Being able to jump high is a very important skill in basketball. The ability to slam dunk or get up above your opponent for that crucial rebound is extremely important in this sport and if you are performing slightly below your potential than you can expect to lose out on the court, miss out on teams and bow out earlier than you’d hoped.
If you’re really tall you might be able to dunk without any training whatsoever but for shorter men it can be quite difficult so here’s what you should do:
- Improve your technique. By concentrating on putting your body into the most efficient position during the jumping movement you can get the most out of the existing output of your body. This will give you an immediate gain and is the easiest to develop. You just need to practice.
- Another way is to perform plyometric exercises to produce more dynamism from your muscles and to train your nervous system to react quickly.
- The third and most important method is strength training. This is going to give you consistent long term improvement and it will protect you from injury as well. Ensuring you are strong enough for your body to handle jumping high is vital to success.
If you want to increase your jumping ability than the squat is definitely the best strength training exercise for you because it empowers almost your entire legs and your core as well. Do low rep high weight training like a powerlifter would. This way your leg muscles will become stronger and more efficient without gaining unnecessary weight, otherwise it will slow you down. For a bodybuilder that’s fine because his aim is to get bulkier and more muscular but to a basketball player it is bad because it will reduce your speed and probably hurt your jumping ability as well even though your legs will be stronger. So yeah… train like a powerlifter by doing heavy weight low rep training. By doing so frequently you will strengthen your legs quickly & significantly without gaining that much weight. That, coupled with technique improvement and the plyometric exercises mentioned earlier should increase your ability to jump high greatly.
Don’t forget to get some rest as that’s when our bodies recover and repair themselves and when strength gains are made. I like to do weight training before shooting both to ensure I’m freshest when stressing my body to the fullest in the gym and to practice skills while fatigued. Again this makes a much better approximation of a game situation. If you want to jump higher, then you must be committed to your training and work hard. It can be tedious sometimes but the results will be worth it.