I wrote this for my website, let me know what you think? I hope you guys find this interesting
Forget all the BS about complex training routines that have you doing four different kinds of squats, they have a time and a place, but not in vertical jump training. The two most absolutely crucial exercises in vertical jump training are the squat and power clean. You really aren’t going to find athletes who are explosive and have amazing verticals without pushing some crazy stats on their squats and power cleans.
For example, did you know that powerlifters and weight lifters have by far the highest verticals than in any other sport? Its absolutely true, and whats more is they don’t even TRAIN for vertical jumping.
There are many other elite athletes that have vertical leaps reaching 40 inches. Athletes such as sprinters, footballers and shot putters train for brute strength and power, don’t necessarily need a large vertical leap, yet have one due to their training.
If you closely study athletes with massive vertical jumps, you’ll find a common theme. They are incredibly strong (strong means at least 2x bodyweight squats and 1.5x bodyweight powercleans). These two exercises in particular stand out. I’ve put together a list of people who ridiculous vertical jumps. If you're looking to increase your vertical then these are two exercises you shouldn't neglect in the gym!
When he was in high school he was hammered about his lowerbody in the weight room. His coach didn’t mind if they didn’t get all their upper body in, as long as they got in their squats and power cleans.
He stands at 6’4 and 260lbs, he runs 4.57 in the 40yard dash, and has a 38 inch vertical leap. He can power clean 410lbs, and squats 550lbs!
The 49ers tight end has been branded as a freak of nature. At 6’3 and 252lbs, he can run a 4.38 second 40 yard dash and has a 42 inch vertical. He’s also an obsessive weight lifter who can squat 680lbs and power clean 365lbs.
There are unverified rumors floating around that Ben Johnson didn’t do any plyometric training. His main focus was heavy weights and sprinting. I’ve even read that he wouldn’t run more than 100m because he wanted to be as quick and explosive, and have as many fast twitch fibres available as possible.
Ben Johnson was extremely explosive and was infamous for having one of the best starts of his era. This is directly related to him being able to squat 605lbs for 5 reps, when he only weighed 190lbs!
Now I don’t want to speculate about steroids helping him lift so much weight, but you simply can’t ignore the correlation between his strength to his speed and explosiveness.
Former world record holder running 9.79 seconds in the 100m can squat 505lbs at a weight of 170. This gave him a huge vertical leap and an amazing start out of the blocks.
An Australian sprinter, very well known for his explosive starts and can easily power clean 120kg and squat 200kg. He does all of this while weighing only 80kg.
A 225lb world record holding weightlifter once recorded a 42 inch vertical leap! Recorded with absolutely no warm up and wearing very cumbersome and heavy weightlifting shoes.
WWE wrestler who was at the Olympics for weightlifting can at 6’3, easily dunk a basketball. This is incredible, considering he weighs 385lbs! Along with his world class snatches and clean and jerks, he can squat 1050 pounds and deadlift 920 pounds.
Former amateur and professional wrestler, UFC fighter Brock Lesnar is an astounding athlete. He once tried out for the NFL and at 6’3 and 283 lbs recorded a 4.65 40 yard dash and a 35 inch vertical. This is crazy, and its not even taking into consideration that he was recovering up from a very serious motorcycle accident a few weeks prior to the test!
He with ease, also bench presses 475 pounds and squats 695 pounds.
FRED ‘DR SQUAT’ HATFIELD
Powerlifter who at 255 pounds can squat over 1000pounds! No wonder he has recorded a vertical leap of 40 inches.
Although squats and power cleans aren’t the only 2 exercises to help increase vertical leap, you cannot ignore the underlying theme amongst all these athletes. They are all extremely strong, in relation to their bodyweight in these 2 lifts. If you're interested in vertical jumping and want to jump higher then these may be the exercises that give you the extra inches you're looking for.
If you don’t believe me feel free to look it up, its all easily verifiable.