Jump Higher Without Getting Stronger: How hip extension and acceleration work together

How can you make an athlete jump higher WITHOUT getting stronger?

Can you increase vertical jump while struggling with an injury?


This case study will talk you through what I did for our client, a female college Volleyball athlete.

For a short summary, start at 10:31-10:57.

If you watch the full thing, you’ll get:

  • What kinds of athletes learn how to push well (that is, all the way through their concentric movement)
  • The acceleration profile of a squat (and why that CANNOT be the only thing you train)
  • A good way to maximize vertical jump height
  • My car acceleration runway analogy (I’m pretty proud of this)
  • How the GymAware really helped us out here (but you don’t NEED to have one to make these changes)
  • Putting two inches on a vertical jump in six weeks WITHOUT getting stronger (what’s the only real difference between then and now? See 6:56)
  • A simple explanation of the physics of what’s going on with some example types of athletes that you can relate to this (If you want to go deeper, you should watch Brandon’s series on biomechanics)
  • How our client increased her power output in her jump by 24% (that’s MASSIVE)
  • The exercise I chose to use (maybe you have better ones?)

You have to get your athlete stronger, but you CANNOT do it in spite of making them a better athlete. Don’t forgot ballistic movements! The physics is different and it needs to be trained differently.


Any questions? Leave a comment below and let’s chat in the Facebook group.

Here’s a question on measurement:

Using the GymAware software, how did you find out how many inches prior to toe off the athlete was decelerating?

On this page, in the upper right hand part of the screen, switch to acceleration instead of force, power, velocity, etc.

To find out an athlete's deceleration when using the GymAware software, you first need to switch your measurement to "acceleration".

Then select the rep you want to examine.

To find out an athlete's deceleration when using the GymAware software, you first need to switch your measurement to "acceleration", then highlight the rep you want to examine.

Then run the cursor across the rep to see the stats for that position. When doing a CMJ, the GymAware should zero out automatically in the resting/standing position. Toe off will be another inch or 2 above the 0 mark. You will also see a drastic drop off in acceleration just after toe off so that is a marker for it as well.

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