What would be exercises to increase vertical leap? When you look at a vertical jump, at first, it could be said that legs are the most important here. But honestly, how many basketball players have bulked up legs? Almost no one and this tells us that something else is important here. Actually, the entire body is engaged in this motion, from legs to arms. Arms are less important but they do help with the initial swing, which is more about making a proper direction for the leap than the actual leap. It can be said that the legs and entire torso are the most important for a jump. Analysis of the jump shows that a person usually crouches a bit with bending the legs in knees and with hands pulled backward a bit. Then the hands start moving forward and up and the body follows. Legs are pushing the body of the ground and torso is also jerking up for reaching the higher altitude.
So it is logical that exercises that develop the muscles engaged in the jump will enhance the properties of the jump. Legs can be developed with working out the quads and calves. Lunge would be a great exercise for the leg muscles, but squat is also an interesting form. Squat might be one of the most effective jumping exercises because it is performed in a slightly similar position. To perform a squat, the legs are bent in knees and the torso is bent forward with lowered hips (hips are not lower than the knee level). Usually, there is additional weight used in a form of barbell, which is placed on the shoulders behind the neck and held with hands. A squat is performed by simply moving the hips up. This exercise develops the entire core, torso and legs, which is all needed for a proper and effective jump. A strong core is also needed, which is developed with the help of crunches, sit-ups, leg raising, cardio workout (running, swimming, yoga etc.).