How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

This workout will help you turn an average crossover into an ankle-breaking crossover.

Perhaps no move in basketball is more devastating than the crossover. Players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose consistently embarrass defenders with this one simple move.

To build their crossover skills, most players focus on dribbling and eventually hit a wall. Their progress stalls. Adding two-basketball crossover drills to the mix might get them bit further.

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Perhaps no move in basketball is more devastating than the crossover. Players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose consistently embarrass defenders with this one simple move.

To build their crossover skills, most players focus on dribbling and eventually hit a wall. Their progress stalls. Adding two-basketball crossover drills to the mix might get them bit further.

Here are the three things we focus on at 4th Quarter Training to turn an average crossover into an ankle-breaking crossover.

  • Dribbling. Increasing the speed and power behind the dribble, and repeating the crossover over and over again will, without question, improve the move.
  • Upper Body. We work on upper-body movement, adding an almost-shoulder shake to the crossover. It adds deception and keeps the defender guessing.
  • Footwork. In my experience, footwork is usually the weakest link in the chain, because players often forget how important it is. We'll focus on footwork in the workout below.

This workout can be done without a basketball. It has one simple goal—to create an explosive crossover step. If you're attacking your defender with a right-to-left crossover, if your right foot beats the defender's right foot, you've won. We like to call that a foot race, and it's what we work to improve by adding more power behind it, speeding it up and creating better force angles.

The workout may not look basketball-specific. In fact, it probably looks more like a strength and conditioning workout than an actual skill workout. It's actually a blend of the two. By removing as many distractions as possible (a basketball, a defender, a scoreboard and any wasted movement), you narrow your focus and your footwork becomes the main attraction. This results in faster improvement.

RELATED: The Ultimate Basketball Crossover Drills

Perform this workout twice per week, and you'll develop one of the most explosive basketball crossovers in your conference.

Two key points for the drills below:

  1. Your weight should be on the inside of your feet. This allows you to put force into the ground at the angles that will propel you past your defender the quickest. If your weight is on the outside of your foot, you'll have an energy leak and lose power. That's why it's so important to have proper ankle mobility and calf-complex stiffness.
  2. Right before you explode past your defender, the foot you're pushing off should be outside your knee, and your knee should be outside your hip. This alignment creates an angle that produces the most power.

The Crossover Workout

Lateral Wall Drill

  • Stand about 12 inches away from and perpendicular to a wall.
  • Extend your inside arm against the wall
  • Don't just lean against the wall; imagine trying to hold it up.
  • With your inside foot lightly touching the ground, flex your hip and knee to almost 90 degrees by pushing through the inside of the foot farthest from the wall. You should be in a single-leg stance.
  • Hold that position for 10 seconds—core tight, body tall and driving through the inside of the foot farthest from the wall.
  • Repeat for the required number of sets and reps on each leg.

Sets/Reps: 3x5 each leg

Load and Lift

  • Same drill as above, but before you flex your inside hip and knee, perform a loaded Single-Leg Squat with your outside leg and drive your inside knee to almost 90 degrees.
  • Concentrate on pushing from the inside of the foot farthest from the wall.
  • Hold that position for two seconds.
  • Repeat for the required number of sets and reps on each leg.

Sets/Reps: 3x8 each leg

Band Shuffle and Stick

  • Place a band or bungee around your waist and have a partner stand directly beside you.
  • Get into an athletic position—hips back, knees over toes and chest up.
  • Place your weight on the inside of your feet.
  • When your partner says "go," perform one lateral shuffle, driving off the inside of the foot closest to your partner.
  • Reset and continue for the required number of sets and reps on each leg.

Sets/Reps: 3x8 each leg

Perpendicular Med Ball Throws

  • Stand perpendicular to a wall holding a light medicine ball (12 pounds or less) in a scoop position, like you're scooping water.
  • Load your back hip by shifting your weight down and back. Again, it's extremely important to load the inside of your back foot.
  • Drive through the ground by pushing with the inside of your back foot and snap the ball into the wall. At the end of the rep, you should be almost fully extended.
  • Reset and continue for the required number of sets and reps on each leg.

Sets/Reps: 3x6 each leg

Skater Jumps

  • Starting in an athletic position, perform lateral hops from one foot to the other.
  • Before each jump, swing your inside leg (the one not touching the ground) behind your other leg.
  • As you jump, push through the inside of your foot.
  • Land softly and under control.
  • Reset and repeat for the required number of sets and reps in each direction.

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each direction

Band-Resisted Crossover Step

  • Set up a folding chair 6 to 8 inches in front of you, place a band or bungee around your waist, and have a partner stand slightly behind you and to your side.
  • Assume an athletic position with your weight on the inside of your feet similar to how you would if you had a basketball and the chair was your defender.
  • When your partner says "go," extend the leg closest to him toward your partner, like you would if you were crossing someone over. It should only move 6 to 8 inches depending on the length of your leg.
  • The foot farthest from your partner should not move. Imagine that it's nailed to the floor.
  • As soon as your outside foot touches the ground, drive off the inside of that foot and rapidly propel it past the first leg of the chair.
  • Finish in a lunge position with the defender (chair) on your hip. If you are crossing over from right to left and the chair is your defender, picture the left leg of the chair, if facing you, as the defender's foot.
  • Reset and repeat for the required number of sets and reps on each leg.
Sets/Reps: 3x12 each leg

Band-Assisted Crossover Step

  • Same drill as above, except your partner stands in front of you lightly pulling you to the chair leg you are attacking.
  • If you are crossing over from right to left, your partner stands behind the back leg of the chair your working leg is moving toward (the left leg of the chair if it's facing you).
  • Reset and repeat for the required number of sets and repetitions on each leg.

Sets/Reps: 3x12 each leg

Crossover with Basketball (optional)

  • Using the chair from the last drill, grab a basketball and perform 100 crossovers from the right side and 100 from the left.
  • You should immediately notice that you're pushing a lot harder from the inside foot of your leg.
  • Really focus on attacking the leg of the chair and exploding past it.

Sets/Reps: 1x100 each leg


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: BASKETBALL TRAINING | WORKOUTS | DEFENDER | POWER | DRILL | CROSSOVER