Want to dunk?  Who doesn’t?  Here’s the workout to help you jump higher for basketball and football while making you run faster in less than 45 minutes a week.




I am not the only one to dream about doing this in a game…

How to jump higher

Courtesy of giphy.com

Or what about Moss someone?

How to jump higher

Courtesy of giphy.com

What if I could jump higher and in-turn increase how fast you can run as a side product.


How about if I told you you wouldn’t need any strength shoes or fancy equipment.  Plus, I could get you results in 2 weeks with less than 45 minutes of work each week.



Really interested or am I just a shitty salesman?

I’m guessing the latter.

The secret of how to jump higher and run faster is simple – deadlift.

[Tweet “The secret of how to jump higher and run faster is simple – deadlift.”]

I know you probably saying – “Big surprise Dave suggests the deadlift on how to jump higher and run faster.  The same guy who told me about Deadlift Everyday .  I swear this creep has a hard-on for deadlifting.”

That is not entirely a false assumption.

The fact of the matter is it’s proven, not only by me, but by a high school strength coach named Barry Ross.

At 6’2” and 200lbs, I can take one step and grab the rim of a regulation hoop (10ft).  And they say White Men Can’t Jump.


If that doesn’t do it for you, Barry was the strength coach of Allyson Felix.  While in high school, under Barry’s instruction, Allyson broke Marion Jones’ high school record for the 200 meters.  After high school set the record for 200 meters in the world and became the first high school athlete to jump directly to the professional rank.  She was pretty good.

Do I have some street cred now?

“But wait, Allyson runs for a living, she doesn’t jump.  I thought you were going to tell me how to jump higher?  WTF man.”

How to Jump higher

Courtesy of memegenerator.net

I said earlier that I could get you to run faster as a side product of jumping higher.  The two are linked more than you think.

Geez it feels like I’m on trial.  Let me explain…



Posterior Chain

Check out the posterior chain on this guy

Running and jumping, at the simplest form, are just pushing your body off the ground.  Running in a lateral direction and jumping in a vertical direction.  Both rely heavily on the posterior chain – mainly the hamstrings and glutes.  Right now while you read this, grab your butt (or someone else’s) and slowly go through the motion of a jump.  Now try the same thing when going through the motion of running.  Notice that the ass flexes when pushing off the floor?  That’s your posterior chain in action.  How many times have you heard someone pull a quad running?  It’s always the hamstring.

In regards to running, in my humble opinion, there are 2 factors that limit your speed:

  • Technique
  • Power generated

Running technique plays a huge roll in running speed.  Some people fight against themselves while running to prevent them from hitting their optimized speed.  Technique is out of my pay grade, and for that I will refer you elsewhere.

But to generate more power, I got your back Jack.  So how do we generate more power?


When looking at running and jumping there is 2 things (seems to be the theme of the day) that we need to address:

  • Raw Power
  • Reflexive Power

Raw power is easy, straight deadlifting.  Pick that weight off the ground like you own it.

Reflexive power we get from Plyometrics.  I’m sure you’ve heard this term before and maybe have even tried it.  If you haven’t, here is the interwebs definition:

Plyometrics, also known as “jump training” or “plyos”, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength).

Ahh it’s all piecing together.

When running and jumping the key is to generate the most power off the ground in the least amount of time.  Deadlifting and plyometrics will do just that.

[Tweet “When running and jumping the key is to generate the most power off the ground in the least amount of time. Deadlifting and plyometrics will do just that.”]

I’ll give you the workout now and then explain each portion and give you some videos so you have to read to the end of this post.  HA-HA trapped!

I know a lot of people will drop off after reading the workout, so make sure you test your before vertical so you can measure the difference after trying this out. 

(I’m half expecting trumpets when you read this header.  I heard them in my head.)


3 times a week incorporate this into your normal workout.  Monday-Wednesday-Friday will give you ample time to recover.  In this protocol more is not better if you’re an athlete, we need you fresh to practice your craft.

  • Dynamic stretching for no more than 5 mins
  • Sumo deadlift to knee for 1 set for 2-3 reps at 95% of 1RM followed immediately by 5-7 box jumps at a height of 12-18 inches. Rest 5 mins from the end of the box jumps.
  • Sumo deadlift to knee for 1 set for 5 reps at 85% of 1RM followed immediately by 5-7 box jumps at a height of 12-18 inches.

Then proceed with the rest of your workout.  Make sure to incorporate stability core work.

Doesn’t seem like enough does it?

Let me guess you live by “No pain, No gain”?

After this workout you should feel stronger and not sore, especially if you are an athlete.  Practicing if your sore won’t get you into the starting lineup.  Leave some reps in the tank and trust the process.

So let me breakdown each step to get the most bang for your buck.  We doin bargain workouts here.


To lift maximum weight and not injure yourself you need to warm up the muscles and connective tissue.

If shit goes downhill when you lift, you are going to want that extra flexibility to prevent injury.

Jogging or walking on the treadmill won’t do it as a proper warmup.  There isn’t enough hip flexion to loose your, more than likely, tight hip flexors.  For that I recommend either:

Over unders


Walking lunges

Both ensure your hip flexors will loosen up while allowing your quads, hamstrings calves and glutes to wake up and get warm.  This way we are like Gumby and can get down into the proper position for the sumo deadlift.

One you feel warm and limber move to the deadlifts.  Don’t sap too much energy here, don’t break a sweat.


Am I the only one excited right now?  Fuckin creep, I know.

Conventional deadlift can be used here but the sumo puts more emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings.  Plus, it takes some of the pressure off of the lower back.  We don’t need any back injuries.

Rather than me spending 1000 words explaining form of the sumo, I’ll direct you to watch a video.  Watch the female version (tab on the top left of the video), it’s easier to see her form.  Before you watch it, watch her hand placement (over-under grip) and watch her shins.  Here is the link.

For the sumo, it’s easier to go with an over-under, or mixed grip.  Just make sure you hold the weight evenly, unlike what she does.

The most important part is her shin placement.  She keeps a vertical shin (a vertical line from her ankle to her knee), this puts emphasis on the muscle we need it and not on the quads. 

So why only to the knee?

In any movement there is always a weak point and if you can get strong in the weak point, overall you’ll get stronger quicker.

The weak part of the deadlift, any variation, is from the ground to the knee.  If we get strong here, every other part of the movement in turn gets stronger.  Strength hacking at it’s finest.

There is one important part that I’d like to explain here.  Partly because I wanted you to keep reading and I couldn’t figure out a good way to word it into the workout.  Tricky son of a bitch I know, but at least I told you.

The important point I wanted to point out is that after you lift the weight to the knee you should drop the weight.

I know gym etiquette says you shouldn’t drop weights but if you’re an athlete in a weight class this will prevent hypertrophy in your hamstrings and glutes.  So you’ll get stronger without all that junk in your trunk.

Hypertrophy, or the process of your muscles getting bigger, happens mostly on the lowering or eccentric portion of the movement.  The eccentric portion is what created the tears in the muscle fiber causing them to grow back bigger and stronger.  Eliminating the lowering portion will save you from gaining size and weight.  Not a great strategy for the long term but for our purpose it is.


After the deadlift go immediately into plyometrics.  Since we are trying to make you jump higher, doing box jumps seems like a logical conclusion.

You want to set up a box or a stable stool (HA) that’s about 12-18 inches high.  Perform the jumps as quickly as possible, remember we are trying to train your legs to deliver the most amount of power through the floor as possible in the fastest amount of time. 

When doing these don’t do squat jumps where you get down like your trying to drop some heat.  You should bend your legs no more than 45 degrees from standing up right.

Once you jump and secure your feet to the box, step down and repeat.

Let me know how this works for you.  Comment on your before and after verticals, I’m curious how it works for you.  Good Luck and remember me when you dunk it.




If you liked this article, sign up for the newsletter and share it through various social medias on the left or below.  The more you share, the more other people will see it.  It would be greatly appreciated by the people this helps. 

Featured picture: Cliff, Michael Jordan, Blue Dunk, Lisle, IL, 1987