The most accurate way to measure your vertical leap


There are many ways to measure the vertical jump for an individual but nothing comes close to the method I am going to introduce to you today. This is the most accurate and best way to measure your vertical jump out there. Be warned you may lose a couple of inches in your vert but no one will have to know.

What is the most accurate way to measure your vertical jump? The most accurate way to measure an athlete’s vertical jump is to measure their height with shoes and proceed to jump standing underneath a soft object and try to hit the object with their head. Record the height of the object and subtract the height of the athlete this will give you a true vertical jump measure in inches.

Although this may be difficult at first to find an accurate way to measure the athlete’s touch with their head, I will give you a few ideas and methods that you can use to get a truly accurate measurement to record the jumps they are able to touch.

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How to measure your vertical leap with your head

There are a few ways to measure your vertical using a wall, a jump pad, or even using the basketball hoop. There are also many variables to consider, your reach, standing, and not moving the feet prior to jumping, the accuracy of touch, all of which can affect you positively and negatively when it comes to your vertical.

Nothing is more accurate in my opinion than measuring your vertical jump by using your head to do so. Yup! I said Your head, your noggin, cabeça, that’s Portuguese for you guessed it, head.

The most difficult part is how you go about doing it, but the difficulty is worth the true accuracy of your vertical jump. The basic idea is to measure your height with shoes on and then measure where you are able to touch with your head on the net or hoop. Whether this is your standing jump or running jump.

The issue will come in trying to get the most accurate measurement with where your head touched on the hoop.

Head Height Testing

If you want a true measurement head height testing is the most accurate form of measuring one vertical there is. It may be difficult to set this up initially, but you may have seen one of your favorite dunkers on youtube put a foam roller on the top of a 10-foot rim and then run up and try and hit it the roller off with their head.

This gives them an accurate measurement of their running vertical, and they can feel it or not if their head hits the object.

Similar methods can be used if you have you have an adjustable hoop or a lower rim to work with you can use the same method by putting a soft object along the rim. You might need a ladder to place it up there.

So if I was to set my adjustable hoop to 9 feet and put a foam roller on the rim, I would attempt to hit it with my head. At 5 feet 9 inches, for me to hit the foam roller I would need 39 inches to do so. That would be quite remarkable. What if you can’t ump that high, set the hoop lower if you can.

Other methods you could use a string and a tennis ball, you could find a hook that can go over the rim, tie the string around the hook on one end, and on the other tie the tennis ball. Leave some slack on the rope so it can hang from the rim lower than the mesh. You can also put an object on the mesh also and see if you can hit your head at that object.

Backboard and Tape

You can also use the backboard and use some strong tape, tapping a string, and a tennis ball hanging from the backboard. Moving it up an inch at a time by moving the tape and string up an inch, making sure you measure the bottom of the tennis ball.

With any method you use you just have to be creative, the easy part is just measuring the bottom of the tennis ball to the concrete.

Portable Adjustable Hoop and Plywood

If your portable adjustable hoop moves up in height by 6 inches from 7.5 feet to 10 feet this is a method you can use. You will need some 1-inch thick plywood that is 4 feet by 4 feet or less. The base of the hoop just has to sit on the plywood. You will need 5 sheets of plywood.

So let’s say you put the rim to 8 feet, and place a foam roller on the rim. You run up and hit it off the rim, but fund it easy. You would place a 1-inch piece of plywood underneath the base of the portable hoop making it 8 feet 1 inch and do a height check. if you are able to hit the foam roller at that height continue to put pieces of plywood underneath the base.  At 5’9 hitting the foam roller with my head at 8’3 inches is 30 inches of vertical leap.

Again you really don’t have to tell anyone what your true vertical is as it may be less than what you initially measure.

There are many variables that can add inches to one’s vertical


If you measure your reach without shoes on and then put your shoes on to jump and then measure, you have given yourself one to two inches of extra vertical. The thickness of the sole of your shoe adds instant inches. Don’t believe me measure your reach with your shoes on and off, note the difference.

So when you measure your reach, you want to also measure your vertical jump with the same shoes you used to measure reach also.


Cheating can easily be done when measuring your vertical, especially when it comes to your reach. This can easily be done with a slight elbow bend and in the elbow. To hide this you can wear a loose long-sleeved shirt.

This can also be done with your knees, you can slightly bend the same side leg of the arm that you’re reaching up with, reach up with your right arm and bend the right leg. You can mask this by wearing sweats. If you also spread the legs apart a little while reaching up you can lower your reach in turn adding more inches to your vertical jump.

Concrete & Hardwood

The type of surface matter also, you will find that you can jump much higher off hardwood floors than on concrete. There is a reason for this. The way hardwood gym floors are made of wood it allows absorbing the constant pounding from running and jumping. It also has a spring to it when you take a step your foot sinks in and it springs you up making it feel easier than that on concrete wear it is unforgiving.

You may have already noticed that when you play basketball outside compared to inside you find it much easier to run inside than out. In the good old days when I was jumping my highest, I couldn’t quite dunk 9’6 I had a lot of difficulties. But trying to dunk on 10 feet I was able to self lob and miss dunks sometimes almost making it.


Different ways to Masure you’re vertical leap

There are many ways to skin a cat, although the freeway is the standard way of measuring your vertical is to find a wall, measure your reach. Then measure your jump and record. How accurate this is up the individual, you may not have consistent results due to the accuracy of where you touch also, I found when I use to do this a lot my opposite hand would prevent me from hitting the wall kind of helping me propel up. I found it go in the way, but I am only one person.

The more expensive ways if you have the money:

Vert Tec

A very good way to measure your vertical, you simply hit the leavers and see how high up you can get each leaver is separated by half an inch. This would also be a great way to do with a head height measurement for accurate results. Again you want to make sure you measure your height with shoes and see how high on the vert tec you can get with your head touching the lever. Just a word of caution this is a very expensive device to measure your vertical, just click the image to find out.



Jump Pad or Contact Mats

Basically, what a jump pad is, you stand on the pad and there is a recording device that reads out your vertical when you jump based on the force and power that hits the pad. There aren’t any that are very commercial and no idea if these actually work that well. They are very difficult to measure the running jump as you need to be standing on the prior to jumping and land after you jump.



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