Best Dumbbell Exercises to Increase Vertical Jump

/ / Jump Training

Sometimes all you have access to are a pair of dumbbells in the weight-room. BUT that is all you need to get the job done! Dumbbells are very versatile! They provide many variations to achieve different training goals. Specifically for improving power, here are 6 of the best dumbbell exercises to increase your vertical jump and athleticism. The goal of all these dumbbell exercises are to supplement your current jump training to build power. You will still need to practice jumping constantly and with good technique.

Dumbbell Squat Jump

The focus should be on the quality of the execution rather than quantity. Although jumping for height is important, proper mechanics are key. Make sure you get full ankles, knees, and hip extension. Maintain good positioning throughout the movement, and land firmly in a solid athletic position.

Coaching Cue: 

  • Keep a flat back and chest tall
  • Squat down and jump as high as you can
  • Land softly

DUMBBELL POWER STEP-UP

This movement will not only develop single-leg power but it can also improve single-leg strength. The stomp at the beginning of each repetition simulates making contact on the court, ice, or field followed by an aggressive jump. For example, a hop-step in basketball or the first push in a skating stride. This can help increase the amount of force you put into the ground, which can improve single-leg jumping ability, and acceleration.

Coaching Cue: 

  • Keep a flat back and chest tall
  • Stomp on the box and jump as high as you can
  • Land firmly on the box

DUMBBELL SPLIT SQUAT JUMP

Get as high as you can with each jump and land with control, make sure you also use a weight that is not too heavy to perform this movement.

Coaching Cue:

  • Keep a flat back and chest tall
  • Stand in a split stance
  • Squat down and jump as high as you can
  • Land softly

DUMBBELL POWER CLEAN

Using the barbell to perform a clean can be difficult to learn, this is a better alternative for people that have technical issues or lack wrist or shoulder mobility. The advantages of a dumbbell power clean are easy to learn, safer to execute, and control of grip position.

It can also be great for improving shoulder stability because it can be challenging to control 2 dumbbells during the catch position. Especially if you’re going heavier in weights.

Coaching Cue:

  • Keep a flat back and chest tall
  • Push hips backwards
  • Extend ankles, knees, and hips
  • Punch elbows forward and keep wrist neutral during catch

DUMBBELL SNATCH

This is also easier to learn in comparison to a barbell snatch. Some athletes lack t-spine extension making it difficult to lift a barbell overhead. The DB snatch provides explosive hip extension and uni-lateral overhead strength in a shoulder friendly position.

A common mistake is swinging the dumbbell away from your body with a straight-arm to bring it overhead. You need to make sure that you drive the elbow up keeping the dumbbell close and catching it overhead.

Coaching Cue:

  • Keep a flat back and chest tall
  • Have dumbbell between legs
  • Extend ankles, knees, and hips
  • Pull the dumbbell overhead
  • Punch the ceiling

DUMBBELL CLEAN PULL

Similar to the barbell clean pull, this movement allows for heavier load because there’s no need to catch the bar on your shoulders. Which sometimes shifts an athlete’s focus on technique and have to use lighter than optimal load. However, even though it allows for heavier load, it keeps an athlete honest because holding two dumbbell requires synchronized unilateral work. This means more activation and coordination is needed.

Coaching Cue:

  • Keep a flat back and chest tall
  • Have dumbbell between legs
  • Extend ankles, knees, and hips
  • Shrug

For performance, you can start with 2-4 sets for 3-6 reps for each of these dumbbell exercises to increase your vertical jump. Good amount of rest is necessary because each rep perform should be explosive. Keep it simple and train smart! If you haven’t already, make sure you download the FREE Athlete Pack which includes 3 eBook on explosive training and nutrition.

If you are ready to take your VERTICAL JUMP from average to the game-changing, make sure you check out our TAKE FLIGHT – Vertical Jump Program below

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