateral jumps except performed on one leg.

Alternating Lunge Jumps – From a normal standing position, take one step forward with your right foot and one step backwards with your left foot. This is your starting position. From this position, jump as high as you can in the air and switch leg positions.

Straight Leg Calf Jumps – Without bending your knees, jump up and down in the same spot. You won’t get very high off the ground and it will be the ankle doing all the movement which will work the calf muscle.

Toe Raises – Stand regularly, then raise up onto the tips of your toes. Lower back down. Don’t rock up and down, do it slowly (not too slowly) but steadily. This is improved by using stairs if you have access to them. Alright, enough talk. Here’s the program you’ve all been waiting for.

Coach Mac Vertical Jump Program

Phase 1 – Weeks 1 – 3

1. Jumping Rope – 2 minutes.

2. Stretching

3. Jumping Rope – 2 minutes.

4. Slow Motion Squats – 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

5. Lateral Jumps – 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

6. Alternating Jump Lunges – 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

7. Tuck Jumps – 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

8. Toe Raises – 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

Week 4 – Rest.  

Phase 2 – Weeks 5 – 7

1. Jumping Rope – 2 minutes.

2. Stretching

3. Jumping Rope – 3 minutes.

4. Slow Motion Squats – 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

5. 4-Corners – 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

6. Single-Leg Lateral Jumps – 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

7. Alternating Jump Lunges – 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

8. High Reach Jumps – 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

9. Straight-Leg Calf Jumps – 3 sets of 30 repetitions.

Week 8 – Rest.  

Phase 3 – Weeks 9 – 11

1. Jumping Rope – 2 minutes.

2. Stretching

3. Jumping Rope – 4 minutes.

4. Slow Motions Squats – 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

5. Single-Leg 4-Corners – 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

6. Single-Leg Lateral Jumps – 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

7. Alternating Jump Lunges – 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

8. Tuck Jumps – 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

9. Straight-Leg Calf Jumps – 3 sets of 40 repetitions.

Week 12 – Rest.

[thrive_text_block color=”orange” headline=””]I have found what I believe to be the current best vertical jump program in the world, and it’s Vert Shock by Adam Folker and Justin ‘Jus Fly’ Darlington.[/thrive_text_block]

Important Update! – I have been receiving a few emails/comments on players tracking their jump during the course of their program. Please understand that what you are doing when completing a jump program is breaking down the muscle.  You aren’t going to see improvements mid-week because the muscle hasn’t healed properly. That’s why I suggest only checking how much you’ve improved at the end of each rest week. Rest is just as important as the routine. 

That’s it! It’s as simple as that.

I’ve seen players make massive gains using this exact program so don’t hesitate giving it to your players to help them improve.

They’ll love it too. Who doesn’t want to dunk a basketball?

Let me know how the program works for your players. I’d love to hear some of the results.

– Coach Mac


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