Vertical Jump Training – How to Dominate on the Court

Basketball is an intense sport that requires a certain skill-set to be really effective. You can follow a general workout regime to achieve a high level of fitness, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be prepared for everything that takes place on the court. To really achieve on the court, you need speed, agility, balance, power, strength, focus, and stamina. These things are not possible without training in a consistent, measured way.

Pre-Season Training

basketball-hoopBegin your pre-season by preparing for the build-up to season. The early stages are about preparation and maintenance, rather than high-intensity workouts. Plyometrics and aerobics are required to gradually build your body towards a point of strength, while also avoiding injuries from over-training.

As you move closer to the actual season, your pre-season regime can change. Anaerobic workouts and strength training can be used to reach a new level of fitness, while also developing specific body areas that are required for basketball. Your workouts will be more intense, but you still need to make sure you are avoiding injury by limiting your workouts.

During the Season

A basketball season can be long and taxing, so you are looking to maintain fitness for each game. You might not always be at your peak, but you are able to consistently perform and recover for the quick turn-around of games. Using both aerobic and anaerobic routines, along with plyometrics and occasional weights sessions, you should be able to maintain a high level of overall fitness.

Post-Season Training

A typical season will take a lot out of your body. It is important to recover if you want your muscles and bones to get the rest they require. Take some time off from anything too strenuous, making sure you get plenty of sleep, rest, and relaxation. Stopping any workouts can tighten up muscles and stiffen your joints, so do some light gym work with regular stretching. This light work will also ensure you don’t shock your body when you start up training again.

Increasing Your Vertical

This frequency of exercise will help your body overall, but it is important to work on certain fundamental areas. Shooting and ball control work can be done at any time, but increasing your vertical jump requires a concerted effort and plan.

Everyone wants to know how to dunk a basketball, but dunking and blocking shots requires you to be able to leap much higher than the average person, requiring a strong core and leg muscles. This is achieved through plyometric exercises, like depth jumps, calf raises, and squats. Rather than trying to achieve everything at once, aim to gain small increases in inches that add up to a big jump. Over time you should be able to dunk a basketball on a regular basis. After this, being able to dunk when under pressure from an opponent is the next step.


In ideal circumstances, a fully-stocked gym and a professional coach is your best option. This won’t always be possible though, so you might need to improvise. You can achieve great things with a large mat, basketball sneakers, a jump rope, and a wall to measure your height. If you can get access to weights you can also gain strong, lean muscle that helps create powerful movements. While you should consider joining a gym, don’t think this is the only way to achieve excellent fitness and a high vertical. You could also use a vertical jump program to make life easier, learning from top coaches online.

Basketball Podcast – The Progression of Steph Curry

Check out this podcast from Strong Arm Sports. Get their take on Steph Curry and the Warriors keeping their unbeaten streak and breaking new records.

There’s also plenty of other sports talk to keep you occupied.

Steph Curry is on top of the world right now. But how can a young player learn to play like him. Check out these top tips:

Consistency – Curry is known for relentlessly working on drills, positioning and form. It is no accident that he appears so natural on he court. He has being working at it for years and his basketball game keeps on improving.

Footwork – Curry has some dazzling footwork that often makes fools of defenses. Making use of ladder drills is a great way to get that smooth footwork that looks effortless.

Shooting – Shooting is another area that requires practice and dedication, but Curry also has some other benefits on his side. In a professional game, space gives you that extra second to take a shot. By feinting and throwing the opposition off balance, he can create enough time to get off a clear shot.

Speed and Power – Plyometrics are a great way to develop speed and power. Working on muscles in such a way as to build strength without sacrificing speed lets him move powerfully across the court. Speed and power are nothing without agility, and plyometric routines let you achieve all of these things.

Vertical Jump – Most people think of the vertical jump in relation to dunking a basketball, but this is not the only case. A strong vertical jump lets you work well on offense and defense. A weak vertical will lead to blocked shots and being outmaneuvered and dominated by defenses. Plyometrics is also helpful for developing a strong vertical jump.

That’s just a quick look at some of the things that enable Curry to stand out among a highly impressive league. If you want to achieve some of the same things, think about finding a basketball coach or a good basketball training program to help you take the next step.

Plyometric Training for Speed, Power & Vertical Jumping

If you know anything about plyometric training you know it can make a big difference to your vertical jump, quickness, and athletic power. Plyometrics is used by most of the best athletes in sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, and all types of athletics.

This video provides a quick plyometric routine you can follow and it should help you get started in improving your fitness.

The exercises featured in this 12 minute routine are:

  • Broad jumps
  • Knee tuck jumps
  • Power jacks
  • Jumping lunges
  • Box jumps

There are 2 rounds of each exercise, so you should feel the burn, but there is nothing too intense.


Basketball Training Tips for Non-Professionals

Professional basketball players have a long season with many competitive games against the best opponents in the world. For these NBA players, and other respected leagues around the world, there is no opportunity for relaxing and slipping up on your training. Strength and conditioning is paramount and needs to be taken seriously.

basketball sunsetFor the average passionate player who doesn’t play professionally, though, there are other factors to consider. You probably don’t need to work anywhere near as hard as you won’t be playing against the same standard of opposition. You may have a job that takes up a large part of your time, both mentally and physically. You might not want to risk over-training and injuring yourself.

For these reasons, a non-professional basketball player just needs to work on a plan that helps improve their game, keep them in shape, and avoids injury. If you have an amateur coach, they will probably provide you with a solid plan. But for those that don’t , they need to work on their physical fitness in their own time.

Calf Raises

“Standing calf raises are executed with one or both feet. They are frequently done on a raised surface with the heel lower than the toes to allow a greater stretch on the working muscles. The exercise is performed by raising the heel as far as possible. Weights or other methods of providing resistance are commonly used, but the exercise is also effective with body weight alone.”


You could perform 10 calf raises over 3 sets for a good workout. Always make sure you hold good form and remain in control throughout the movement. Strong, powerful calves can play a big difference in increasing your vertical jump for dunking and quick speed across the court.

Sprint Training

Sprint training involves starting at one of the court and sprinting the full length before jumping to touch the rim or net of the basket. You are working on your speed and jump training at the same time, allowing you to work an intense routine of fitness. This exercise will probably wear you out, so you only need to perform 5 of these over 2 sets.

Along with increasing your speed and power, this training helps with your vertical jump training. Try to remain in control as you make your ascent towards the basket. Bend your knees to get the most elevation in your jump, allowing you to generate great force as your rise up. Focus heavily on reaching the highest point of the basket, with improvements guaranteed over time.

Warm Up

Lastly, remember to warm up properly. A failure to warm up your body leads to injuries and tweaks that can put you out of action for weeks or months. These small injuries often catch up on non-professional athletes who don’t have the best physios to help rehabilitate them.

Here is a good warm up routine from Jacob Hiller of the Jump Manual fame. You can also find plenty of other routines for free on the web.

  • High Knees 20 ground contacts
  • Kick Butts 20 ground contacts
  • Karaoke 20 ground contacts
  • Front Leg Swings 15 swings X 2
  • Side-side Leg Swings 15 swings X 2
  • Xband Walks OR Glute Bridges 10 steps X 2 OR 12 Bridges
  • Toe touch to Glute Squeeze (no pause at the bottom) 10 X 2
  • Walking Lunges with a Twist Toward Forward Knee 10 X 2
  • ATG (butt to the ground) Bodyweight Squat 10 X 2
  • Ankle Rolls 30 seconds each ankle
  • Arm Swings front to back 15 X 2


So there you have it. Those are just some simple training methods to get started with, but they can help you become a better basketball player that out performs your friends and colleagues on the court. A full, pro training regime involves plyometric training, vertical jump training, strength and conditioning, and ball handling skills. It is up to you whether you want to take it that far, but there is always room for improvement…even for the pro’s.