Games like soccer, rugby, and basketball require good body strength along with a number of sport skills like running faster, jumping higher, hitting harder and throwing farther. Trainers often stress on the importance of incorporating plyometric exercises in the workout routines of the players, as these can help improve their endurance, muscle coordination, speed, and agility. These exercises are usually performed by sportsmen and athletes to improve their performance in the game.
These exercises involve fast jumping, hopping, and bounding movements. In a basketball drill, a player has to make quick movements on the ground and jump higher to make a basket. These exercises help the players adopt quick movements, increase body flexibility, improve alertness, etc.
Plyometric Training for Basketball Players
Squat Jumps: These exercises help increase the jump while playing basketball. To perform this exercise, you would first need to assume the position of doing a squat. Lower your body such that your thighs are parallel to the floor and forelegs perpendicular. Make sure that the angle of the knees is not less than 90 degrees. Once you assume this position, lunge your body in the air as high as possible. Slowly land on your feet and get into the original position. Hold the position for a second and repeat the exercise.
Slalom Jumps: Draw a line on the ground and stand on one side of the line. Keep your feet joined and jump from one side of the line to the other, without touching the line. Continue jumping back and forth across the line and do it as fast as possible. Record the number of jumps per second, gradually increasing the rate of this motion. Jumping and landing with the same foot on both sides of the line is a variation of this exercise.
Split Jumps: To perform this exercise, stand upright with hands positioned on the hips. Place your left foot ahead of the right foot, with a minimum distance of 3 feet between them. Now, gently lower your right knee such that, there lies only a gap of 2 inches between the right knee and the ground. Then, jump vertically and exchange the positions of the feet in the air. After the jump, land with your right foot behind the left foot.
Low Box Depth Jump: To perform this exercise, you will require a box that is at least one foot high. Stand on the box, or simply stand on your heels with your toes hanging outside. Then, lower yourself by an inch or two and jump as high as possible. After landing on the ground, do ten more repetitions.
NOTE: You should always perform some warm up exercises before performing these exercises. These exercises are effective only when explosive force is applied. While landing on any surface, always try to land on the ball of your foot and avoid landing on your heels.
Basketball players should perform plyometric training only under the guidance of a physical trainer or coach. Many of the exercises involve quick jumping, landing, rebounding, etc., and there are chances of getting injured. So, make sure that you understand the correct steps to perform these exercises.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.