Biomechanics Of The Vertical Jump

Jumping is one of the most fundamental movements for all athletes. Jumping can also distinguish one athlete from another. Almost all team sports test an athlete’s vertical jump, since it shows how explosive an athlete is. If your sport requires you to jump high, then why not train your body to jump high? The higher your vertical, the more desired you are.


But first, in order to increase your vertical, you must understand the basic biomechanics of the movement. A good vertical jump requires a person to perform hip extension, knee extension, ankle plantar flexion, shoulder abduction and shoulder flexion.


Movement Breakdown


Hip Extension:

The action when someone stands up from a seated position and pushes his/her hips forward.  The muscles involved in this action are the gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, biceps femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus.

Knee Extension:

The action when one straightens his/her knee out. The muscles involved in this action are the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and vastus medialis.

Ankle Plantar Flexion:

The action where you go on your toes and they are pointed downward to the ground. Muscles involved are the gastrocnemius and soleus

Shoulder Abduction and Flexion:

Shoulder abduction is when you raise your arms from your sides like you're making a snow angel. Shoulder flexion is when you raise your arms forward. The muscles involved are the deltoid, supraspinatus and pectoralis major.



By understanding the biomechanics of the movement, you will know which muscles to strengthen to help improve your vertical jump. However, strength training alone won’t help you succeed. Stay tuned for future blog posts on various exercises to implement in your programming to help increase your vert!