Best 9 Plyometric Exercises For Basketball: Beginner to Advanced Drills

plyometric exercises for basketball

Basketball is a sport that requires athletes with high demands on explosive strength, speed (ability to change pace instantly), agility, and quickness.  One of the best way to improves these skills are through plyometric exercises for basketball players.

Can You Be A Good At Basketball Without Plyometric Exercises?

Yes, but you will not maximize your potential without plyometric exercises.

Plyometric exercise is not the only training you need to get better in basketball.  You need conditioning, strength training, and stretching programs to become a better player.

Why Do You Need Plyometric Exercises For Basketball?

Plyometric exercises designed to increase power and speed by quickly extend and contract your muscles.   Plyometric exercises use your body weight through various jumps to training your muscles. Through these jumps, you put an extra load to your muscles during pre and post jump, and your muscle develops explosiveness, quickness, and speed.

Plyometric exercises vary in different intensity and speed.  You have to keep in mind to always train at your current level and not to over train in plyometric.  If not, you may do more harm to your body.  A lot of trainers recommended you do no more than twice a week with 4-5 plyometric exercise per workout.  You don’t want to overwork your muscles and lead to potential injury before and during the season.

Jacky Anderson from JenReviews did a great review of the plyometrics exercise you can incorporate into your basketball training.

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How Does Basketball Plyometric Exercises Help You Jump Higher?

Plyometrics is a full-body jumping exercise that often time doesn’t require equipment.  Your body is the best equipment, but sometimes you may need plyo boxes to increase the difficulty of the exercise.

Basketball plyometric drills increase muscle strength, which allows you to run faster in the game, more explosive in your jump, and quick and efficient in your change of speed during crossover moves.

In order to strengthen your muscles, your muscles have to go through a concentric contraction (shortening of the muscle) and eccentric contraction (stretching of the muscle) cycle.

Actively training the muscle in the shortening-stretching cycle will strengthening the muscle.  Not only does plyometrics strengthening the muscle, but it will also improve stability, balance, and agility.

Do You Need Plyometric Box For Your Plyometric Workout For Basketball?

Plyometric Exercises For Basketball

Yes, you need a plyometric box for your exercises, but not all plyometric exercises need a box.  You will see below some of the plyometric drills need a plyo box at the beginner to advance level.

You can replace a solid bench with a bench, but I won’t recommend it since there is a risk for breaking the bench or sliding off during your jump.  Whenever you do a box jump exercise, you need to make sure the base is stable, and check the weight capacity.

Plyometric Workout for Basketball

Below are plyometric workouts for basketball.  It is separate from beginner to advance level.  Make sure you train at your level and progress your difficulty level slowly.  Rapidly increase your difficulty level may do more harm to your body than good.

Basketball Plyometrics Exercises For Beginner

1. Bunny Hops Drill

The benefit of the bunny hops drill is to improve jumping, the strength of the muscle, the change of direction, and quickness.

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Steps for Bunny Hops

  • Use a straight line on the court.
  • Start: Feet are together, Hop in a straight line down the court, make sure your hops are quick, and stay low to the ground.
  • Land on the balls of your feet and your heel should maintain low to the ground.

2. Frog Jump Drill

The benefit of the frog jump drill is to improve explosiveness and vertical jump.

Steps for Frog Jump

  • Feet are shoulder-width apart
  • Start: Squat down so your butt is almost touching your heel
  • Place your hands on the ground next to the outside of your feet
  • Jump forward as far as you can, use your arm to help you jump upward
  • Land back down in the same squat position when you start (Make sure your land is nice and soft)
  • Repeat the same step as above

3. Box Jump Drill

The benefit of the box jump drill is to improve jumping and quickness.

Steps for Box Jump

  • You need a ploy box for this exercise
  • Start: stand with both feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bend knees, keep your torso upright, and engage your core muscles.
  • Jump up on the box as soft as you can
  • Step back down and repeat the same jump

Plyometrics Basketball Exercises For Intermediate

4. Depth Jump Drill

The benefit of a depth jump drill is to improve jumping and quickness

Steps for Depth Jump

  • You need a Plyo box or bench
  • Start: You stand on top of a plyo box, drop down and land on both feet, immediately jump up as high as you can
  • Start off with a smaller plyo box for beginner and increase plyo box as your exercise progress
  • For the advance drill, you can line up another plyo box (equal, bigger or smaller size) and jump back up to another plyometric box.

5. Lateral Cone Hops Drill

The benefit of lateral cone hops drill is to improve lateral change of direction

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Steps for Lateral Cone Hops

    • You will need cones
    • Start: stand with both feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bend knees, keep your torso upright, and engage your core muscles.
    • Stand on one side of the cone and lateral jump to the opposite side of the cone
    • Land softly on the balls of your feet and get back into your starting position
    • Lateral jump back to the other side of the cone
    • A beginner starts one jump at a time to maintain the correct form.  You can execute multiple jumps continuously as your progress with the exercise.

6. Squat Jump Drill

The benefit of the squat jump drill is to improve jumping and explosiveness.

Steps for Squat Jump Drill

  • Start: stand with both feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bend knees, keep your torso upright, and engage your core muscles.
  • Jump as high as you can and land softly on the balls of your feet
  • Land back on your starting position and repeat your jump
  • For advance tips, you can hold a basketball while you jump to increase the difficulty

Plyometrics Basketball Drills For Advance

7. Single-Leg Hops Drill


This is an advanced drill of bunny hops.  The benefit of single-leg hops is to improve explosiveness off one leg and jumping ability.

Steps for Single-Leg Hop Drill

  • Start: Stand on one leg, jump forward, and land on the same leg
  • Jump forward again immediately after you land

8. Single-Leg Lunge Jump Drill


The benefit of the Single-Leg lunge jump drill is to improve explosiveness and jumping ability off from one leg

Steps for Single-Leg Lunge Jump Drill

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  • Start: Stand on one leg and get down to lunge position
  • While maintaining your balance, jump up as high as you can, use both arms to propel upward.
  • Land softly on the same leg and get back to the lunge position, get ready for another jump
  • Repeat the same steps for the opposite leg

9. Multiple Depth Jumps Drill

The benefit of a multiple depth jump drill is to improve jumping and quickness.  This drill is similar to depth jump, but instead of one plyo box, you use 3 different sizes.  You start from the lowest plyo box and end with the highest box.

Steps for Depth Jump

  • You need 3 different sizes of Plyo box
  • Start: You line up 3 plyo boxes with lowest to highest.  Make sure you space them equally for your jump.
  • You stand on top of the first plyo box, walk down and land on both feet, immediately jump up to the next plyo box.
  • Walk off from the second plyo box and jump up immediately to the last plyo box.
  • You go back to the first plyo box and repeat the jumps again.

Bonus Advance Plyometric Jump Drill

Knee to Squat Jump

This is an advanced drill that puts great pressure on your knee, It is recommended to do this drill 1 times weekly with a rep of 8 jumps.  This drill helps with explosiveness in your vertical jump and core strength.

Steps For Knee to Squat Jump

  • Start: You’re in a kneeling position with both knees on the ground
  • Explosively jump up to a squat position with both feet plant on the ground, then jump up vertically from a squat position.
  • Land softly on the balls of your feet. Use your knee to propel upward.
  • Starts slow initially with proper form and stability from kneeling to a squat position. This will avoid excessive pressure on the knees.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 8 times.

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