Are you someone who loves to play basketball and want to significantly improve your jump to get your game to the next level?
Well, to answer your question we will be explaining in detail what you can do to finally figure out how to jump higher in basketball!
In basketball, there are two types of jumping, and most people are often better at either one or the other:
- A one-footed jump; and
- A two-footed jump
A one-footed jumper jumps off of one foot, and usually gets much higher with a running start. Momentum and speed are the main source of energy for a successful one-footed jump.
On the contrast, a two-foot jumper jumps off of both feet and does not have to depend as much on obtaining momentum from their running start to jump higher (although footwork and technique are still extremely important!). Strength and effective energy transfer are essential for a successful two-footed jump.
Now, let me break down some tips on how to jump higher when playing basketball!
Step 1 – Find Out What Type of Jumper You Are.
Do you feel more comfortable jumping off of one foot, or both?
Do you get higher jumping off of one foot, or both?
Some people like to gain momentum from their run-up to translate that same energy into their jump.
Other people like to use their explosive power while standing to get to their highest jump.
Depending on what you are comfortable with and jump higher off of, you should find this out so that you can tailor your workouts to optimize them based your own style.
If you are someone who wants to switch from a one-footed jump to a two-footed jump or vice versa, don’t worry! You can always get better at the other and improve it through training.
The last point between the two styles of jumping that I would like to mention, is that two-footed jumps have a higher potential with good technique and will often have less injury risk.. This is because it is a more controlled movement and tends to lead to safer landings as well.
Make sure you think about this and answer some of the above questions before you begin.
Step 2 – Do Exercises Tailored to Your Jumping Type.
Of course training is a key factor in increasing your vertical jump.
But it is not as effective to just do any exercises that you think will increase your vertical.
Depending on your jump type which you have determined in step 1, you should tailor the exercises that you complete to what you will need when actually performing the jump.
Let me give you an example:
If you are a one-foot jumper, doing one-legged weighted squats might be more beneficial than a regular squat. This is because a one-legged squat will not only improve your leg strength, but it will also develop the balance and steadiness you will need on each individual leg when jumping off of one foot.
Another great exercise for a one-footed jumper would be to practice your run-up. Since a one-footed jump heavily depends on your footwork and run-up, practicing it repetitively will improve your ability to perform that technique over time.
No matter which style of jumper you are, your workouts should be focused on preparing the muscles that you are going to use to jump.
Be mindful of the differences between fast-twitch muscle fibres and slow-twitch muscle fibres.
Fast-twitch muscle fibres are helpful for explosiveness and are developed through plyometrics and quick & powerful movements.
Slow-twitch muscle fibres are helpful for muscle endurance, and are developed through repetitive low-intensity exercises such as running a marathon distance.
When it comes to jumping higher, you want to train your fast-twitch muscles fibres effectively.
See the Top 3 Best Vertical Jump Programs to improve your one-footed or two-footed jumping abilities.
Step 3 – Practice With a Basketball.
After you improve your jumping ability, you should start to practice doing it with a ball.
Even if your goal is to just jump higher during the game and not necessarily dunk, you should practice with a ball because jumping with an object will feel completely different.
With a basketball, your body will be forced to fall out of balance more often than without a ball. Over time, your body will learn to adjust to the weight of the ball as well as the motion of holding a ball which will benefit your ability to balance.
Doing these motions with the actual ball with also train your muscle-memory over time and will make it second-nature to you.
In addition to this, jumping with a ball is much more difficult because it will most likely decrease your maximum vertical jump. Jumping with an object with weight and size will likely hinder your jumping ability quite a bit.
This is why many people who dunk for the first time typically use a lob pass or alley-oop, rather than being able to dribble up to the net.
Practice with a basketball until you are able dunk, finish high-jumping lay-up or whatever your objective may be, at a full game speed.
Step 4 – Try It Out In a Pick-Up Game.
Now that you have practiced jumping with a ball many times, you should try it in a game.
If you have never tried this before in an actual regulation game, a good idea is to try it during a pick-up game or during a scrimmage at practice.
This will give you a better feel for it with actual body contact and defenders that are trying to stop you.
While dribbling to the basket, you will most likely have defenders trying to slow you down by putting their body or pressure on you. Since your objective is to actually do this in a game, you will have to get used to being able to perform the jump you’ve been practicing with all of those defenders.
For example, it’s very easy to get in a jump shot in an empty gym with no one guarding you. Once someone plays aggressive defence, you will need to adjust your shot (sometimes while slightly off balance) which will only get better when you constantly practice it with someone actually defending you.
Similarly, jumping with the ball with defenders trying to stop you will give you the best practice for the move, as well as allow you to figure out when are the real-game opportunities for you to jump higher – such as during a fast-break.
Another thing is that playing a game will tire you out.
Your jump will most likely not be as high after trying to attack and defend a player while running up and down the court for an extended period of time.
If you notice that you’re not able to jump as high because of how tired you get, go back into the gym and practice Steps 1 to 3 until your jump is high enough that you can still perform the move without needing all of your energy. Repetition will only improve your ability.
As mentioned before, another key factor is that trying it in a game will train your basketball IQ into understanding how to get yourself into positions where you will have enough space to jump your highest with the ball.
For instance, you may find out that baseline cuts give you the most amount of space and time for you to dunk the ball.
Step 5 – Try It In a Real Game.
Whatever you have been practicing both during practice and during scrimmage, it is time to finally try it out in a real regulation game.
If you have been practicing dunking in a game or jumping high to take contact for a contested lay-up finish, doing this in a game will really test your ability to execute this move.
With referees around and a real game intensity, it will push your limits and test your skills. It will also train you mentally to overcome the obstacle of being afraid to mess up the move during the game.
If you’re unsuccessful in a game, don’t worry. Just keep practicing and trying it during your scrimmages and pickup games. You will have tons of opportunities to get better at your move there.
You don’t need to rush. Take your time in developing this move.
The best basketball players in the world spend endless time perfecting the moves they want to add to their skillset. This is why it looks so easy for them.
Once you keep practicing your move it will make you comfortable in doing it in whatever situation you’re in.
Those were some tips on how you can jump higher in basketball.
If you would like to improve your jump, click here to see the review of some of the best vertical jump programs.
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