Plyometrics to Improve Your Vertical Jump
Donald A. Chu, Ph.D., PT, ATC, CSCS
Basketball is a sport where leaping ability gets attention.
Virtually every participant in this sport would like to improve
in his or her ability to "get up". The key to jumping higher
is a two-fold problem. First, leg strength must be maximized.
The coupling of strength and plyometric training are essential
for maximizing your abilities.
Squat strength has the highest correlation with your ability
to score well on a "Jump and Reach" test.
My favorite exercises for developing maximal jumping ability
on the court are the following exercises, done in the following
1. Rim Jumps 5 sets; 6 reps
2. Depth Jumps 5 sets; 8 reps from a 24"-36" height
3. Hurdle Hops 5 sets; 6 reps over 32" barriers
4. Rebound Jumps done with a Medicine Ball done for 3 X 60 seconds
5. Squat Jumps done with 60% of 1 RM 10 sets; 3 reps
Remember that jumping is a specific skill, and it matters if
you are taking off on one foot, or two feet. If you are taking
off on two feet, such as rebounding, tipping, or jump stopping
all of the above exercise will suffice. If you are thinking
of stuffing off of a lay-up approach, then it becomes a single
foot take off. In that case these exercises can be added to
1. Single leg hops over 10m (try to cover as much ground as
2. Single leg hurdle hops 5 sets; 6 reps over 12"-18" barriers
3. Single leg push-off 5 sets; 6 reps from a 12" box (drive
up for maximal height)
4. Reverse lunge with lead knee drive done with 30% 1 RM; 10
sets of 1 rep
5. Three-step approach to rim touches 10-15 sets of 1 rep.
These exercises are very specific to basketball and require
that the exerciser be in good condition to follow this program.
The frequency of exercise should be 3 times per week for 4 weeks
and then 2 times per week for 4 weeks and finish with 1 time
per week for 6 weeks. Given enough time for physiological change
to occur, you should definitely notice a difference. Don't forget
you need to work on leg strength at the same time!
beginning any exercise program consult with your physician.)