Everyone used to want to jump like Michael Jordan.
These days everyone wants to learn how to jump like the 6ft 8in, 250+ pounds NBA superstar Lebron James.
People have speculated that Lebron James vertical jump height is 40+ inches for some time, yet the exact details of his jump height have been murky.
In this post we will determine Lebron James vertical jump once and for all.
We will also take a look at Lebron's vertical jump training workout to see how he achieves such an impressive vertical leap.
I will also show you how you can design an effective vertical jump training program that can help you add inches to your vertical jump.
Lebron James Vertical Jump Height
Exactly How High Can Lebron Jump?
Since we know that Lebron James stands 6 feet 8 inches tall we can calculate that if he could jump with his head level to the 10 ft rim he would have a vertical jump height of 40 inches.
However there is some evidence to suggest that Lebron James can jump high enough to get his head inches above the rim.
The following video of a failed alley-oop attempt back in his Cleveland Cavaliers days is the best evidence I could find of this.
Take a look and notice just how high Lebron James can jump.
How many inches above the rim do you think he gets his head?
Lebron James Head Above Rim: Video
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From this video you could easily assume that Lebron gets his head a foot above the rim.
This would mean that Lebron James has a vertical jump of over 50 inches!
Considering that the average NBA player has a vertical jump height of 28 inches this would be a very impressive achievement indeed.
However, I must note that the 28 inch NBA vertical jump average is measured from a two foot standing Sargent Jump (learn more about vertical jump testing).
Most of the elite high jumpers in the NBA have a 40+ inch vertical.
Obviously a running jump such as the one Lebron performed in this video will generate a much higher vertical leap than a two foot static jump.
But did Lebron really get his head a 12 inches above the rim as some people are saying?
I don't think so. Take a look at this image:
Lebron James Real Vertical Jump Height
As you can see from this image at the peak of Lebron's vertical jump his head is only around 3 inches above the rim max.
Therefore in this case, it is safe to assume the Lebron James has a running vertical jump of around 43 inches.
It is a known fact that most athletes have a much higher running vertical jump than standing jump.
We could therefore safely assume that Lebron's standing jump (2 foot Sergeant jump test) would be sub 40 inch. Based on comparison of other athletes running jump to Sergeant jump test heights I would say Lebron James would have a standing vertical jump height of 35- 38 inches.
Still a very impressive vertical jump height for a man weighing over 250 pounds.
Let's not forget that Lebron James has a standing reach of 8 feet 10 inches.
This means that if he can get his head level with the rim on a running dunk attempt he has over 2 feet of arm length above the rim.
This massive length of arm extension above the rim is what allows him to throw down such thunderous jams with enormous force.
How Does Lebron Jump So High?
Lebron James Vertical Jump Training Workout
It is no secret that Lebron James sets the standard for work ethic off the court among NBA players. In his 16th season Lebron James is still jumping as high as ever.
He spends a huge amount of time in the gym priming his body for success. His body is a billion dollar investment so of course he wants to keep it in prime condition.
But exactly what does Lebron James do to help him jump so high?
Well for starters he is a genetic freak. He was dunking at the age of 14 without any specific vertical jump training.
Some people just get their hops naturally.
He is lucky in the fact that he only has to spend most of his time maintaining strength and mobility rather than gaining raw strength and explosiveness.
Most of Lebron James current training focuses on core strength and control to help minimize back pain that hindered him earlier in his career.
At his stage of his career light resistance training and targeted stretching will help him maintain his impressive vertical jump.
in a way he has it easier then the rest of us...
Don't be disheartened though.
If you are just an average joe you can still increase your vertical jump height and learn to dunk like the pro's.
Unlike Lebron James you will have to work a little bit harder doing more vertical jump training exercises to get your vertical jump gains.
Genetic freaks like Lebron and other NBA dunkers have the perfect blend of muscle fiber type, tendon length and neural activation.
Plus they also have extremely low body fat levels. If you are overweight you must shed the pounds before even thinking about starting vertical jump training. In fact losing weight can be one of the fastest ways to add a few inches to your vertical jump height.
Yes, some people are genetic freaks and the sad fact is that the rest of us have to target our jumping muscles with focused jump training.
DID YOU KNOW? Many people have increased their vertical jump height by around 6 - 24 inches in just a few months by following well devised jump programs such as The Jump Manual (current rank #1) and popular body weight only jump system Vert Shock (current rank #2).
The Jump Manual Success Stories
The creator of The Jump Manual (current rank #1) has collated some his customers most noteworthy testimonials from over the past decade. As you will see there are some very impressive results.
If you are wondering what sort of results are possible with a 12 week hybrid jump training program (weights + plyometrics) then make sure you take a look.
How You Can Jump High Like Lebron James
There are no secret exercise that can help turn you into a jump freak like Lebron James overnight. To significantly increase your vertical jump height you will have to put in months of hard work.
However, there are a few simple mobilization and activation exercises that you can do that can help add a few inches to your jump in a very short period of time.
If you want to increase your vertical jump beyond a few inches and get your vertical jump height into the 30 inch club like Lebron James you will need to commit to a correctly prescribed vertical jump program.
Tip: Before you start you journey to a higher vertical jump it is very helpful to test your vertical jump height so that you have a benchmark from which you can judge your jump gains.
There are many phases to vertical jump training that you must focus on in order to develop an explosive vertical leap like Lebron James.
Firstly, if you want to jump higher you must simply get better at jumping.
Perfecting jump technique can help you add inches to your jump height without the need to add strength or speed.
Most decent jump programs will discuss how to optimize your jump technique. Vert Shock is the best jump program that we have encountered which discusses how to optimize jump technique specifically with the end goal of dunking.
Vert Shock Success Stories
The creators of Vert Shock have created a page featuring some of their customers testimonials. There are some very inspirational vertical jump success stories and videos to read and watch.
If you are considering purchasing Vert Shock you should definitely take a look.
Vertical jump training is a complex process that caters for many jump specific training variables such as:
- progressive overload
- technique optimization
In addition to these factors a solid jump training protocol must develop:
- maximal motor neuron recruitment
- reactive abilities of the lower limb muscles and tendons.
"Done for you" jump programs can be a great way to improve your vertical jump height without becoming overwhelmed by the complex nature of periodised vertical jump exercise programming.
Simply follow these programs day by day and you will get results. Thousands of other people have. There is no reason why you cant too.
Here are two of the current top rated jump programs:
Jacob Hiller's Jump Manual (current rank #2)
Adam Folker's VertShock (current rank #1)
Lebron James has obtained a vertical jump height of over 40 inches.
The fact that Lebron James could dunk when he was 14 makes it safe for us to assume that he is a "vertical jump freak" and did not require specific vertical jump training to get such impressive results.
For the rest of you who want to get a 30+ inch vertical jump like Lebron you will have to get ready to work hard in the gym.
Undertaking carefully prescribed shock training, plyometric training and the correct jump training exercises will make you a much more explosive athlete.
It wont happen over night.
But if you train with intensity and consistency you may one day be able to throw down like Lebron James.