How to Jump Higher for Basketball | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Dominate the Competition, Part 3: How to Jump Higher for Basketball

October 18, 2012 | Ramon Williams

Must See Basketball Videos

Check out previous articles in Ramon Williams' "Dominate the Competition" series: Basketball Strength Training Program and Basketball Upper-Body Plyometrics.

Ready for more ways to dominate on the basketball court this season? Regardless of your position, you can benefit from improving your jumping ability. Think about it: elevating over a defender, grabbing a rebound, blocking a shot or dunking—they all require airtime.

Since they train both the nervous system and the muscles, plyometrics maximize your power output, so they are a very effective training method. However, before beginning or progressing with plyometric training, it's important to build a strong foundation.

Below are several beginner, intermediate and advanced lower-body plyometric exercises. Don't skip the beginner and intermediate levels. Even the most advanced athlete can benefit from them, plus a strong base is essential for injury prevention. For sets and reps, see my 12-Week Jumping Program at the end of the article. For even more exercises, check out STACK's Jump Higher guide.

For all exercises, make sure to use proper landing position: land softly with bent knees and knees behind toes, in line with ankles.

How to Jump Higher for Basketball

Jump and Reach

  • Begin with arms straight up in the air directly above head
  • Set feet shoulder-width apart, with knees and hips forward
  • Lift heels slightly off ground so bodyweight is on balls of feet
  • Rapidly bring arms down and back, lower hips, bend knees and bring heels to ground
  • Swing arms forward and jump up as high as possible
  • Return to ground in proper landing position

Power Skip

  • Stand with arms by sides
  • Push right foot into ground and jump as high as possible while driving left knee up to waist level
  • Continue skipping as powerfully and as high as possible in opposite-arm, opposite-leg fashion

Single-Leg Box Push-Off

  • Choose a box around knee height
  • Begin with right foot on box and left foot flat on ground
  • Arms start down and back with hands behind hips
  • Bring arms forward and up while pushing right foot into box to maximize jump height
  • Land with left foot on box with knee and hip slightly bent; bring arms back down
  • Perform Push-Off with left leg and continue alternating

Double-Leg Line Jumps

  • Jump back and forth over a line or marker as fast as possible
  • Stay low to ground with each jump
  • Get on and off ground as quickly as possible with each jump

Intermediate Jump Drills

Lateral Box Jump

  • Choose box height that is challenging but so you can land with good balance and posture
  • Begin with box to right and both feet on ground, shoulder-width apart
  • Place arms straight over head
  • Keep knees and hips straight
  • Bring arms down and back while lowering hips and knees
  • Drive arms up as you jump up and onto box
  • Repeat to left side

Double-Leg Broad Jump

  • Use same jumping technique as Jump and Reach
  • Instead of jumping up, jump forward as far as possible without losing balance or good posture
  • Upon landing, go directly into next jump

Split-Squat Jump

  • Begin in lunge position with both legs bent at 90-degree angles, front foot flat on ground
  • Bring arms down and back so hands are behind hips
  • Swing arms forward and up while jumping from lunge position
  • Land in lunge position with same leg forward and repeat
  • Switch legs and repeat

Lateral Box Shuffle

  • Stand with four- to 12-inch box to right side
  • Step onto box with right foot followed by left foot
  • Step down on opposite side of box with right foot followed by left foot
  • Repeat to left, leading with left foot
  • Move feet on and off ground as quickly as possible

Advanced Jump Drills

Double-Leg Zigzag Hop

  • Use same jumping technique as Lateral Box Jump, but use hurdles arranged in zigzag pattern to jump over diagonally
  • Choose hurdle height that is challenging but so you can land with good balance and posture
  • Upon landing, quickly jump over next hurdle in zigzag pattern
  • Establish proper landing position after last jump
Depth Jumps
  • Start standing on 12- to 42-inch box in same position as Jump and Reach
  • Hang right foot over edge of box without bending left knee
  • Step off box, landing softly with both feet on ground at same time
  • Upon landing, jump straight up and finish in proper landing position

Depth Jumps on Box

  • Instead of jumping and landing on ground, jump from ground to another box
  • Choose box height that is challenging but so you can land with good balance and posture

Single-Leg Barrier Jump

  • Use same jumping and landing technique as Double Leg Zigzag Hop, except jump off and land on single leg
  • Add hurdles for more challenge
  • Bend knee and hip immediately upon landing to reduce risk of injury

12-Week Basketball Jump Program

Note: Exercises marked with an asterisk (*) indicate number of sets and reps for one leg/side.

Now that you know how to jump higher, check out my other "Dominate the Competition" articles:

See also Add Inches To Your Vertical Jump with Plyometrics for form tips.

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...
Must See
Skylar Diggins Attacks the Off-Season On and Off the Court
Views: 3,754,525
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,692,522
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,126,688

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,181
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,385
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,246
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

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,483
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,789,434
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

How Much Conditioning Do You Really Need?

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

In Defense of Cardio

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

Can You Survive These 4 Crazy Plate Push Finishers?

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

Can You Survive the

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

Full-Body Conditioning Workout: 3 Loaded Carry Variations

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

Who Invented the Burpee?

In-Season Baseball Pitcher Workout Program

Get in Game Shape With 4 Conditioning Combos

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

STACK Challenge: 5 Minutes of Treadmill Torture

STACK Challenge: The 10/10 Treadmill Challenge

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout