4 Simple Drills to Increase Vertical Jump for Volleyball

how to increase vertical jump for volleyball

Volleyball relies on a set of skills and physical abilities. Vertical jumps is (in my humble opinion) one of the most important ones regardless of your position in the team. Without it you will certainly struggle when it comes to spiking, blocking and even diving …

In this short article I address some easy tips that you can start implementing these days to notice an improvement in your vertical jump within a short period of time.

Let’s Go!

What does a good vertical jump look like?

A good vertical jump on average for setters is 18-19 inches and for outside hitters is 19-20 inches.

The act of jumping high into the air is known as a vertical jump or vertical leap. It is a typical test for measuring athletic performance and can be used to increase both endurance and strength.

Important muscles for verticals

volleyball muscles

1. Calves and Quadriceps

Whenever you bend your ankles you will notice a feeling that your calves are very well stretched. During the jump action these muscles are the first to work.

In general the any move that the quadriceps is involved in, means that the calves are involved in. Not to mention that the quadriceps are in most cases a synonym of high jumping ability.

2. Glutes and Hamstrings

These are mainly responsible for the jump height. Whenever you bend your hips, you will notice the extension of all these muscles combined.

Also, when you jump, glutes and hamstrings will utilize your hip extension to propel you forward.

3. Abdominals

This has caught many athletes off guard. A standing vertical jump, on the other hand, works your abs in the same manner that jogging does.

Despite the fact that stomach crunches are one of the most despised workouts, they are essential and should never be overlooked in your quest for a tremendous jump.

4. Quads

Many workout plans provide a strong emphasis on the quads, but they should never be the main focus.

In fact, because all of your muscle groups must work in harmony, no one part of your body should be the “sole” emphasis.

 4 exercises to increase your vertical jump for volleyball

It is highly recommended to use volleyball shoes with good grip in the drills below. For example, these quality shoes have a good drip and will help stabilize your movement when you land on the ground after jumping …

1. Squats in Bulgarian Split

Your legs provide you with the strength to jump higher. The Bulgarian split squat will help you gain strength and improve your balance at the same time.

How to do it:

  1. To execute it, stand a few feet away from a bench and lay your non-working leg on top of it.
  2. Your entire foot should be on the bench.
  3. Stand erect with your chest high and a dumbbell in each hand.
  4. Descend until your back knee is almost on the ground.
  5. Push yourself back up to a standing position with the heel of your lead foot (the one that is on the floor).
  6. That counts as one rep. On your lower-body training day, try three sets of eight reps on each leg

2. Deadlifts

Many people are wondering whether deadlifts increase the vertical jump! Indeed, Deadlifts are already a part of many people’s workout routines in some form or another. The ability to increase your jump height is far from the only benefit of deadlifts.

They’re a full-body complex exercise that works almost your entire major muscle groups.

The main thing to keep in mind with deadlifts is that combining them with the other exercises in this guide might lead to disaster if done incorrectly.

You don’t want to exhaust your muscles before doing deadlifts, but you also don’t want to exhaust yourself deadlifting before doing the other exercises

Begin by performing a few mild deadlifts. Better still, try banded deadlifts and see how much you can lift.

How Do Deadlifts

  1. You’ll need a barbell for this exercise, although you can mimic the movement with dumbbells or a resistance band as well.
  2. Stand over a barbell with your feet about halfway under the bar.
  3. Hinge at the hips and bend your knees so that you can lean over and grab the bar without bending your back.
  4. Your hands should be outside your legs.
  5. Pull up slightly so the bar locks and you feel resistance.
  6. Lift the bar to your knees with a flat back and then straighten up so the barbell is in front of your thighs.
  7.  Slowly lower the bar back to the ground by reversing the movement.

3. Box Jumps

This exercise is pretty easy to execute, yet highly effective. It is good both for your jumping ability as well as your cardio & endurance if you want to increase the intensity …

You can obviously use higher boxes to challenge your jump height if you want to.

Try to follow the few instructions below for better results …

  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your back straight and start squatting a little bit.
  • To preserve your balance and to gain some momentum, it is recommended to swing your arms forward so you can initiate an explosive jump upward.
  • Try to land on the box in a soft way with both feet.

4. Rope Jumping

This exercise is not necessarily to directly improve your vertical jump height, but it is highly effective to strengthen the muscles used for vertical jumping (that we’ve addressed earlier in this article).

Try to take these recommendation into consideration:

  • While doing rope jumping make sure your arms & shoulders don’t move a lot. Your wrists should be the main element that can do the job for you.
  • Your back should be kept straight.
  • This rope jumping exercise is a great way to warm-up for your volleyball practice sessions.

Finally, keep in mind that volleyball shoes can help you jump a bit higher if you choose the right ones!

How effective are those exercises on short players?

Yes, these 4 drills we just mentioned are effective on short players, as they are on tall ones. It literally doesn’t matter …

If you are a short volleyball player, you can match tall by improving your vertical jump. Do this by training your leg muscles and your jumping movement and form using the exercises we mentioned in the article.

Can you help increase you volleyball vertical jump at home?

 Yes, you can practice some drills at home to improve you vertical jump.


Stand with your feet together and your knees locked so that you don’t bend during the workout.

By locking your knees, you will just activate your calf muscles and not the other muscles that are involved in jumping.

Raise your toes off the ground and lift your heels entirely off the ground. Begin jumping as quickly as you can from your toes. Keep in mind that you should only jump off your toes and not your heels.


Place your right foot in front of your body and your left foot behind it. Bend down and place your fingers on the ground.

Because of the position you’re in, you’ll notice that your weight is on your toes. Begin by jumping straight up off the ground and switching your legs in the air so that your left leg is in front and your right leg is behind you when you land.

Make sure you get all the way down and touch the ground with your fingertips each time you leap and swap legs in the air. When done correctly, this exercise will activate all four jumping muscles.

Do calf raises help vertical jump?

Calf raises are a crucial aspect of developing vertical jump, but they aren’t a cure-all. Calf raises alone may improve leaping ability, but a holistic approach to vertical jump improvement offers greater results.

Does squatting improve vertical jump?

 Yes, increasing squat strength has been shown to improve vertical jump performance. Using the squat to make you jump higher is extremely effective.

Will jumping everyday increase vertical jump?

 Yes, jumping every day will increase your vertical jump, however I recommend that if you want to systematically increase your vertical jump you first build a good baseline strength by doing strength training (squats and deadlifts), and then I would move into plyometric work after.

It is worth mentionning that practicing spiking by yourself, will help increase your vertical jumping!

Final Thoughts …

Some indoor volleyball players stop practicing their vertical jumping abilities as they think they don’t have to, simply because they see themselves jump higher than most of their teammates …

That’s a big mistake (in my humble opinion). In fact, this can cause some serious regression in this skill.

That’s why it is extremely important to keep practicing regardless of how good you think you are!

Finally, It is worth mentionning that jumping is one skill among many others required for volleyball! That’s why it is also important to be able to focus on the fundamentals also …

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

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