Improve Your Vertical – Plyometrics Made Easy

Trying to dunk on the layup line before a game may seem cool but it doesn’t make you a better athlete. Incorporating jumping drills in your workouts, however, will improve your vertical. The drills below are a simple form of plyometrics. Get started on the alternating schedule of the four drills below to improve your vertical, horizontal and reaction speed and strength.

I usually suggest you add them to your Fitness Days rather than your Shooting Days (You don’t have fitness days and shooting days? Hmm. Are you serious about basketball? Next you’ll tell me you don’t do 2-A-Days).

A high school basketball court is typically 84’. 20 yards equals 60’. So running the drills from foul line to foul line works. For a team, running  from side line to side line is OK.

Don’t have hurdles. Use the same motion and act as if you are jumping a hurdle. Don’t have a platform? Skip it and repeat the Hurdle Hops.


Starting Position – Stand erect in a relaxed position.

Action – Bring your right knee forward and upward and at the same time hop forward on the left leg. The left arm is held up in proper running form and should be pumped back and forth. The right arm serves as a balance of control to help the hopping action. Land flat-footed. Repeat from foul line to foul line.


Starting Position – Take a standing position with feet in line with shoulders.

Action – Similar to the standing long jump, maximize distance, not height. Upon landing, quickly repeat the hopping motion from foul line to foul line.


Starting Position – Take a standing position (both feet on ground) in front of the first hurdle to be hopped.

Action -Jump over the hurdle and land on both feet. Quickly repeat the jump up and over the next four hurdles until the last hurdle is cleared. The arms should help the athlete balance and coordinate the movement. The arms are both driven upward as the hop occurs. Jump to maximize height, not distance. Try to spend as little time as possible on the ground between hurdles.


Starting Position – Assume a solid standing position with the pressure on the balls of the feet and knees slightly bent. Using your arms for balance, prepare for maximum explosion upwards and onto the platform.

Action – An upward and slightly forward explosive movement will allow you to land on both feet on top of the jumping platform. After landing, repeat the platform jump after hopping down, landing on both feet and squatting as far as you can. This drill is great for beginning athletes because it builds lower body strength. The starting height should be anywhere from eighteen to thirty-six inches.

Plyometric Schedule




Double Leg Hops

4 reps x 20 yards

Double Leg Hops

5 reps x 20 yards

Double Leg Hops

5 reps x 20 yards

Single Leg Hops

4 Reps x 20 Yards

Single Leg Hops

5 Reps x 20 Yards

Single Leg Hops

3 Reps x 20 Yards

Front Hurdle Hops

4 Reps x 5 Hurdles

Platform Jump

4 Reps x 4 Platforms

Front Hurdle Hops

4 Reps x 5 Hurdles

*This and other drills on this site are suggestions and/or recommendations. I do not assume any liability in any way. . Always work out responsibly. That may include discussing drills/workouts with your parent, guardian, coach, trainer, or other responsible adult.

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