vertical jump training

Explosive Medicine Ball Training For a Higher Vertical Jump

Written by Jack Woodrup for

When people want to know how to jump higher and increase their vertical they often find themselves looking for the latest and greatest training tricks but they end up overlooking the simple things that might not be as sexy, but are often more effective. Medicine ball training is one of those things that sadly gets overlooked in people's vertical jump training.

how to jump higher and increase your vertical jump

In this article I am going to take a fresh look at medicine ball training for a higher vertical jump and give you a few good reasons why you should take another look at adding some medicine ball work into your program.

Why Use Medicine Balls To Help You Jump higher

Before I launch into some good medicine ball exercises it is probably a good idea to quickly offer up a few good reasons as to WHY you should be including them in your vertical jump training.

  • Great for core strength and power development
  • Loaded jumps are a proven vertical jump enhancement technique. Medicine balls are a very simple way to add load to a wide variety of jumps
  • Ballistic exercises such as medicine ball throws develop total body power and acceleration in a manner very similar to jumping
  • Throwing a medicine ball around, either in a park or a large gym area is a lot of fun
  • Medicine balls are cheap and come in a variety of sizes and weights so medicine ball training is easy to adapt to people of different strength levels
  • Medicine ball training has a low learning curve. Basically it easy people to do correctly.
  • Encourages people to execute a powerful triple extension just like in jumping
  • Forward medicine ball throws can develop power in the chest, triceps and deltoid's in a low impact environment (as opposed to plyo push ups)
  • Can be used to help prime the CNS for further power work - either weights or plyometrics.
  • Few gyms have bands, chains, trap bars, or weight vests, but most gyms have medicine balls

explosive medicine ball training for a higher vertical jump

Medicine Ball Training For a Higher Vertical Jump: Seriously, what is there not to love?

That list is pretty obviously a whole bunch of extremely good reasons why you should be taking another look at medicine ball training in your vertical jump training program.

How To Incorporate Medicine Ball Training Into Your Vertical Jump Training

One of the great things about using a medicine ball is its versatility. It can be used for just about any form of power training. As mentioned above it is easy to use in plyometric and explosive jumping drills, it is even easy to use as load for single leg exercises (for greater challenge loads you can use a medicine ball in conjunction with a weight vest)

In short, you just grab a medicine ball and you jump with it, throw it, or lift it. Easy. To make it even easier I shot a short video with a few simple ideas you can try.


A medicine ball is really one of the simplest to use and most versatile vertical jump training tools at your disposal. This humble weighted rubber ball has been used at all levels of athletic training with great success for decades. So just because it isn't as sexy as lifting weights with chains, or doing plyometrics with bands, don't think it isn't worth your time.

If you are after some more medicine ball training exercises you can use to improve your vertical jump there is a whole section of medicine ball related vertical jump exercises in our exercise video library.

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