Jumping plays a major role in many sports, not just basketball and volleyball. A blocked shot, a rebound/put-back, or a high catch could be the difference between a win and a loss. All athletes want a more powerful vertical, but not everyone trains correctly in a way that will accomplish it. (Learn more about building your vertical jump through STACK's Guide to Jumping Higher)
The goal of any plyometric exercise is to make a player more explosive. To do this efficiently requires applying the greatest amount of force in the shortest amount of time. However, because of the high impact and intensity of these exercises, maintaining perfect technique is crucial. Another major aspect is recovery. Given the anaerobic nature of the movements, adequate rest is needed between sets. If this doesn't happen, it will turn into an aerobic workout.
Remember, the emphasis needs to be on quality, not quantity. I suggest 60 to 90 seconds of rest between sets, so you can exert maximum effort on every rep. When jumping, if you notice your knees caving in during takeoff or landing, stop immediately and do not attempt this workout. (Read my previous article, Reduce ACL Injuries By Preventing Knock Knees.)
Treat every rep like it's your last and make sure every toss is done with maximum effort and speed.
If you have a brick wall, press ball to it to gauge your height from rep to rep.
Use 30 to 50 percent of your one rep max on the Squat to determine an appropriate weight. After picking a weight, if you are unable to move fast enough, decrease the weight. (Learn more about different types of Jump Squats.)
This form of training is called contrast training, in which a strength exercise is paired with a plyometric exercise that trains the same muscles.
Sets/Reps: 3x6 on each leg
After performing a set of Dumbbell Step-Ups, set dumbbells down and immediately perform Box Blast Off.
Box Blast Off
Sets/Reps: 3x6 each leg box
These exercises strengthen the hamstrings and glutes, which are crucial for jumping and knee health.
Sets/Reps: 2x12 each exercise
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Stability Ball Hip Extension
Check out STACK's Plyometric Exercise Library for more vertical-boosting exercises.