Most readers of this site will have realized by now that if you want to jump higher you need to build tremendous strength in the key jumping muscles of the quads and the glutes. So with that in mind the obvious question is what is the best strength exercise for increasing your vertical jump?
When asked this question most people's immediate response is the barbell squat. And you can mount a pretty strong argument for this exercise. Its reputation as the 'King of leg exercises' is well deserved. But from a vertical jump point of view, I think you there is another candidate that is worth considering as perhaps the number one go to exercise for increasing vertical jump related strength. What is it? The Trap Bar Deadlift.
There is a LOT to love about the trap bar deadlift. Here are the big things:
There is really only one downside to the trap bar deadlift and that is that they are not widely available outside specialist gyms (Here in Australia for example I have NEVER seen another one outside my gym - and I have been to a LOT of gyms over the years.)
In my vertical jump training book Game Changers I wrote about TWO amazing ways to use the trap bar deadlift to increase your vertical jump. One of those methods is a system for rapidly developing vertical jump SPECIFIC strength.
I have experimented with many different exercises over the years trying to find out which ones get the best results and while I do love squatting (particularly the safety bar squat - another exercise that suffers from lack of safety squat bars available to people), I have found that the trap bar deadlift consistently produces outstanding gains in peoples vertical jump. If you have access to one of these bars and you are not using it, then do yourself a favor and find a way to work it into your vertical jump program.