Think You Got Game? Here Are 5 Tips To Make You A More Explosive Basketball Player


Indoor and outdoors and year round. The game of basketball can be played just about anywhere there is a hoop set up and the guy who can hit jumpers and throw down a dunk has full bragging rights. You may think that your game is okay, but isn’t it about time that you rose above the competition – literally – and for once in your life be the man?

The secret to improving your ‘ups’ is to build up your leg power and explosiveness. – plain and simple. The exercises that you need to do are probably some of the same ones that you already are doing, so it won’t be a complete transformation to get moving on this program.

You’ll need to improve your jumping ability, as this will not only help your inside game (rebounding, lay ups, dunking), but also from outside hitting jump shots. The higher you can get, the easier it is to avoid a defender and pop off from beyond the arc.

To do that, you should get a good balance of bodyweight movements mixed with added resistance using weight training exercises, as well as flexibility drills. Here’s a quintet of suggestions for you to be the best in your rec league.

1. PLYOMETRICS

Once you get used to doing box jumps, getting some height on the hardwood will seem like a joke. Start out with the shorter boxes and keep working your way up, doing sets in a bunch of different ways: multiple reps with the same box, lining them up and increasing the height with consecutive one-rep sets or starting higher and going lower.

The two main things that you need to do with box jumps are to get your knees up as high as you can and land squarely. You can really fuck yourself up if this goes awry

Another tip is to emulate what you will be doing on the court and by that we mean to not begin your jump from a still position. Take a step or two towards the box and rotate your plant foot slightly, the same as if you were jumping during a game.

2. VERTICAL JUMPS

The same goes for these like that last point; don’t do these in the conventional manner and start off from a standing still position. Vertical jumps, like box jumps, will benefit your basketball abilities in two different ways – jumping ability and overall lower body strength.

Try to squeeze in vertical jumps in between sets of basically any other exercises. Three or four at a time will add up and before you know it, you’ll be beating your previous high every week.

3. JUMP SQUATS/SQUATS

This exercise is best performed with just using your body weight and not with a barbell – light weight or not. That is a personal invitation to injury. Doing added resistance jump squats can be done by wearing a weight vest, but the object here is to go as high as you can and not being weighed down.

Stick your arms straight out in front of you with your palms facing down, move into a full squatting position and picture your heels driving through the floor as you come off the floor simultaneously with returning to the starting position.

You will really feel these if you super set them with regular squats. Bang out a set on the rack, place the barbell back, take a few steps out and do a set of jump squats.

4. CALVES

The lower parts of your legs are vital for lower body strength, jumping ability and landing properly and holding your position. Any and all calf raises will work: standing, seated, donkey…just do it.

5. STRETCHING

Yes, we should have listed this first, but there’s a method to our madness. You should stretch out before AND after exercising and a game. This will help your flexibility and prevent injury.

Have you ever arrived at the arena early and watched warm ups? Usually a team captain will line up his teammates (or in a circle around him) and call out different stretches for a 10 count each.