Why the Vertical Jump Test Drives Sports Measurements

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The vertical jump test is really an important piece to determining the strength and power of your lower body. Whether you want to improve your vertical jump height or are just looking to get stronger overall.

The vertical jump test is a standard test that you will have to undergo. By reading on, you can learn all about the vertical jump test and why it’s important.

So, what is the purpose of the vertical jump test?

What is the Vertical Jump Test?

The vertical jump test is a test that measures a person’s vertical jump height. There are different approaches to the test, using equipment or without using equipment.

The measurement will look at your power in your lower body. This power can be indirectly able to measure a person’s overall performance.

The vertical jump test can not only determine a person’s capability when it comes to such sports as basketball or volleyball, it can also be an essential skill in a wide array of other sports.

There are different types of vertical jump tests, including:

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Countermovement Jump (without arms)

This test can be used with the squat jump to get a good estimation of the person’s leg power and to determine the person’s EUR (eccentric utilization ratio).

Squat Jump

This is an easy to perform task that can show a jumper’s concentric skill. These numbers can often look pretty weak, but that’s one reason why this test is used along with the countermovement jump.

Countermovement Jump (with arms)

The goal with this test is to see how the jumper will use their raw athleticism in order to improve the reaction to the ground.

Rebound Jumping

Also known as constant jumping or serial jumping, this test can give you a lot of great information including about your joints when jumping.

Reactive Strength Index

This test can gauge the athlete’s fatigue in a specific amount of time and is often used for team sports.

determined sportsman performing plyometric box jumps indoor, in crossfit functional workout
Athletic man performing plyo box jump exercise during crossfit workout

What is the Purpose of the Vertical Jump Test?

A misconception with a vertical jump test is that this test is there to evaluate an individual’s talent, track how much they are progressing, and monitoring their fatigue.

A lot of people don’t fully understand what the real purpose of a vertical jump test is. There are a few things that a vertical jump test can help determine. This can determine:

  • The height measurement of a person when they jump using a specific technique.
  • Whether or not any training can improve the lower body power of the person.
  • If there is any indication from the jumper as to their risk for injury.

Jump testing isn’t a sole indication of an athlete’s ability to jump, so it’s important to remember that. While this may not be a perfect way to determine one’s ability to jump high, what it can help you determine is how powerful someone’s leg strength is.

It’s also important to know that some people just aren’t motivated to jump, so they may not do as well on this type of test as they are physically able to. This is why it’s so important to take a look at other athletic tests as well.

How Do You Do the Vertical Jump Test?

Often times, vertical jump tests are accomplished using equipment especially the Vertec Vertical Jump Tester. This is a popular choice for people who are performing a vertical jump test because this equipment is very easy to use and it can be incredibly accurate when you use it properly.

There are two approaches commonly used for the vertical jump test, which will be looked at in this section.

Standing Approach

The steps to accomplishing the standing approach:

Measuring Reach

The person will walk through the device, reaching their arm as high as possible. Be sure that the arm is close to your ear as you walk through the device. It’s recommended that you do this twice to ensure that you get the most accurate measurements. This measurement should be written down.

Jump

The jumper needs to launch off of their 2 feet, seeing which of the bars they are able to reach. This can be done as many times as the jumper wants. Remember that you’re not supposed to take any steps when using this approach. You can get more height on your jump if you snap down.

Calculating the Jump

Take the measurement from when the reach was measured, then subtract that from your jump. That’s the number of how high the jump was.

Full Approach

The full approach is also known as the max vertical approach. This approach follows these steps:

Measuring Reach

This is completed exactly as if you were doing the standing approach. Be sure to follow the aforementioned instructions and write down this measurement.

Max Vertical Approach

Unlike with the standing approach, you are able to take as many steps as you need in order to accomplish your highest jump. Some people may prefer to only take a couple of steps to achieve their maximum height jumping.

Other people prefer to get a running start of between 5 and 15 yards. You should try several different methods so that you can see which approach works specifically for you. You can also take as many attempts as you want to.

Calculating the Jump

You will calculate the jump as you would in the standing approach, subtracting the reach and from your jump.

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How Do You Do the Vertical Jump Test Without Equipment?

Fortunately, you don’t need specialized equipment in order to accomplish the vertical jump test. There is a way where you can work around not having equipment, by following these steps:

  1. Is there a tall wall that you can use inside? If not, go outside and use the exterior of your building. You need to have plenty of space to jump.
  2. Using double-sided tape or tape that’s been rolled into a ball, stick the tape to the tip of your middle finger. If you don’t have tape, you can also use chalk on the tip of your middle finger.
  3. You will move onto the reach step as mentioned in the approaches using equipment. Just reach up, reaching as high as you can to establish your reach. When you have reached as high as possible, put your middle finger against the wall to transfer the tape or chalk. This is your reach measurement.
  4. You can either use a standing approach or max vertical approach, as you would with equipment.
    • Standing Approach - You will do the standing approach as previously mentioned. Again, use the tape or chalk on your middle finger to mark the wall when you jump. You can do this as many times as you want to. After you’re done jumping, you can measure the space between the reach and the jump to determine your jump height.
    • Max Vertical Approach - Using tape or chalk on your finger, follow the same steps for jumping. You should do this as many times as you need to in order to achieve the maximum jump height. Measuring the distance between the reach and your jump height will be your jump height.

Why is the Vertical Jump Test Important?

The vertical jump test is important because this can be an important indicator of an athlete’s capabilities. This shouldn’t be the only test that is used to establish the athleticism of an athlete, this is an important tool to help with an assessment of the lower-body power someone is capable of.

Final Thoughts on the Purpose of the Vertical Jump Test

A vertical jump test can help you gauge your current progress towards becoming the best player you can be at any sport. You shouldn't use it to compare yourself to others but more to see where you are currently and how best to proceed in moving forward in your training.

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