T Nation

Increasing Vetical Jump and Side to Side speed

Hey folks. I need some help. I am working with a 16 year old basketball player. I am drawing him up a new workout program. His goal is to increase vertical jump and side to side speed. If anyone has any input it would be greatly appreciated. If you know any good articles on here please let me know. I want to read as much as possible to help him. I am going to go look right now, but just wanted to get this posted first. John Davies, Bill Roberts, Cy Wilson, Spongebob, Trenfreak, or any others please help.

You really won’t have much of problem searching the web for articles. Unfortunately many will have a hidden agenda of selling some product. What level of fitness and given that he is only 16 has he had any training experience? In faith, Coach Davies

It depends on his strength levels. If he can squat twice body weight then plyometrics (weighted) are in order; if he can only squat body weight or less, then increasing his squat strength alone will increase vertical. As for what type of squat, I’d say low box squats (see Dave Tate’s “squatting head to toe”). This will make him work the key jumping muscles, the hip extensors (hams and glutes), and not quads. Also, the wide stance is very good for hip strength and flexibility and will likely help lateral quickness.

As a former basketball player, I can tell you that the one thing that will provide much improvement in both these areas in total body conditioning. Of course you have to focus on these areas directly, but remember that the legs are moving the whole darn game and fatigue will set in quickly if you do not have the stamina. So along with plyometrics, lifting and direct skill training, he needs to be in superb condition. Use lots of intervals with varying intensities and varying lengths of rest times. Slow endurance work does absolutely nothing for a basketball player other than waste their time. Regarding the vertical jump, he needs to train all of the leg muscles in both the dynamic method to improve speed strength and the max effort method to improve max strength. Use deads, regular box squats, front squats, good mornings for max effort work. For dyanic work, I’d recommend rotating jump squats, power cleans, power snatches. Also, I recommend doing a lot of explosive lunges and one-arm db snatches as the primary assistance work. Don’t neglect training the calves. Also, check out Paul Chek’s tornado training article in this weeks issue. Jumping in basketball often requires a lot of rotation. Combine some of Chek’s lifts into the leg day. For upper body work, it is less important, putI’d recommend a lot of push presses and pull-ups as the foundation. Everything else is just support work. For plyometrics, you’re going to have to find someone else. I’d recommend using a 3 day lifting split. M-dynamic legs, core. W-upper body, core. F-max effort legs, core. Conditioning on all 5 days (remember intervals only, no long slow stuff). Make sure to include some wheelbarrow or sled dragging for restorative purposes and to raise work capacity. Do these on T and TH or a few hours after the leg lifting days. Running/Walking in waist deep water is good GPP work.

Okay here goes. The kid is 16. He is about 5’7" I guess. He works out about 4 days a week right now. He does waaaayyyy to much isolation exercises like tricep pushdowns. I asked him if he knew how to do deadlifts and said he didn’t and said he learns quickly. He does work hard I do know that. The problem is I am just going to be righting his program. He does not realize that the lifts I am already thinking of having him do are complex and need a coach or trainer to watch his form and spot him. I tried convincing him to hire me as a trainer but he said he did not want to. So I will be just writing up a workout program and then take him through all the exercises and demonstrate and make sure he knows how to do it. Unfortunately this will be just once. After that he is on his own. If I see him working out I will keep my eye on him, but I will not be training him.INFO ON KID: Works out 3-4 times a week. He is about 140lbs. Very low bodyfat(7%). I don’t think he realizes how important nutrition is, so I will be providing nutrition information. I know he can not squat twice his bodyweight. He has been training for one year with weights. He seems athletic and looks like he is in good shape. Another employee I work with told me he is a hard worker and will push himself. This is about all the information I know on him. If you need more information I can email him and find out. I told him I would have his plan ready by Friday. I already have found some good exercises for legs(though I am still open to suggestions, esp. from Coach Davies) I also was wondering if there are any upper body exercises that will help his vertical. Well I think that about covers it. I do appreciate everyone that helped and continues to help me. It means alot and my goal is to spread the knowledge from what I learn here in t-mag to others. Thanks to all.

Sorry Rob - I told you about all I have to offer on this subject without being able to really work with the boy. One last thing - he is an athlete and a basketball player and he needs to train like one. He is not a bodybuilder and should not train like one. He has high school and maybe college if he is lucky to play basketball. He will have the whole rest of his life to do tricep pushdowns. Try to teach him as much as you can and then turn him on to sites like this and coaches like John Davies. If he won’t hire someone, he needs to become his own strength coach and that means that he has a lot of learning to do.

Rev, cleans and snatches are total body lifts, not “upper body” lifts as you asked for, but they do require total body explosive power. Start him with the one armed versions (the pull begins with the dumbbell between the legs) as they are easier to learn than starting with a barbell. Coach Davies has good pictures in “Top Nine exercises for functional strength” on this site…

Hmm, you are caught in a difficult situation because you know to get the best results you will need to train him. In addtion, Like Jason N noted, he needs to be developed as an athlete not a bodybuilder. In doing this, you will need to use movements (weighted and non-weighted as well as varied mediums)that will require your teaching. Given he has not done multiple joint movements you will need to slowly integrate these. Focus on a few exercises and as you revise his program (every 3-6 weeks) he will gradually learn all the exercises. In response to your question, upper body movements are extremely important in your vertical jump. I look forward to hearing from you. In faith, Coach Davies

Hey you guys its about midnight here i just checked in…i will be writing his program tomorrow and will post it on here and maybe if you have some free time can critique it…i think i am going to try to slowly incorporate multijoint lifts in his routine. Maybe this first 3 weeks concentrate on working with squats and box squats and maybe lunges…i dunno i have read most of coach davies main articles…like the Top Nine exercises for functional strength…anyways i just want to tell you all thanks and that i hope i can represent you guys to my fullest…I will drop another response late tomorrow about the routine…thanks again too all it means lots to me, i learned something from everyone…thank you and coach davies i will keep you posted.

Ian King has a great several week work out progame for increasing vertinal jump, check his website and here at t-mag. maybe it is impractical to have him just use that as it is but it could give you some good ideas.

My bad, Ians article is called White men can jump!