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What’s going on OTA Nation,

In today’s video, I explain my perspective on calf training and vertical jump gains.

Do athletes need to do direct calf work if their goal is to increase their vertical jump?

I’ve seen this question be asked in the comment section for quite some time.

Well, today you’ll find out my exact thoughts on this topic.

See, growing up I was one of those kids that would spend countless hours doing calf raises or anything that would work my calves directly.

Update: I have a free Advanced Vertical Jump Series. Learn how to start increasing your vertical


My train of thought was; if my calves get bigger, they’ll be able to produce more force and propel me in the air higher.

This wasn’t the case, and even after using the strength shoes for a couple of months I was still at the same vertical jump height from where I started.

It wasn’t until a few years in college where

I started noticing athletes that were amazing sprinters and jumpers usually had a long Achilles tendon with a small calf muscle attached to the top.

Seeing them perform totally went against everything I thought about jumping higher.

You don’t actually need big calf muscles.

What’s important is having strong tendons that surround your ankles and calves.

Having strong and elastic tendons will do more for your vertical jump than big bulky calves.

So instead of performing donkey raises or single leg dumbbell raises; start working your calves using dynamic movements like pogo jumps or low squat foot jumps.

Update: I have a free Advanced Vertical Jump Series. Learn how to start increasing your vertical


Exercises that keep you on the balls of your feet without letting the arch collapse will be the best movements for your calves.

Hope that helps. If you have any questions drop them in the comments below.


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