Free Jumps and Hops
Start with tuck jumps. Simply do two-foot jumps going forward, pulling the knees up toward the chest.
This puts the legs into a power position. We want to keep the core solid as we pop off the ground.
Keep your toes pulled up so that you respond to the ground quickly. Get some rhythm and synchronization with your body parts. Gather the arms back. Pop them forward. Keep your head up, chest up, suck in your belly button, and tuck in your back.
Now let’s do hitch hops. The leg you’re jumping with, we want to try and pull that knee up just a little bit. This is a great balance and power drill for jumping. We want to recover that knee up in front of the body if possible. These are super development for specific power for jumping.
Bounding. Here we’re just going to jump from one foot to the other, bringing the knee up and the heel up and the toe up. These are nice, gentle, extended jumps. We simply want that explosiveness and rhythm that we get out of driving the knee forward. These are great for first-step explosion and running speed and explosiveness.
Next is depth jumps using a box. Start from the top of the box, drop down to the ground, pop right back up onto the box. This puts the stretch reflect into your muscle system that responds to the ground and explodes.
You have to follow the load-to-explode principle. If you start from the ground and jump up, that’s explode back to load. We want load. Get the drop to explode and jump. Lift those hips as high as you can.
Obstacle jumps. Using cones or little mini-hurdles about 12″ high, simply do two-foot jumps right down through the middle. We want to keep the hips high, do two-foot jumps, exploding over the hurdles. Get a little bit of height. Pull the knees up. Explode off the ground.
Now let’s use the same obstacle, but instead of two-foot jumps, let’s do a one-legged hop. This isolates and gives us more power for each specific leg. You want to work both legs equally. A right and a left makes one repetition.
Here we want to drop off of our box and explode into a sprint. We use that stretch reflex. Stretch the muscles and load them and then turn them loose to explode. Remember, our acceleration is from the driving force down into the ground, not reaching with the feet.
We need a basic harness and a partner. We want that forward lean, but we want a stable core at the same time. They’re going to do a great resisted run with good technique, lifting the knee up, heel up, toe up. Drive the elbow back. Keep that head up and lock in the core for stability. Put force down to the ground.
They go resisted down for half the court, resisted back. Now undo the harness, take it off, turn the muscles loose to go free. We’ve got more muscle recruitment that explodes into a great acceleration and first-step speed.
Resisted down. Resisted back. Run free. That’s one set. Do five sets.
This is the strength training segment to our workout. We want to introduce you to several adaptations that are more speed-specific to give you more explosion for greater performance.
Bench press. Here we want to contrast from your heavy, high intensity bench to a medicine ball so that we get explosive movement after the muscle recruitment. Maximum muscle recruitment followed by explosive movement with the medicine ball. The contrast helps to teach the muscles how we want them to react during a competitive situation.
Squats. Here we want a nice, deep parallel squat followed by plyometric jumps.
We get maximum muscle recruitment with the multi-joint exercise of squats. Step out. Go right into box jumps. This teaches the muscle tissue how we want it to react during competition. We’re doing equal number of repetitions of box jumps to the number of repetitions we did during the lifting phase with the weight.
This is just an idea of the type of basketball training drills you can do with your team to increase their power and speed. What other conditioning drills do you like to run with your players? Sound off in the comments section below!