Develop Perimeter Speed for Basketball with Post-Activation Potentiation (PAP)

Enhance power in the frontal plane and increase perimeter speed for basketball with PAP training. STACK Expert Joe Giandonato provides a sample PAP complex.

sled drag

During a basketball game, you're constantly moving to evade your defender. Juke left, twist right—you do whatever is necessary to execute the play.

For this reason, basketball is known as a multi-planar sport. Yet too often, players limit their strength training to the sagittal and horizontal planes with Squats, Pulls, Olympic lifts and Jumps. They leave a lot on the table in terms of effectively training their power in the frontal plane. (See also Multiplanar Training.)

The frontal plane (side-to-side movements) is rarely (or never) trained in the gym, despite the fact that training in this plane improves power for lateral movements, which translates to enhanced perimeter speed.

Post-activation potentiation (PAP) involves the activation of motor units using a strength exercise with a high load followed by an explosive movement—e.g., performing a heavily loaded barbell lift and moving straight into an unloaded plyometric jump.

Research suggests that PAP is the best type of training athletes can do to enhance their power. The theory behind it is that PAP increases force by activating fast-twitch muscle fibers. Current research confirms that PAP training recruits more muscle fibers and causes adaptations within muscles that improve their ability to produce fast and powerful contractions.

Enhance your power and gain perimeter speed with the following PAP complex.

Lateral Sled Drag and Lateral Bounding

Perform this pairing three to five times in each direction when fresh—i.e., before practice or strength training.

Lateral Sled Drag

  • Load a sled with 50 to 75% of your body weight
  • Fasten a belt around your waist with the chain linked to the sled positioned to your side
  • Assume an athletic position by shooting your hips back
  • Keep your hips and shoulders square
  • Drive off the inside of the foot closest to the sled to shuffle laterally away from the sled
  • Plant the lead leg, get reset and again drive off the inside of the foot of the trailing leg
  • Perform for five seconds
  • Rest 30 to 45 seconds

Lateral Bounding

  • Remove the belt from your waist
  • Again assume an athletic position
  • Jump 45-degrees off one leg and softly on your opposite foot
  • Repeat in the opposite direction
  • Rest 60 to 90 seconds, switch directions and begin again with Lateral Sled Drags

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