Does Jump Rope Increase Your Vertical?

Apr 04, 2024Kaylee Woodard

Good news: jumping rope is an all-inclusive workout, and including a rope in your workout routine is a great way to improve your physical and mental health. This is especially true in areas like muscular strength and endurance, balance and coordination, and cardiovascular health. And what’s more, jumping rope during your workout improves your vertical jump over time in a number of different ways.

How Does Jump Rope Help You Jump Higher?

Adding jump rope to your workout routine helps your body condition itself with the simple jumping movement and has numerous other health benefits. While it may appear simple, jumping rope is a repetitive, low-level plyometric activity that involves both concentric and eccentric muscle contractions. This means that it can help enhance the push-off phase of your vertical jump and equip your body to land more safely.

While jumping rope engages several muscle groups in the lower body such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, it primarily targets the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. These muscles together make up the calf, and they are critical for the final push off of any jump. Therefore, working these muscles through jump rope can help you gain an edge in your vertical jump height. Further, jump rope targets muscles surrounding the ankles and feet that will help you withstand the impact of the landing.

The notion of improving vertical jump height is critical for various sports and disciplines. Those looking to improve their game on the basketball or volleyball court will often look at their jump to assess their skill and ability to succeed in the game. Similarly, athletic disciplines such as the high jump, long jump, or triple jump also require greater jumping ability for obvious reasons, with a higher vertical leading to greater success. 

Implementing a jump rope into your workout routine can help you reach those baskets, guard your nets, and break personal bests on the field. Sportstars and track and field athletes are utilizing jump rope to improve their vertical and help them excel in their chosen events. There are numerous exercises to help you improve your game, with jump rope being one of the best tools to help advance your jumping ability. 

How To Use a Jump Rope To Increase Your Vertical Jump

If you're looking to improve your vertical jump, you can do several specific jumps while using a rope to see improvement over time. As with all exercise, this should be undertaken in moderation and in a way that complements your ability, your workout style, and your fitness efforts. Whether you're new to the jump rope and eager to start or a seasoned vet, it's worth being aware of what the correct form looks like and what works for you to avoid injury

Single Leg Jump

A single leg jump is effectively hopping with your rope. Doing this is a great way to improve your balance, coordination, and vertical jump while actively strengthening your ankles. This can be done as a “basic” jump (where the rope rotates around you once) or as a double under. Note that only seasoned jumpers should attempt a single leg double under. Either way, it's an effective move if you're looking to improve your stability and your lower leg strength. As you jump, try to move from side to side to engage your ankle and foot muscles. 

Another way to utilize single leg jumps to improve your vertical is to perform back leg elevated single leg jumps in a gym setting. Place one foot on a sturdy, elevated surface behind you, and continue making the jumping movement as you would with a rope. This will test your strength, coordination, and single leg balance, aiding your initial take-off and elevation when jumping. 

Double Under

A double under, as the name might suggest, is where the rope rotates around you two times between your jump and your landing. This move can be a learning curve, but don't feel intimidated. You'll want to jump high enough to give the rope time to circle you a second time, but avoid overcompensating by kicking your feet too far back or piking forward. . 

The double under is a great jump if you're looking to improve your speed, coordination, timing, and overall jumping skills. It offers a fantastic way to work on your explosiveness while increasing the intensity of your workouts and acts as an intuitive and flexible complement to a robust HIIT (high-intensity interval training) program.

Single Leg Double Under

If you remember, a single leg jump is hopping while using a rope. Doing a single leg double under is a more advanced version of both a single leg jump and a double under. Rotating the rope itself around you twice in the span of one jump - or hop, in this case - has numerous benefits. 

It'll make your workouts more intensive, improve your ankle strength, and encourage your speed and dexterity overall. It's also another way to improve on your vertical jump, as it'll help your explosiveness as you train either leg. Be sure you have mastered both a regular double under and single leg hops before attempting the single leg double under.

High Knees

High knees are a great exercise to incorporate into your jump rope workout, as it naturally works your core and your hips. As the name suggests, the high knee is a jump where you bring your knees up as high as you can. To begin, run in place and try to raise your knees as high up off the ground as you can, usually aiming for a height that's parallel to the ground - or higher.

As opposed to a basic jump, which sees your torso and hips staying in the same place, you've got greater options. High knees are a great inclusion if you're looking to boost workout intensity and challenge yourself, which in return will boost your cardiovascular health, endurance, and jumping ability. 



Boxer Step

Boxer step jumps are rhythmic jumps that mimic the stance a boxer might take in the ring. It's a fun way to add a little extra movement into your workout, as it involves jumping and “stepping” like a boxer. This is also a great way to add a little extra variety, as well as improve your balance, coordination, and agility as you get used to the movements.

Side to Side Jump

Perhaps one of the most well-known variations of jumping, actively moving from side to side within the rope is another fun yet useful exercise to help improve your jumping ability. Moving across your workout space laterally as your rope moves around you is a great way to add some extra movement to your workouts and improve your cardio - as well as overall dexterity.

Broad Jump to High Jump

Another great way to improve your jumping is to practice transitioning from a broad jump over a suitable distance to a high jump without a rope. Plant your feet as you land and lift yourself into the air, focussing on the secondary high jump movement. This is an ideal means of increasing your jump height and testing your body’s ability to handle each stage of the vertical jump motion. Adept jump rope users can even add a rope to the motion.

Mountain Climbers

A set of mountain climbers engages arms, core, leg, and ankle muscles, aiding your ability to perform impressive and explosive vertical jumps. Begin in a plank position and raise each knee to your chest alternately, then back again. Continue to speed up this motion until you’re almost sprinting from a stationary position. 

The mountain climber, or running plank, is a fantastic way to engage numerous muscles across your entire body, engaging muscle development and maintenance while giving you more power to hit those high vertical jumps. Aim for 20 reps (10 for each leg) with a minute's rest between sets. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Increase My Vertical by Jumping Rope?

Yes. Over time, and with a balanced workout routine, you can strengthen your leg muscles and increase your vertical by jumping rope. Different exercises target different areas of the leg and core, so be sure to explore varied vertical jumping movements. 

How Long Should I Jump Rope for To Increase My Vertical?

A typical jump rope routine can range anywhere between one minute to 30 minutes. In order to see long-term results, incorporate it into your daily or weekly workout. By following this regimen and including other targeted lower body exercises along with jump rope, you’ll soon see great results, with beginner jumpers noticing the fastest improvement. 

Final Thoughts

While a jump rope isn’t vital to improving your jump height, it adds a dynamic and enjoyable twist to many standard exercises, which can become monotonous over time. Jump rope exercises strengthen various parts of the human body, adding to your vertical jump's explosiveness, coordination, and overall height. 

Athletes and sports stars are increasingly adding jump rope to their workout routine, as it includes many of the movements and training activities necessary to improve vertical jump height and explosiveness. Implement these exercises into your workout routine appropriately to maximize efficiency. A cardio-based workout with a personal trainer with slow baby hops will not help you increase the explosiveness of your leap. 

To maximize the benefit to your vertical, explore these powerful jumping exercises that work the muscles responsible for the leaping movement. 4 sets of 10 double unders, for example, is one of the most efficient and ideal workouts to improve the explosiveness and height of your jump. This movement is similar to the tuck jump, which you can practice both with and without a rope. Moving either side to side, forward and backward, or rotating hips as you jump, appropriate to each exercise, will work muscles further and help yield even greater results. 

If you're looking to improve your vertical jump and overall health, check out the range of jump ropes we have available at Elite Jumps. With ropes designed for tricks and freestyles through to speed and double unders, you'll find whatever you're looking for to assist you on your fitness journey.

About the Author

Kaylee Woodard is a jump rope educator and performer with a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and a Ph.D. in Motor Behavior and Sport Psychology. A former competitive jumper, she has won multiple national and international jump rope titles. She now travels the world teaching jump rope with her husband, Nick, through Learnin' the Ropes.


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