How To Increase Your Vertical Jump

Dec. 13th 2010

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It All Started With Football....

Photo: Sukanto Debnath


Uh, yes, you heard me right.

The basketball history of Shuttle Systems had its debut with the Houston Oilers.

In 1988, Steve Watterson, Strength & Conditioning coach for the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans), conducted a vertical jump experiment with his players using the Shuttle CMC 2000 (which later morphed into the Shuttle MVP). Steve selected twelve players to use the Shuttle and twelve players to use traditional weight training methods.  

The players using the Shuttle completed a total of 15 workouts – 3 workouts a week – lasting just 34 days.

By the time the study was complete, the Shuttle players averaged a 3.5 inch increase in their vertical jump. Four of the Shuttle players had improved their vertical by over five inches - and that was just in 34 days! The traditional weight training.athletes had an average increase in their vertical jump of just 1.08 inches. 

Here's the Shuttle MVP Protocol those players used:

Steve Watterson Vertical Jump study (PDF Link)


The Duke University Vertical Jump Study

Duke University Chapel

Leave it to Duke to see the basketball potential of the Shuttle....

Two Duke University graduate students conducted research to determine the Shuttles' ability to change quadricep strength and increase vertical jump. With a training group exercising over a six week period, they found "moderate increases in quadriceps strength." However, in vertical jump the research "training group showed an increase of 10.9% between pre- and post-test measurements."  

If you're into big words and lots of documentation, you can preruse the Duke study:

Research on Strength Changes of the Quadriceps and Alterations in Vertical Leap Measurements Following Six Weeks of Training on the Shuttle 2000 (PDF Link)


"Now, Back To Football...."

Trainers and athletes were asking for more resistance load in the Shuttle equipment. Thus was born the Shuttle MVP.

While versatile in its capabilities, elite trainers and athletes used the MVP to increase explosiveness while preserving joints and ligaments. It became particularly popular as a way to help football players prepare for the NFL combine by increasing their vertical jump. Warren Anderson, owner of RehabPlus and, shared with us the results he was getting:

"This year we had 5 first round draft picks and they all recorded the highest vertical jumps of their respective careers. One player in particular showed tremendous improvements. He moved up from a projected third round pick to a become a first round selection. I honestly have to credit the Shuttle MVP for the bulk of his improvement in the vertical jump....nothing replaces jumping like jumping, especially in a loaded, horizontal plane with minimal joint forces."


Here's how Warren achieves his MVP results using his Triple Extension Protocol:


The Shuttle According To Michael Boyle

Michael Boyle of has always been a game-changer - and so it was with the Shuttle MVP. While any athlete would appreciate an increase in vertical jump, Michael noticed the challenge that came with trying to achieve that increased explosiveness when using traditional training methods. It wasn't the jumping, it was the landing that was causing the problems with these big athletes - that's where most injuries occurred.

Working with the Boston University basketball team, Michael started using his Shuttle MVP to help the players develop increased eccentric strength for better injury-free landing.

Watch as Michael teaches eccentric jumping on the Shuttle MVP (and, please, no comments about his period glasses....).

Using A Zone Defense

When asked what are the key benefits of the Shuttle MVP for basketball, Charlie Melton, Strength & Conditioning Coach for Baylor University's Men's Basketball team, says he appreciates the MVP for its injury-prevention capabilities. An athlete can have awesome performance skills, but if an injury is keeping them out of the game, that talent lies dormant.

Melton uses the MVP to train his players in proper body mechanics, addressing body imbalances through unilateral training, as well as incorporating neuromuscular training to increase his players' speed and explosiveness. Here is his five zone Force Velocity training that he uses on the Shuttle MVP (please forgive the silence - there's no sound or commentary. Oh, and he's wearing a dress at the end of the video - but I ain't gonna say anything to him about it....):

James Madison Likes It For Rehab

Of course, injuries do happen and then the challenge becomes how to get the athlete back into the game as fast as possible. With the MVP, you can have the injured athlete rehab with their back, hips and spine completely supported using single leg loads with less-than-bodyweight. This micro-gravity environment and the ability to focus on the injured area - combined with the athlete's comfort and confidence – gives them a greater willingness to move, to exercise, to progress, leading to a faster recovery.

In this video, athletic trainer John Kaltenborn of James Madison University demonstrate a sports-specific protocol they are using to bring one of their star basketball players back from an ACL injury:


the NBA is warming up

Twenty of the thirty NBA teams own a Shuttle MVP. Bob Medina, Strength & Conditioning coach for the Portland Trailblazers, describes how his players use the MVP:

"Most of our guards come in an hour, hour-and-a-half before the game and do this same type of warm-up before every game. Pretty much every NBA city that we go to has an MVP in there, too. So, we use that as a pregame workout. It's a good way to get their legs energized and ready to go for the game."


Here, Bob takes Steve Blake through a typical warm-up on the MVP:


But the Vertical Jump Is Still too doggone sexy....

True story! A couple years back, Bill Murray - the actor - purchased a Shuttle MVP and told us, "I’ve always wanted to dunk...."

So, when it comes to basketball, Shuttle equipment can develop eccentric strength in landing, prevent injury, strengthen weaknesses and body imbalances, train the neuromuscular system, speed injury recovery, and facilitate pre-game warm-ups. It can do all that, but it's still the explosiveness and vertical jump sizzle that seems to be selling a lot of the Shuttle steak!

I guess if you can guarantee a three inch increase in vertical jump in just nine sessions with the Shuttle MVP - why wouldn't you jump on it?


Larry Kaplan of Varsity Fitness - showing us how it's done - thanks!


Hey, you made it all the way to the end of the article!

Thanks for reading, watching, and thinking Shuttle!


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