The best athletes in the world use the best pieces of vertical jump training equipment.
Not only does vertical jump equipment train you to jump higher, it can also increase your speed and agility along the way.
Have you ever come across an athlete who seems to dominate everyone he goes up against?
I’ve had the honor of training a few of them in my day.
What separates them from the rest always seems to come down to a couple crucial items.
They work harder than everyone else, and they take the necessary steps to become successful.
They lift harder, they run drills harder, and they perfect their craft more than the people around them.
During my mid 20’s, I finally discovered a bit of this secret sauce myself.
I started training the right way, I started lifting the right way, and I did so in a progressively and methodically.
I would do wind sprints with my brother, I would use a speed and agility ladder daily to improve my quickness and footwork, and I would consistently use the plyo boxes to increase my vertical jump.
If you are not training to the best of your ability and with the resources that we all now have at our disposal, you will never reach the goals you have set for yourself.
15 Critical Pieces of Vertical Jump Training Equipment
1. Speed Ladder
An invaluable piece of vertical jump training equipment is the speed ladder.
I put the speed ladder at # 1 because the calf strength and footwork you get from training with a speed ladder becomes invaluable to an athlete.
Whether you’re a safety in football, a tennis player, a basketball player or boxer, footwork could be the main reason you are either excelling at your sport or falling way behind.
A person with great footwork will get more opportunities to make a great play on the ball or opponent than a person without.
Here are 5 benefits to using a speed ladder for your sports or athletic training:
- Better Options
Give yourself the best chance to make right play for the circumstances. Without good footwork, you’re going to be a step behind. You have to play defensively and on your heals. Better footwork allows you to play more aggressively, allowing you to make a smarter play for the situation. It could be the difference between knocking a ball down out of the air or returning an interception back for a touchdown.
- Increased Power
As an athlete, power is something you live on to out-produce your opponent. Proper footwork stemming from your agility ladder training will get your feet in proper position for maximum power output. You will be less likely to catch yourself flat footed, and always be ready to deliver that powerful effort. A football lineman will get tossed to the ground every time if his feet are not ready to produce a powerful thrust at his opponent.
- Reduced Errors
If you are always in position, you are way less likely to make any glaring errors. Quick feet will get you where you need to be and allow your mind adequate time to make the correct decision for the situation. If you are constantly having to make ground strokes from the baseline of a tennis court because you are not quick enough to change directions and get to the net before your opponent makes a play on the ball, then you are putting yourself at a major disadvantage from your lack of proper footwork preparation.
- Better Agility
The ability to quickly change directions in a sport can keep you in front of the ball handler in basketball, can allow you to make a play on a ball on the opposite side of the court in tennis, or can allow you to cut through that tiny hole in football. The people with the most agility are the most graceful, the most athletically conservative, and the most spry individuals on the playing field.
- Energy Conservation
If you are always able to get to your spot quickly, it allows your body to conserve energy for the rest of the play. If it takes you 5 seconds to get to a spot rather than 8, you have those 3 extra seconds to rest and get your bearing’s. For an athlete, any amount of rest could lead to faster recovery times, allowing you to give more power and effort during the rest of the game or individual play.
Some excellent speed ladder drills for soccer, basketball, football and tennis players to work on include the carioca, the side to side step, high knees, butt kickers, crossovers, and single and two legged jumps.
Start by grabbing this SKLZ Ladder. Work on your balance, stability, speed and agility with this 15′ 11-rung, heavy duty ladder. Great for individuals and teams of any sport.
2. Sports Cones & Discs
Cones are a great way to test your agility give you targets to shoot for during your training.
They allow you to simulate sprinting, cutting, backpedaling, and changes in direction for the sport you are training for.
They can also be used to create a boundary or competition area to train in a challenging and restricted area.
Their colorful patterns can help with speedy object identification and mental acuity.
Try this set of 50 Pro Disc Cones. Flexible and durable, these cones are built to last. The variety of high visibility colors make this set a great addition to any sport or athletic training program.
An awesome piece of speed and vertical jump training equipment is the parachute.
I’m a sprinter. I love sprinting and I would rather run 1 mile worth of sprint intervals rather than 1 mile of a steady jog.
If there is any way to make myself sprint faster, I will invite the opportunity.
Sprinting has some great health benefits as it can be one of the best HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts for your body.
Some of the benefits of sprinting include:
- Increased Speed
Sprinting speed can be applied to almost every sport.
A baseball player needs to sprint around the bases or track down a ball in the outfield. A football player may need to sprint the ball up the sideline, or sprint to the quarterback to make the tackle.
Sprint speed may be the difference in making the team or watching from the sidelines.
One great way to add some resistance and speed to your sprint is to use a parachute.
One study showed that a parachute training program group improved their sprint velocity by 3.5% as compared to the non-parachute training group at only 0.7% improvement. They determined that when a parachute was included in sprint training, the participants were able to improve their stride length and their stride frequency.
- Increased Power
Sprinters have more fast twitch muscles than people who are designed to run long distances. Sprinting increases the amount of fast twitch muscle fibers a person has.
One study showed that participants who trained for 4-6 weeks on all out sprint workouts increased their type IIa muscle fibers from 32 to 38%. The study indicates that it is possible for muscle fibers to transform from one type to another.
The greater amount of fast twitch muscle fibers you have, the more power you can produce.
- Fat Loss
Sprinting is one of the best ways to burn fat, and you can get the effects in a fraction of the time compared to steady-state cardio training.
One study shows that 2 minutes of sprint-interval exercise elicits 24-hr oxygen consumption similar to that of 30 minutes of continuous endurance exercise.
So if your looking for a great way to lose weight, add sprinting to your weekly workouts.
Sprinting can benefit any athlete in any sport.
When you can explosively get from one location to the next in the shortest amount of time, you have a massive advantage over the competition.
To be the fastest sprinter on the field, add some parachute sprinting drills to your weekly workouts.
Some parachute drills could include the 40 or 100-yard sprint, and a lateral or diagonal 40-yard shuffle sprint. Also try bounds and standing broad jumps with the resistance parachute.
Get this speed training parachute by StillCool. This 56″ diameter parachute will provide 25-35 pounds of resistance. Tie two together to get an even greater challenge.
4. Speed Hurdles
A great way to increase vertical jump and generate a combination of quickness and power can be done with speed hurdles.
A speed hurdle drill will teach you to drive your legs upward and then downward to perform a powerful ground strike, allowing your body to develop explosive lateral or front to back quickness.
Many running backs are masters at producing side to side ground strikes, making them extremely elusive and impossible to catch, especially in the open field.
A speed hurdle can teach you how juke an opponent and leave them in the dust.
Grab the Net World Sports FORZA SPEED HURDLES. Made from durable weatherproof plastic tubing, these hurdles are built to last. These hurdles make it easy to improve footwork, speed, and ground strike.
5. Bungee Bands
The bungee band is a great tool to help provide resistance when someone is doing shuttle, agility, sprint or vertical jump training drills.
A bungee band is typically held by an assistant who stands behind the athlete’s line of movement and tries to resist them with a certain amount of force.
It can also pull you along and force you to sprint faster than you can yourself, typically called overspeed training.
Add a bit of slope to the equation and you might be able to lower your 40-yard dash time.
One study showed that overspeed training at the optimal slope of 5.8 degrees increased the subjects maximum speed by .35 seconds, resulting in a 6.5% ± 4.0% decrease in 40-yd sprint time compared with flatland running.
Whether you’re using the bungee bands for resistance or overspeed training, they can be an excellent tool for getting your body ready for the various forces that could be put on your body during a sporting event.
I like the SMASH SPEED Running Bungee Bands to build strength, speed and endurance. Run faster, jump higher and dig harder with up to 80 pounds of resistance.
6. Jump Rope
One of the best pieces of vertical jump training equipment is the jump rope.
I’m always striving to get quicker feet and stronger, more powerful calf muscles.
Pair jump rope training with agility ladder training and your calf muscles will be adequately prepared for anything that comes their way.
The jump rope benefits you get from training will improve your:
- Cognitive function
Challenge yourself to get faster. Track how many you can do in 30 seconds, then train and re-track. Make sure you are improving every session. Try single foot and double or triple-unders to give yourself an added challenge.
One blazing fast jump rope I like is the WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope. The very fast and stable swing pattern of this rope leaves others in the dust. Dubble-under your way to the quickest feet you’ve ever had.
7. Vertical Jump Trainer
The vertical jump trainer adds extra resistance to your vertical jump training program.
What I love about the trainer is you don’t need to push any heavy weights around.
You can strap it on and get to jumping.
Improve your leg strength, explosive power and endurance with just a few minutes of training a day.
In my youth, I was obsessed with learning about ways to jump higher. I just had no idea where to start.
The vertical jump trainer allows you to start a jump training program at almost any age.
Start with a vertical jump test and record your maximum jump height. Start a weekly vertical jump training program and try to get an inch or two higher every couple weeks.
If you’re a basketball, volleyball, rugby, football, or tennis player, you need to get the INNSTAR Vertical Jump Trainer. The professional workmanship of this system will increase your explosive power, leg strength, agility, running speed, and of course vertical jump.
8. Boxing Reflex Ball
Good hand eye coordination is crucial for almost every sport.
If you can’t translate what you are seeing with what you need to do with your hands, then sports may not be the thing for you.
You also should have had a jump on the competition if you had the chance to focus on hand eye coordination when you were younger.
One study showed that kids who developed hand eye coordination early on in their life were fitter, had a better body image and had better hand eye coordination in their prospective sports than their non-prepped counterparts.
The boxing reflect ball does wonders for excellent hand eye coordination. It forces you to be mentally sharp, quick with your hands and allows you to practice and master a simple hand eye coordination routine.
Try the TEKXYZ Boxing Reflex Ball with 2 difficulty levels. This reflex ball is softer than a tennis ball and perfect for reaction, agility, and hand eye coordination training.
9. Balance Board Trainer
Skateboarders, snowboarders, paddle boarders, and surfers will love the balance board trainer.
This board improves balance, body control, agility, and leg strength while you challenge your core to keep your body.
The balance board trainer challenges your neuro-muscular response to an imbalanced footing. It helps you to maintain focus and body awareness positioning.
You don’t only have to use it for the legs, you can also try imbalanced pushups, planks, and mountain climbers to give your muscles a more difficult task.
Use the balance board trainer at the gym, in front of the television, or even in front of your stand up desk at the office.
Get the URBNFit Balance Board Trainer. This slick looking roller board makes your balance, agility, and stability workout fun. Made from pine and poplar wood, this high quality board will help you reach your training goals.
10. Interactive Metronome
You might wonder why a metronome has been put on a list for speed, agility, and vertical jump training.
Well the reason is a metronome can give you a rhythmic goal or step speed to shoot for when performing a drill.
Let’s say you want someone to side shuffle between two different spots on the court to improve your lateral quickness. Turn on the metronome and increase the tempo to see if the participant can keep up. The metronome trains and challenges the person to always give a little more and go a little faster.
One study found that an interactive metronome program improved the motor timing and rhythmicity of an athlete.
Another study found that interactive metronome training may improve the resolution and efficiency of an individual’s temporal processing.
The metronome acts as a physical and mental motivator.
If you can achieve each exercise interval, you can always set the tempo a little higher than last time.
A lot of the time the athlete will reach a point where they or their coach are content with their speed or quickness.
But with athletes, there’s always room for improvement.
If you are letting your body reach a plateau in a certain area of fitness, the metronome will help you break through those speed and quickness barriers.
Use the Tetra-Teknica Essential Series EMT-800 LCD Display 3 in 1 Digital Metronome. Get a tempo range of 30 to 260 beats per minute with 9 different rhythms available. If you’re musically inclined, you can also use this as a tuner and tone generator.
11. Agility and Reaction Ball
Playing baseball for most of my life resulted in a lot of ground ball practice. Most of the ground balls would be easy to handle. But then you would get that one random ball that decided to take a crazy hop just before it got to your glove. You wouldn’t be prepared for it and it would either slam into your body, skirt through your legs, or over your shoulder.
An agility and reaction ball can help prepare you for what may randomly come during a sporting event. It might be that short hop ground ball, or maybe some added top spin on that tennis serve that you must return.
All these things require quick reaction time and excellent hand eye coordination skills.
Take a second to really watch Roger Federer play tennis, or Mike Trout hit a baseball.
Their eyes are locked into the ball all the way to the racket or bat.
The agility and reaction ball will help you with that.
It will take great concentration to make contact with a ball that does not bounce how it’s supposed to.
Get the SKLZ Reaction Ball Baseball and Softball Reflex and Agility Trainer. Make training fun while Improving reflexes, reaction, and agility with this instant feedback trainer. Keep players on their toes with this random re-bounder.
12. Speed Training Sled
Pair the speed training sled with the parachute and you got yourself one heck of a challenging sprint workout.
The sled challenges your upper body at the same time as your lower body, forcing your back, shoulders and core to stay strong as you force the sled forward.
The sled is a great tool for generating explosive power and muscular endurance.
One study showed that athletes who participated in resistive sprint training achieved an increase in step length, a typical limiting factor for sprint performance in many athletes. They also found that the sled group dropped their 30-meter speed by 2.5% as compared to 1.2% with the traditional sprinters
Another study showed that training with sled loads may improve the ability of the sprinter to apply the resultant force in a horizontal direction, during the acceleration phase.
Sprinting behind a sled can be challenging, but if done consistently, can pay off in a big way over time.
Serious athletes need to use the CFF Gen 3 High/Low Push Pull Sled. Great for all levels of fitness, this heavy duty sprint trainer can hold up to 600 pounds.
13. Mobility Bands
Mobility bands are a great tool for increasing lateral strength and speed, protecting knees and hips, and increasing hip flexor speed for an explosive knee raise.
The mobility bands add resistance in various angles and directions that weights just cannot achieve.
After warming up, I start every leg workout with a lateral band walk to strengthen my legs and protect my ACL. I gradually increase side to side speed, challenging my lateral quickness.
If you want to achieve a powerful knee raise, wrap one end of a band around a pole or immovable object and the other end around your toe. Grab on to another pole or immovable object with your hands and drive your knee up as fast as you can.
Bands are also great for applying progressive overload to traditional lifts.
Say for example you are trying to achieve a more complete and stronger bench press. Loop the bands around the end of the barbell and under the bench. As you get to the top of the lift, the exercise will become more challenging because at the top, the bands get tighter. Traditionally without bands, this is where the lift gets easier.
Try to add bands to your lifts to get an added element of resistance throughout the entire lift.
Try these premium quality UPOWEX mobility and power lifting exercise bands. They build strength, promote muscle growth, help to generate speed and agility and are great for exercisers of any level.
14. Plyo Boxes
An obvious choice for best piece of vertical jump equipment is the plyo box. Plyo boxes have always been one of my favorite tools to use for my jump training purposes.
It was always fun to achieve a higher jumping level than I was able to do before.
In using plyo boxes, I am able to push my plyometric training regimens to the limit.
The goal of plyometric training is to increase power Through maximum force exertion, during short intervals of time.
Plyo boxes can help you do just that and should be a staple of your plyometric training program.
When you can jump higher than everyone else on the court, you are going to grab more rebounds, spike more balls, or deflect more passes.
One study proved plyometric training statistically significant for increasing vertical jump. The counter-movement jump saw the biggest increase (8.7%) due to the training.
Use plyo boxes to increase your leg strength, leg power, vertical jump, and tower above the competition.
My favorite plyo boxes are the Titan Fitness Jumping Boxes. Increase your vertical on these soft and slip free surfaces. Challenge yourself with a box that can go from 20″ to 24″ to 30″.
15. Speed Training Harness
A speed training harness is a great way for a coach to challenge the different lines of pull of an athlete while they sprint up the field.
The harness can challenge your lateral quickness and with a quick change of direction can also provide resistance for your sprint.
The speed training harness will challenge you to produce high quality ground strikes and become more explosive in your sprint resisted steps.
Use the X-PLOSIVE Speed Training Kit to get quicker, faster and more mobile. The 360 degree design allows atypical athletic movements, built for real-world movements in sports like soccer, football, basketball and tennis.
Check my article: Top 20 of the BEST Pieces of Functional Fitness Equipment for the best fitness equipment to increase your strength, power and mobility.
Summary: 15 Critical Pieces of Vertical Jump Training Equipment
If you’re an athlete with any desire to beat the competition, then you need to invest in yourself and your training technology. If you want to have great speed, agility, and high vertical jump, then you need to train like the champion you want to become. Test your abilities, train, and re-test. Never become stagnant in the workouts that you do or everything you have done up to that point will have been for nothing. Get better every week and keep challenging your athletic peak to become the best physical and mental version of yourself.
Are you training at the highest level possible? Why or why not? Let me know below!
Like this article? Check out this awesome Speed and Agility Training Equipment List