Dominate the Competition: Basketball Upper-Body Plyometrics

October 9, 2012 | Ramon Williams

Must See Basketball Videos

At every level, basketball is becoming more competitive as athletes find new ways to train. At present, the key to staying ahead of the game is through plyometric exercises.

Most athletes view basketball plyometric exercises as jumping drills for lower-body power, but there are also plenty of upper-body plyometric drills. These develop the power you need to make quick passes, finish at the basket and increase your range from beyond the arc.

It's important to have a solid foundation of strength before attempting these exercises. Because plyos require maximum speed and effort for every repetition, performing them incorrectly can lead to injury. Learn how to build your strength base with my previous article, Dominate the Competition: Basketball Strength Training Program. Once you've got that under your belt, try the following program. Consult the chart at the end to add this blend of beginner, intermediate and advanced basketball-specific upper-body plyometric exercises into a twelve-week, off-season training routine.

Do not use this as a complete substitute for a strength training program. Perform the basketball plyometrics workout twice a week with at least 72-hours of rest between.

Beginner Plyometrics

Medicine Ball Standing Chest Pass

  • Stand 10 to 15 feet away from partner with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Start med ball at center of your chest with elbows out sides
  • Step forward and push the ball to partner as fast as possible
  • Partner catches ball, brings it to his chest and passes it back

Medicine Ball Overhead Pass

  • Stand 10 to 15 feet away from partner with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Start med ball behind your head with elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Step forward and swing the ball forward to pass it to partner
  • Partner catches ball, brings it behind his head and throws it back

Medicine Ball Vertical Wall Pass

  • Stand 3 to 5 feet away from a high wall with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Start med ball at center of chest with elbows pointed down
  • Bend hips to quarter squat position
  • Jump up and throw ball as high as you can against wall
  • Catch ball off wall with arms extended.
  • Immediately bring ball back to chest, quarter squat and repeat

See LeBron James perform these drills.

Intermediate Plyometrics

Ball Drop

  • Lie on bench with feet flat and arms extended
  • Partner standing over you drops med ball into your arms
  • Immediately bring ball down to chest and push it back into the air
  • Partner catches ball; repeat

Medicine Ball Overhead Slam

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, legs straight and hips forward
  • Start med ball behind your head with elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Rapidly bring ball over head and slam it to ground while bending hips and knees
  • Grab ball on the bounce and repeat

Note: Some medicine balls bounce back very high and very fast. Be sure to catch it quickly from the first bounce to avoid injury.

Medicine Ball Side Pass

  • Stand about 10 feet from partner with feet shoulder-width apart and knees and arms slightly bent
  • Start med ball in front of hips
  • Bring ball to side of right hip, turning left foot in toward right
  • Left shoulder should be above right knee
  • Twist to front and throw ball forward to partner as fast as possible
  • Repeat on left side

Advanced Plyometrics

Medicine Ball Reverse Wall Pass

  • Stand five feet away from wall with back to wall, feet shoulder-width apart, heels slightly off ground, knees straight and hips forward
  • Start with med ball directly over head and arms fully extended
  • Bring ball forward and down while bending knees and hips and lowering heels to ground
  • From this position, immediately extend hips and knees while throwing ball over your head into wall
  • Watch for ball on its way back from wall to avoid injury

Clapping Push-Ups

  • Begin face down on ground with palms flat, arms straight and shoulders directly over hands
  • Engage abdominal and leg muscles to keep body squared up, and contact ground with bottom of toes
  • Bend arms and lower body until you are a few inches off ground
  • Push yourself up and clap your hands before landing with palms flat on ground
  • Land with a slight bend in your arms

Platform Push-Ups

  • Begin in push-up position with small boxes (two to 24 inches, depending on your strength level) two to three inches outside each arm
  • Push up and catch yourself with palms flat on boxes and elbows slightly bent
  • Lower by bending elbows and perform Push-Up with hands on boxes
  • Bring hands back to ground one at a time to return to starting position

12-Week Off-Season Program

Ramon Williams
- Ramon Williams graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. He is currently an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist...
Ramon Williams
- Ramon Williams graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. He is currently an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist...

Featured Videos

Adrian Gonzalez Rope Plank Adrian Gonzalez Rope Plank Views: 632,343
Ronda Rousey Shows Off Intense New Bag Drill Ronda Rousey Shows Off Intense New Bag Drill Views: 68,124
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Views: 1,524,960
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,164
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,831
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,057,815
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,082,676
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,974,019

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

7 Trap Bar Exercises You Should Try

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Building Brakes for More Speed

Building Brakes for More Speed

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

Olympian Carrie Tollefson's Core Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

The Most American Workout Ever

The Most American Workout Ever

Strength Isn’t Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Strength Isn't Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

8 Ways to Use a Weight Vest in Your Workouts

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

Improve Your Power With These Hardcore Methods

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

Battle Rope Workout That Will Get You Shredded

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

YardBarker