The best workouts for basketball players to jump higher are a ‘must-have’ in the training regime of every aspiring basketball player. Do remember that playing basketball is not merely limited to dribbling and good footwork alone.
You also need to be able to have a great vertical jump to dunk the ball in the hoop. When you learn to jump higher, you automatically have an edge over other players.
The reason why Wilt Chamberlin and Michael Jordan dominated this sport was because they had the highest vertical jumps in basketball. Wilt could jump 48 inches while Michael had a vertical jump of 46 inches.
So, if you wish to have a vertical jump like your favorite NBA stars then, simply read on:
The Best Workouts for Basketball Players to Jump Higher Article Contents
1) Which Exercises will Help You Jump Higher in Basketball?
2) Which Exercise is Most Likely to Help You Jump Higher in Basketball Brainly?
3) Does Playing Basketball make You Jump Higher?
4) How to make Your Vertical Jump Higher for Basketball at Home?
5) What Kind of Strength would You Need to Jump Higher and Faster in Basketball?
6) What are the Best Exercises to Jump Higher without Weights?
7) Why is the Vertical Jump Test Important in Basketball?
8) What are the Best Exercises to Develop Your Vertical Jump at the Gym?
Which Exercises will help You Jump Higher in Basketball?
When you talk of jumping high in the air in order to achieve a high vertical jump then, you can diversify (your workout regime) as per your skill level.
Here are a few basic drills that can definitely improve your vertical jump.
One of the best and fastest ways of improving your vertical jump is to run on an incline surface. This is similar to sprinting on an incline surface. Simply pick a slope and then start to sprint all the way up.
Once on top, you need to catch your breath in a slow and steady manner. This happens while you walk back to the starting point (the ground). Repeat these sprint sessions five times before switching to the next exercise.
Jumping on the Box:
This is by far one of the most popular and sought after exercises. When you perform this exercise properly, you engage your lower body, core and your upper body effectively. The fast twitch fibers are activated the most via this exercise.
Stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder width apart. Squat till your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Take a deep breath and jump as high as you can. Use your arms to swing your body upwards while maintaining a neutral spine.
Allow your toes to rest on top of the box. Pause for a split second exhaling as you do so. Return back to the starting position. Repeat these jumps a few times over (8 to 12 reps) to complete a set. Perform 4 to 5 sets of this exercise.
Standing Burpee Jump:
This is yet another explosive movement that tends to engage your lower limbs and the upper body simultaneously. To achieve optimal performance, simply stand with your chest out and back straight. Bend your knees slightly thereby pushing your hips backwards.
Jump high up in the air maintaining a straight back. On the way up, extend your hands high in the air as though in a burpee stance. Return back to the ground. Repeat this exercise a few times over in order to improve the strength and co-ordination in your lower and upper body.
Sprint on the Ground – Touch and Back:
This is yet again a great exercise for developing agility, speed and strength in your lower body. In this exercise, you need to place two wooden slabs (6 inches in height). These slabs need to be placed in opposite directions in a straight line.
Place yourself at the center of the opposing slabs. Bend your knees and take a running stance. Face towards one cone as fast as you can manage. Touch the edge of the cone with your right or left hand (whichever direction your body faces).
Switch your stance to face the other cone. Sprint towards the other one and repeat the same with the other cone. Keep switching and sprinting in between cones till you cannot run any longer. Stop and rest for a few minutes before repeating the same exercise. Perform 2 to 4 sets of this exercise.
Knee to Chest Jumps:
This is yet another exercise to increase the explosive power in your thigh and calves. Similar to box jumps, the only difference here is that you pull your knees all the way to your chest on the way up.
The tucked knee posture helps in maintaining optimal body balance as well. You stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
Pushing your hips backwards, bend your knees slightly before pushing skywards using your hips and arms as a propeller. Tuck your knees as you jump high and allow them to make contact with your chest. Exhale and go back to the starting position.
Repeat these jumps a few times over until you can jump no more. Rest a while and then re-initiate this exercise session. Perform 4 to 5 sets of this exercise to get the best results.
Single Leg Alternate Jumps:
The last and final exercise is single leg jump squats. So, you tuck one leg and use the other to jump high in the air. The moment you land onto the ground, tuck the other leg and jump with the other.
Perform as many sets (alternating your legs) as possible. Rest and repeat this exercise a couple of times. Performing 4 to 6 sets is an ideal way to improve your vertical jumps via this exercise.
Which Exercise is Most Likely to Help You Jump Higher in Basketball Brainly?
When you talk of the most popular and effective exercise to improve your vertical jump for basketball then, it has to be weighted jump squats. While you cannot hope to consider it as the best as other exercise forms could be equally better, your brain would definitely give this exercise the # 1 ranking.
You can perform this exercise in 4 different variations:
Weighted Belt Jump Squats:
In this particular version, you can attach a weight laden belt to your waistline. Keeping a straight back and pushing your chest out, bend your knees slightly thereby pushing your hips back.
Lunge upwards, using your arms as a natural propeller. Get back to the ground to regather your starting position. Repeat the same process a couple of times until you cannot jump no more.
Expert Tip: Adjust the weight onto your belt as per your personal capacity. In order to improve your jump, you can keep on adding weights to your belt. This helps increase the degree of difficulty to your workouts thereby increasing the explosive power in your lower body.
Jump Squats Using a Pair of Dumbbells:
The second variation of the jump squats is by using a pair of dumbbells. You grip a pair of dumbbells in both arms and place them onto your shoulders. Basically, you rest the dumbbells onto your trapezes muscles.
Thereafter, bend your knees slightly thereby flexing your hips backwards. Push your body upwards maintaining the balance of your dumbbells. Maintain a neutral spine and keep your chest out while lunging up.
Get back to the starting position resting your dumbbells on top of your shoulders. Repeat this exercise a couple of times over until you are tired. Three to five sets of this exercise is sufficient to avail the required benefits.
Expert Tip: Maintain a neutral spine while performing this exercise. Choose a pair of dumbbells that you can easily hold over your shoulders. Do not go in for heavy dumbbells as doing so may disrupt your body’s natural balance thereby causing injury.
Jump Squats Using Resistance Bands:
The next exercise makes use of resistance bands. Tie the band around your waist and attach this band with two other bands. The other two bands need to be nailed to the ground.
So, you have a hoop band encircling your waist with two bands extending to the ground. Take your jump squat position and perform the jump. Feel the resistance offered by the bands that are holding the hoop band onto the floor.
Repeat this exercise as many times as you possibly can. When you get tired, take a break before repeating it again.
Expert Tip: In my (LeanAndFit Review Staff) opinion if you have access to extension bands of varying resistance levels then, it would be beneficial for improving your vertical jump.
Jump Squats Using Ankle Weights:
In order to strengthen your calves, thigh and butt muscles, you should perform jump squats using ankle weights. Strap a weight that you can use to effective perform 8 to 10 jumps. Heavier weight may reduce the repetition count and cause injury.
Keeping your chest out and your back straight, jump towards the sky. Go as high as you can before getting back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise a couple of times till you cannot jump any longer. Perform 3 to 5 sets.
Expert Tip: Do not use heavy weights as injuring your hips and knee is possible. Maintain a straight back and avoid rounding it. Your chest should be out and not hunched while jumping up.
Does Playing Basketball make You Jump Higher?
When you play basketball, you automatically develop explosive power in your lower body. Basically, your muscle fibers are broken down further to ensure that they explode as and when the need arises.
If you do not play basketball, you would realize that you cannot jump higher than basketball players. This is regardless of whether you are taller than an average basketball player. This is also true if you can squat or leg-press more weights than an average basketball player.
Do you know the reason why?
Well, it is because you are not focusing on developing your muscle fibers. Squats and leg press exercises stimulate larger fibers present in your thigh muscles thereby increasing muscle mass. They do not necessarily improve the explosive power in your lower body.
You need to include plyometric training into your weight lifting routine in order to develop the missing explosive power in your lower limbs.
The Food & Training Regime:
Apart from the usual box jump variations and weight training, you also need to focus on your diet. A healthy diet that focuses on your macro-nutrients is going to take you places. So avoid all junk and processed foods if you want a higher vertical jump.
It is also recommended that you develop strength and explosiveness in your ankles. This can be achieved via the means of rope skips. So, perform rope skips every alternate day to achieve the required flexibility and strength in your ankle/calve muscles.
How to make Your Vertical Jump Higher for Basketball at Home?
If you do not have access to open ground, you can achieve a higher vertical jump at home as well. Whether you need more rebounds or steals (apart from the countless blocks) a player with a high vertical can prove to be an asset instantly.
So, we all agree that a high vertical is an asset. Nonetheless, what we all do not know and realize is that the necessary exercises needed to achieve that vertical need a professional environment. It would not be incorrect to state that you need a proper gym and a training track (apart from a basketball court).
Nonetheless, what shall happen if you do not have access to these facilities? Well, you still have a fair chance to improve your verticals. You can do all this at home.
Here is how you can achieve higher vertical jumps without leaving the safe confines of your home:
Hopping on Four Corners:
Place 4 small target 25 inches apart (in a square shape) within the confines of your room. You need to place both your feet onto the first corner. Then, you need to hop to the next without bending your knees much. Cover the entire four corners to complete one repetition.
Perform 7 to 8 repetitions in order to complete a single set. At the completion of the set, you can rest for a few seconds before initiating the next set. This exercise helps improve your muscle agility.
Single Leg Hops:
The second exercise is aimed at activating the muscle fibers in your legs. Simply place a few markers in your room. These need to be placed in any shape and form you like (square, straight line, rectangle, rhombus, pentagon, hexagon etc).
Stand with one leg tucked behind you (bent via the knee). Each marker needs to be placed 20 to 25 inches apart. Hop to the first and then the next, until you complete the entire range.
After completing the set (which incorporates covering all the markers) rest a while. Repeat this exercise again. Perform this exercise a few times – 4 to 5 sets should be sufficient.
Square Jumps using Two Feet:
Place a piece of rope (about 4 feet in length). Place yourself a few feet behind the line. With your feet placed shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly and jump forward in an attempt to cross the line.
Turn around and then jump again (this time as high as you can) and cross the line. Turn sideways and jump laterally as high as you can to cross the line (which is to your right). Do the same on the other side as well.
Jumps to all four sides are considered a single repetition. Perform 4 to 5 sets of this exercise.
Single Leg Square Leaps:
Perform jumps using a single leg as you did with both feet. In the first trial, jump in a form that completes a square. So, you take four leaps to complete a single repetition. Do the same exercise using the other leg.
Perform 4 to 5 sets of this exercise. This helps stimulates the non-worked muscle fibers in your leg. Doing so shall also improve the overall strength in your lower limb. Just ensure that you leap high while going forward/backward/sideways.
The good old jump rope is an ideal way to exercise the muscle fibers in your lower body. When you jump rope, you manage to exercise your calves, mobilize your ankle, knee & hip joints and work your fibers present in the thigh area.
When you jump rope, you also manage to develop stamina. It is a great cardio vascular exercise that is ideal for improving your overall mobility. A single set of rope skips should be limited to 45 seconds to 1 minute. Rest for a minute or two to catch your breath before initiating your second set.
Another good exercise that you can perform at home to improve your vertical jump is ‘knee to the chest’ jumps. Keeping your chest out and your back straight (feet shoulder width apart), jump as high as you can. Tuck your knees as you go up allowing them to meet your chest.
Perform as many repetitions as you possibly can. Relax for a minute or two to recoup before initiating the next set. Perform 4 to 5 sets of this exercise. Doing so should improve your thigh and calf strength.
The 20 Second Squat:
This is like a normal squat without the use of any added weights. Nonetheless, the only difference here is that you need to go all the way down and stand back up in a slow and steady manner.
When squatting down, the time taken needs to be 8 seconds. The pause at the bottom needs to be about 4 seconds. When you rise back up, the time taken should be 8 seconds. So, the total time taken to complete a single squat is 20 seconds.
This exercise builds your leg muscles and mobilizes your ankle, hip and knee joints. When your legs are well developed and strong, leaping high is easy.
Calf Raises using the Toes:
As you jump using your toes and calves, you need to exercise these as well. So, perform calf raises using your toes for achieving the required vertical movement. 4 to 5 sets of this exercise are ideal.
Perform 15 repetitions to complete a single set. You should ideally place soft padded foam (about two inches thick) below your toes to achieve optimal elevation and stimulation of the muscle fibers.
What Kind of Strength would You Need to Jump Higher and Faster in Basketball?
In order to jump higher while playing basketball, you need to develop your lower body strength. The areas that matter the most include your ankle, knees, toes, calf, thigh and hip muscles.
Ankle Strength to Achieve Higher Vertical Jump for Basketball:
If you have weak ankles then, soreness, sprains, awkward balance and frequent ankle injuries are common. The weight of your entire body falls onto your ankles. Hence, maintaining their strength is vital for achieving a higher vertical.
Here are a few ways to strengthen your ankle:
@ Calf raises using your toes for achieving the desired momentum is an ideal way to strengthening this area.
@ Raise one foot off the floor and allow the ankle of the other foot to balance your body. A 30 second time interval is ideal. Perform the same exercise with the other foot.
@ Place a band above your foot. Anchor the other end of the band to any sturdy object (such as the leg of a bed). Stretch the band till its maximum length and then flex the ankle to achieve that extra squeeze.
@ Walk across the room on your heels. Make sure that your toes and the ball of your foot are in the air when you walk.
@ Stretch your ankles by raising one foot off the floor. Rotate the ankle clockwise and then anti-clockwise to achieve maximum mobility.
Knee Strength to Achieve Higher Vertical Jump for Basketball:
Your knee plays a major role in determining how high you can jump while playing basketball. The knee joint ensures that your body is provided with the required push while jumping up. If you have weak knees then, you cannot hope to jump higher.
Here are a few exercises to strengthen the knee joint for achieving a higher vertical jump in basketball:
@ Strengthen your knee joint by sitting on a chair and then raising your foot off the ground till it is perpendicular to the ground. Pause for a second or two before bringing the leg back.
@ Lunges are yet another way to strengthen your knee joints.
@ Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Open your toes outwards and bend slightly at the knees thereby flexing the joint. Do a couple of repetitions of this exercise.
@ Repeat with the other leg thereby stimulating the knee joint. This time keep your toes pointed inwards.
@ Jump up and down flexing slightly at the knee so as to mobilize the joint.
@ Sit on a chair and plant your knee onto the wall that is facing you. Push with the knee maintaining pressure on the joint before releasing it.
Toe Strength to Achieve Higher Vertical Jump for Basketball:
@ Toe stretching is an ideal way to improve the strength of your toes.
@ You can also try and walk on your toes by lifting your heels to achieve this aim.
@ Twiddle your toes while sitting on a chair (or better) lying down on a bed.
@ Strap resistance bands onto your toes and stretch. It helps mobilize the bones and cartridge.
@ In order to exercise all the 14 bones present in your toe, simply perform calf raises using your toes as the lifting mechanism.
Calf Strength to Achieve Higher Vertical Jump for Basketball:
Comprising of the plantaris, the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscle groups, the calves of a basketball player need to be in top shape. The calf muscle joins the ankle to the knee.
So, if you want to jump higher to dunk the ball, you need to keep your calves in top shape.
Here are a few exercises to strengthen the calf muscle for achieving a higher vertical jump in basketball:
@ While walking, simply push-off the ground via your toes slightly harder than normal. It shall lay extra pressure onto your calves.
@ Calf raise is undoubtedly one of the most effective exercise to strengthen the muscle fibers in the calf.
@ Knee tuck jumps are also an ideal way to increase calf strength.
@ Jumping on the spot as well as burpee is an excellent way to increase the explosive power in the calf muscle.
@ Jumping jacks are also a preferred way to increase calf strength and improve your vertical jump.
Thigh Strength to Achieve Higher Vertical Jump for Basketball:
The thigh muscle comprises of the quadriceps femoris, pectineus and the sartorius muscles. In simpler terms, the thigh comprises of adductors, hamstrings, Sartorius, quadriceps and the pectineus.
Each of these muscles is further divided into various sub-muscle groups. These sub-muscle group categories have diverse functionalities. They also help a basketball player jump higher.
Here are a few exercises to strengthen the thigh muscle for achieving a higher vertical jump in basketball:
@ Good old squats are one of the best forms of exercise to strengthen the thigh muscles.
@ Lunges are also a classic way to develop your thigh muscles.
@ Box jumps using variations of numerous types also help in developing the explosive power in your thigh muscles.
@ Pistol squats and single leg squats are also great at working on your thigh muscle fibers. This helps you get the explosive power to jump high and dunk the ball home.
@ ‘Knee to the chest’ high jumps also develop the strength in your thigh muscles.
@ High jump strides at home also allow your thighs to accept the upward thrust needed to dunk a basketball as normal.
Hip Strength to Achieve Higher Vertical Jump for Basketball:
The hip joint is a small socket shaped like a golf ball that connects the pelvis and femur. The hip joint comprises of the flexors, extensors, adductors, abductors, internal rotators and external rotators.
Optimal movement of this muscle is vital for ensuring that you are able to jump higher while playing basketball. So, you need to maintain a strong hip joint in order to propel your body upwards.
Here are a few exercises to strengthen the hip joint for achieving a higher vertical jump in basketball:
@ Lie flat on your back and tuck your knees. Bring them to your chest and pause for a few seconds. Turn your knee to the right and then to the left before bringing it back to the chest. Get back to the starting position.
@ Stand on one leg and then raise the other slightly. Rotate the raised leg (without bending the knee) in a clockwise direction. Then, rotate it in an anticlockwise direction. Repeat with the other foot.
@ Lie flat on the ground and bend your knees at 90 degree angle. Raise your upper body while keeping your neck and foot onto the ground. Pause for a few seconds on the top thereby squeezing the hips. Go back all the way down to the starting position.
What are the Best Exercises to Jump Higher without Weights?
A good vertical is an added advantage for almost any sport that requires the player to use his physical abilities. In order to achieve a good vertical without weights, you can opt for the basic exercises that work your lower body.
Here are a few of these:
Burpees & Jumping Jacks:
While you may undermine the use of burpee exercise in improving your vertical jump yet, this is a perfect exercise to get you into the explosive mode. You can back this exercise up with jumping jacks.
To start with, you may perform 3 sets of each exercise. Thereafter, you can increase the sets as per your physical abilities. These exercises improve the strength and stamina of the concerned player.
One Leg Platform Jumps:
This exercise does require a raised platform of a particular height. It is also a tough one to execute as you use just one leg at a time.
Stand with one leg tucked at the knee.
Using the one on the ground, attempt to jump up the platform. Pause for a while and get back to the ground – this time using both legs. If you jump back to the ground using a single leg, you can injure your ankle or knee joint.
Repeat this exercise using the other leg. Perform 3 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions each.
Another exercise that helps you achieve explosiveness in your thigh is by performing overhead jumps. To perform this exercise, you simply stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
Bend your knees slightly thereby pushing your hips back and jump high in the air. When you jump high, your raise both arms in the air to gather the added momentum.
Get back to the ground and repeat this exercise a couple of times over. Perform 3 to 5 sets of overhand jumps to achieve the desired effect on your high jump.
Step Jump with One Leg:
The next exercise that can improve your vertical jump without the aid of weight training is single leg steps. Basically, pick a staircase that has ample steps (20 to 40 steps).
Using one leg (with the other tucked behind) keep skipping up one step at a time. Stop after you cannot skip any longer and switch to the other leg. Perform this act with the other leg.
This exercise may seem simple enough but it is very tough to perform. A single set comprises of skipping up the stairs using both legs (first left then right or vice versa). 3 to 5 sets of this workout is sufficient to activate the desired muscle fibers.
What are the Best Exercises to Develop Your Vertical Jump at the Gym?
When you have access to the gym, your effort to achieve a higher vertical jump for playing basketball gets a head-start. As you have access to free weights as well as machines, your chances of activating muscle fibers that help you achieve a higher vertical are increased significantly.
Here are a few exercises that you can perform to achieve a higher vertical jump:
Jump Squats using Overhead Plates:
This is a great exercise for developing not only the lower but also the upper body. When you perform this exercise, your core too gets activated and strengthened simultaneously.
Clasp a weighted plate with both arms and raise it above your shoulder. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees till they are at an angle of 90 degrees from the ground. Your hips need to be pushed back slightly.
Jump as high as you can and maintain a firm grip on your weighted plate. Come back to the ground allowing your knees to bend in order to cushion the fall. Repeat this exercise a few times over to complete a single set. Perform 3 to 5 sets of this exercise.
The second exercise involves holding a kettle bell with both arms. The kettle-bell needs to be placed close to your chest. Sit down in a full-squat position and then raise back up again. It helps activate both the inner and outer thigh area.
It is an excellent exercise to strengthen your thigh and hip area. 8 to 10 repetitions should be sufficient to complete a single set. Perform 3 to 5 sets of this exercise.
Single Leg Back Squats using a Smith Machine:
The last and final exercise is a single leg squat that needs to be performed on a Smith Machine. Pick a weight that you can easily perform repetitions with. Heavier weight can cause injuries.
Ensure that you go down slowly and then explode up at a rapid pace. Perform 8 to 12 repetitions with each leg. One set is considered complete when you exercise both legs. Do 3 sets of this exercise to achieve maximum benefits.
Weighted Calf Raise on Smith Machine:
Place the barbell with adequate weights onto the back of your shoulder. Perform calf raises in a slow yet steady manner. The calf raise should be performed in a twin-action sequence.
Pause midway into the calf raise for a second before thrusting upwards to complete the movement. This pause in the middle allows the calf muscles to achieve maximum contraction. It helps develop explosive power in them.
Why is the Vertical Jump Test Important in Basketball?
Vertical jump is important not only in the field of basketball but all other physically demanding sports. It also needs to be noted that basketball is a physically demanding sport that requires a player to have a high vertical (to dunk, block or pass the ball).
In a vertical jump, it is your lower half of the body that propels you upwards. So, developing your thigh, calf, hip, lower back muscles is vital. Your ankle, knee and hip joints too should be in prim shape.
You need to have a base from where you begin to determine how high you can go. It could be as low as 5 inches or as high as 20 inches (depending on your personal ability).
How to Measure Your Standing Vertical Jump using a Measuring Devise?
>>> The first task is to measure your reach. Stand close to the measuring devise and stretch your arm upwards. Hold the arm close to your ear to judge your reach.
>>> Stand with your feet ‘shoulder width apart’ and jump as high as you can. Touch the measuring bar with the tip of your fingers.
So, your standing vertical jump would be your jump minus your maximum standing reach.
How to Measure Your Explosive Vertical Jump using a Measuring Devise?
>>> You need to first measure your reach. The same method is applicable here. Reach out with your good arm outstretched. Keep the arm close to your ear while doing so.
>>> Take a short run-up and jump as high as you can when you reach close to the measuring bars.
>>> Subtract your reach from the explosive vertical jump. The result is your current explosive vertical.
How to Measure Your Vertical Jump at Home?
Assuming that you wish to measure your vertical jump at home, there is no measuring bar in place. After all, who keeps measuring sticks at home? Not many basketball players do. So, what should you do in such a scenario?
>>> You need an inch-tape that can be used for measuring the vertical jump in inches or centimeter.
>>> You also need to have a chair or a ladder to measure the vertical jump. A small piece of scotch tape would also be required.
>>> In order to measure your vertical jump, you need to first measure your reach. For that, simply stand next to a wall and stretch your good arm as high in the air as possible (keeping it close to the ear).
>>> Do this again and this time around, stick a small piece of tape to your fingertip. Release the tape at the highest point. Use a measuring tape to measure your reach.
>>> To measure your explosive vertical jump, simply stick a tape onto your fingertip. Take a few strides and then jump when you reach the wall. Stick the tape to the wall at the highest point.
>>> Measure the distance in between your reach and the best vertical jump.
Measuring your vertical jump is an ideal way to improve your performance in the game. So, you need to make an added effort to measure your vertical jump every week. I am assuming that you are training optimally to improve your vertical jump.
The main aim behind vertical jumps is to improve your dunk and block abilities. When you have a higher vertical, you are also able to pass the ball way better than your competition. So, you need to have a ‘higher than normal’ jump to excel in the game of basketball.
Exercises need to be coupled by correct diet in order to achieve your vertical. When healthy nutrition meets a time-tested and scientifically backed workout plan then, you tend to achieve a higher than your normal vertical jump in no time at all.