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How to Jump Higher: Part I

A lot of athletes come to us wanting to jump higher.

It’s everyone from basketball players who want to grab more rebounds… to soccer players who want to out-jump their opponents to get to the ball first…

… to gymnasts who want more explosive power going into their stunts… to track stars jumping hurdles… and more.

They usually show up thinking we’re just going to do some exercises or drills that work on the primary muscles used for jumping.

They’re surprised when that’s the LAST thing we do.

But let me back up for a second…

In theory, doing squats with weights, jumping squats, and similar exercises will increase your “jumping muscles”. And you might add some inches to your hop.

But if you want to really take your jump to the next level – you have to do it CORE1 style. Which means you have to build your body – from head to toe – into a vertical jumping machine.

Curious to know how?

Read on…

1. Start From Scratch


Jumping is a full-body event. You use your arms to generate momentum, your back to align your body in the perfect posture for power, your core to stabilize and generate power, your legs to explode off the ground.

As such, your entire body has to be at a certain level before you can start to focus primarily on your jump.

You want to have a powerful level of fitness from head to toe. So work on your core strength, upper body strength, AND leg strength. Make it your goal to become strong in a well-rounded way.

In fact, if you feel your full-body strength is lacking, don’t even worry about your jump right now. Instead, focus on that.

A: Your jump will automatically improve as your body improves.

B: If you ONLY work on your “jumping muscles”, your strength will be imbalanced, making you weaker in other aspects of your sport.

2. Get flexible

Jumping also takes a tremendous amount of flexibility. I know stretching might not be the funnest thing in the world… but if you want more ups, you have to do it.

For example, there are a lot of instances where flexibility actually OVERPOWERS strength.

Take hurdle-jumping…

You might have an athlete with thighs like tree-trunks. They’re so strong they’re intimidating. But because they’re so powerful, and bulky, it takes them more effort to get their legs over the hurdles.

On the other hand, take someone who’s extremely flexible. They can stretch their leg enough to get it over the hurdle with ease. As a result, they can put all of their focus and power into sprinting.

Flexibility takes a LOT of time to develop if you don’t have it naturally. And often, strength training can reduce it. After all, it naturally tightens up your muscles.


So unless you have a disciplined stretching and flexibility regimen, you could be doing more harm than good.

The athlete who’s weaker, but more flexible, is actually in a better position to take their game to the next level.

If they maintain that flexibility as they increase their strength – they’ll become the perfect storm of awesome.

Once an athlete is strong from head to toe, and limber, only then do we work on developing strength specific for jumping.

See, taking your game to then next level is a process.

I know you want to get better overnight. And I wish you could.

But the reality is, it’s a long-term process that you have to do just right. So work on your fundamentals: full-body strength and flexibility.

Worry about the rest later.

Till next time, Jim Wnek & The Core1 Crew

Questions? Comments? Write them below! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

And if you haven’t already, grab a free session by filling out the form below. You can test-drive our Downers Grove speed, strength & sports training program that coaches & athletes can’t stop raving about. Or, if you’re recovering from an injury, you can try out our athletes-only physical therapy program. Hope to see you soon 😉


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