The vertical jump, for athletes, is one of those "areas" of exercises like sprinting (how fast can you run?) or weight lifting ( how much can you bench press?)where they can compare bragging rights of how high they can jump. Truth be told, however,it is good measurement of explosivity.
So, if an athlete has a good vertical, chances are they also have good reflexive power and acceleration, vertically.
What does mean if you are power athlete and possess good "ups"? Well,chances are you may also be fast. Now, I'm talking short to mid-distance acceleration sprint speed, like 10-50yds.
Remember,jumping as high as you can quickly, requires maximal force from the ground with a rapid touch from both feet. Sprinting requires the same quick, forceful effort from the foot contacting the ground but the acceleration is horizontal. So, the cross over as you can see is pretty comparable.
The major muscles involved are primarily the lower extremity extensor muscles, such as the gluteals, hamstrings, calf,soleus and actually two forceful movements from the ankle and foot; pushing down (dorsi-flexion) and driving up (plantar-flexion).
Developing these muscles in terms of strength training will also enhance the possibility of increasing your jump. Exercises like deadlifts and below parallel squats will help as well as Olympic lifting to increase power and vertical acceleration.
Having said that, just because you've increased your lower body strength does not mean your vertical will increase. You have to incorporate some power exercises that require either jumping power(like box jumps) or plyometrics (like depth jumps and if possible use of a Vertec for fast repeated jumps for height).
In conclusion, I have helped basketball players both male and female increase their vertical as well as other athletes. If this is something that you have a question about, I advise you to contact me.
From Vertical Jump to Strength Training