Being a good shooter is just not enough to cut it in today’s fast-paced game. If you want to get noticed then you need to get mad hops and increase your vertical.
Think about it, most of the superstars in the NBA these days have serious athleticism and crazy hops. Likewise, the players who get the attention of the scouts at the high school and college levels are usually the ones who are playing above the rim…heck, who needs to shot the ball over a defender when you can just JUMP over him instead, right?
Increasing your vertical leap can not only fix your permanent position on the highlight reel, but it will help to increase your explosiveness, speed and agility in other areas of your game. At the end of the day, coaches love players who can dominate, and great hops can allow you to dominate and take over a game.
The following are recommendations that you should be incorporating into your workouts in order to increase your vertical and get mad hops.
Plyometrics are some of the best exercises that you can do for getting a better leap, since they are a practical exercise designed to train your entire jump mechanism and especially the fast twitch muscles that are essential to develop explosiveness and a higher vertical. They are a proven vertical training method for all athletes from basketball to volleyball to high jumpers.
While using plyometrics can get you an extra few inches, it’s going to be difficult to really get air time unless you combine it with weight training. Yeah, you may see some guys dunking that are stick-thin but in general, the stronger your muscles are the more power you’ll generate and the higher you’ll leap.
The two best weight training exercises for getting mad hops are:
- Calf Raises
These will work the major muscle groups of the legs (and lower back in the case of squats) and the most important ones for jumping. Getting some solid all-body weight training in will help your hops, but also make you a much stronger and more explosive player on the court…aka, a nightmare for defenders.
Try wearing some ankle weights or a weighted vest during your training sessions to get used to a heavier weight. Once you take them off you will feel a lot lighter and this alone can add an extra inch or two to your vertical.
Many folks neglect the importance of training your abs to get more inches on your vertical. Your abdominal muscles as well as your back are heavily utilized in jumping, so getting some solid ab work into your workout program is recommended to get mad hops.
Don’t neglect your stretching either. This is a hugely overlooked factor in vertical jump training.
When you stretch, your muscles are temporarily made weaker…at which point they begin to repair themselves and become stronger as well as being more flexible and less prone to injury.
The hip flexors are heavily utilized in the jump mechanism and it is therefore essential to perform regular stretching routines to loosen up and strengthen these muscles for better hops.