how to increase your vertical jump with trx training

TRX Training for Vertical Jump

TRX training is a great way to increase your vertical jump for a variety of reasons. For starters, the TRX was created by Randy Hetrick, a former Navy Seal and Stanford graduate.

TRX stands for Total Resistance Exercise, a type of resistance training that incorporates several multi-planar, and compound bodyweight-exercise movements.

TRX training can can shock your body for increased muscle growth and muscle strength, and it is a great type of training for increasing your vertical jump.

The goal of TRX training is to increase your balance, strength, joint stability, and flexibility all at once!!

When you are doing TRX training, the resistance can be increased or decreased by adjusting your body position, or the length of the TRX cables.

How Can TRX Training Increase Your Vertical Jump?

One of the advantages of training with the TRX is that since you are forced to work different muscles and a different type of resistance than you normally would with traditional workout methods, it significantly increases how hard your muscles work.

For example, one of the best TRX exercises for increasing your vertical jump is the TRX Bulgarian split squat.

Doing TRX Bulgarian split squats is a great way to improve your leg strength and stability, which are both crucial for increasing your vertical jump!

You can also do core exercises with the TRX, such as the TRX mountain climber. Here is an example of TRX core exercises you can use for increasing your vertical jump:

If you consistently do TRX training, you will increase the control you have over all the muscles of your body, and you will definitely increase your vertical jump!

Stairs and Hills for Increasing Your Vertical Jump

Although weight training and direct plyometric are often the two most directly used tactics for improving the vertical jump, there are also several other outlier strategies which can work as well. Two of my favorite are running hills and stairs. Utilizing hill and stair running can increase two vital aspects of the vertical jump, in a small amount of time.


First, running stairs and hills will increase overall leg strength, particularly the quadriceps muscles. At the same time, they increase these muscles in an extremely functional way. The longer strides which hills provide, and the short burst impact from stairs, both utilize the quadriceps muscles primarily, while also working the rest of the leg.

Second, these exercises also will increase your reactive ability, or ability to transfer force from the ground upwards. Both stairs and hills require a quick change of energy, in order to move both forwards and upwards. Along with this, different variations can be used to alter the direct benefits.

Bounding up two stairs at a time will increase the stretch on your hip flexors and groin, forcing your quadriceps to become even more responsive to the movement. Likewise, running backwards up a hill will promote more hamstring and calve work, leaving you with an intense burn if you have never attempted it before.

Squat vs. Deadlifts for Jumping Higher

One of the most popular question for both bodybuilders and athletes alike is always, “What’s better, the squat or deadlift?” Most people have come to understand that whether you are attempting to raise your vertical jump, or simply build some more mass, these two lifts pack more of a punch than any other. For me, there is a very simple solution to this question. Whenever asked this question I will answer without fail by saying “Maintain the Squat, train the Deadlift.” To me, this means completely ditching the “Back Squat” for a few various reasons.

Although the Back Squat is well known for its growth hormone realizing, testosterone raising, muscle building benefits, it is also the easiest way to stress your lower back, and add unnecessary spine compression. That is not to say, however, that there aren’t other Squat variations that can make you equally as successful. My rule of thumb has always been unless you cannot master perfect back squat form (which very few can) you should not even attempt the lift. Otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for a nice long injury recovery.


Without the Back Squat, I still would recommend other Squat variations, most-notably the Goblet Squat. Goblet squatting allows you to work many of the same muscles as the back squat, with a lesser load, yet with improved core and flexibility work. You can utilize the Goblet squat to ingrain better Squat positioning, while training the Deadlift as hard as you would like.

Also, you can take less rest days when you are using the goblet squat instead of the back squat because it is less fatiguing for your Central Nervous System.

Unlike the Back Squat, the Deadlift is as natural a human movement as there comes. Although technique is still essential, it is as simple as picking up a heavy object off of the ground.


Therefore, whether you are a premier, top-flight athlete or not, you can still get as much muscular work done as possible, without risking the several forms of injury provided by the Back Squat.

The Need to Train Your Upper Half to Jump Higher

Although the large majority of vertical jump power does come from your legs, Kelly Baggett’s Vertical Jump Bible taught us all that the upper body is still essential in maximizing your vertical jump. However, it is also important to understand that there is an optimal level of strength vs. mass in your upper body, to not take away from the power being provided by your legs. One solution to this is to zero in on the correct exercises, maiming force output from your shoulders, chest and core.

Similarly to all other factors of building the vertical jump, there are certainly specific exercises and approaches that beat out the rest. For example, focusing more on Dumbbell versus Barbell exercises will give your shoulders much more stability, while activating your muscles at almost the exact same level. Dumbbell “pressing,” specifically, is far easier on your joints, involves a truer and larger range of motion, and requires much more stability then Barbell pressing.


Another example would be focusing more on Incline pressing versus Flat pressing, getting much more bang for your buck out of the movement. After considering the actual motion that you are doing, laying on your back and pressing a weight vertically is virtually a movement never accomplished anywhere in sports. Although still not necessarily sports specific, incline pressing activates shoulder force and power, as well as your chest, while easing tension off your joints.


One last variation which can make a distinct impact is the use of calisthenics and plyometric calisthenics. Changing your routine to one more concentrated on controlling your own bodyweight, whether it be pushups, pull-ups, dips etc., will naturally help you understand what is necessary to force your own bodyweight through a movement, improving your muscle-mind connection. Adding in plyometric variations such as clap-pushups, burpees or plyometric pushups will help you get a more explosive body overall.

Read Next: How to Optimize Your Mind for Better Workouts

Variable Resistance Training for the Vertical Jump

Often, people will fail to make any change in their life, whether it is athletically, academically, or at home, due to a lack of consistency.  In terms of developing your vertical jump, the goal is to consistently be altering your training.  Developing the vertical jump is multi-faceted in the sense that you must both consistently vary and change your workouts to avoid muscle developing plateaus, yet still remain consistent with your training.  Following my year at Winchendon, I strictly devoted the first 2 months of my summer to building as much initial leaping power as possible.

For me, this meant 45 minutes in my local YMCA’s pool, 5 days a week, along with incorporating other leg strengthening.  Throughout these 2 months, I would perform the same exact pool workout each time, while varying the other intangibles.  This provided me with enough consistency in my routine to have something to track, as well as causing consistent muscle confusion.

Variance in workouts doesn’t necessarily mean adding more or less weight.  Varying aspects including time of workout, your own body weight/body fat %, and pre-exhaustion of muscles can all effect your performance on a certain exercise.  Over the course of a month or two, changing multiple facets of your workouts will keep your body guessing, allowing for continued growth and improvement.

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Developing a Mindset to Increase Your Vertical Jump

In my opinion, becoming an overall “athlete” encompasses more than just what you can take from your own favorite sport or athlete, instead is a combination of joining details from as many places as possible.  Although he did not participate in any of the major American sports, Bruce Lee should always be remembered as one of the best pure athletes of all time.  In my time researching athletes and athletics, one particular quote by Lee has always remained more memorable than any other.  Lee stated,

“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”

This statement has been the overriding concept through all of my training as an athlete, specifically in regards to vertical jump training.

I Am Bruce Lee

One prime example I have of creating a program specifically your own is my interpretation of box jumps.  As I began working through various techniques to help myself learn to jump, I consistently came across information through websites or personal trainers who advocated the use of box jumps or depth jumps.  Being 6’10”, I always felt as if this was a limiting exercise for myself.

After bounding on to a roughly 30’ box, and descending to the ground, I would always feel as if I was simply drilling extra punishment into my knees.  For many people, this can absolutely be a wonderful exercise.  Box jumps incorporate explosive power, and with the appropriate alterations can also provide great work on reactive force.  However, they just never seemed for me.

Instead, I chose less stressful alternatives.  For explosive power I choose to work with aquatic plyometrics, specifically chest-deep “tuck-jumps.”  These allow for serious hip explosion, yet do not place as much “pounding” on your knees.

For reactive force, I would choose to incorporate: extra jump roping to develop calve reaction, and 2 footed instability device work. For instability work I generally look to the BOSU ball (BOth Sides Up), or an Airex balance pad.  Working off of these devices forces your legs to work both as a stabilizing force, as well as a power producer.

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