The challenges we all face during COVID-19 has changed a lot of what we do. As a result, many athletes are away from their team and unable to play their sport. Now is the perfect time to focus on fundamentals of their sport so that they are ready to get back to the gym when the time is right. One fundamental that is crucial in basketball is learning how to perform correct jumping and landing technique. In order to perform at your best and limit risk of injury, it’s important to focus on several key items:
Healthy jumping/landing technique is key to maximize power and explosiveness but also prevent injury. It’s important to practice these skills with a partner or in front of a mirror to make sure you’re demonstrating the form properly.
Unhealthy technique can lead to repetitive or overuse injuries at the knee or ankle. Bad form can also make an athlete more at risk for developing a more serious or traumatic injury. Last, improper form can also lead to less power, speed, or quickness and hinder overall performance.
When training, too much jumping can take a toll on your body. It’s important to vary the surface you practice on from time to time. During this pandemic, most of the surfaces available to you will be outside. Consider changing the surface from cement or asphalt to a sport court or even grass. Jumping and landing on the grass will give you more shock absorption but can also challenge your balance as the surfaces are not perfectly even like a traditional flat surface. No matter where you’re practicing your jumping, it’s always important to have good fitting, supportive shoes.
Variety of Jumps:
While it’s fun to do a lot of the same jumps, it’s important to add variety to work all aspects of your body and build athleticism. Basketball is a sport in which there are many different directional changes, sometimes even on one leg. As a result, it’s important to make sure you’re training your body appropriately to handle a variety of movements. Here are some examples:
- Perform single leg hops (jumping from and landing on the same leg) in a forward direction
- Challenge yourself to stick the landing for at least 3-5 seconds with good control
- Progress to adding variations for increased distance or increased height
- Perform double or single hops
- Challenge yourself with side to side jumps
- Switch it up and do a diagonal pattern (be sure to go in both directions for the diagonal pattern and repeat with each leg)
- Change it up and add a cone or a box to jump over
- Perform lateral bounding
- Challenge yourself to for distance and really stretch out or go for height and jump as high as you can
- Be sure to go in both directions
- Change it up and add 180 deg turn after 2-3 bounds
- Perform broad jumping
- Focus on not allowing your knees to go over your toes or let them cave in towards your midline
- Challenge yourself to go for height or distance
- Try three jumps in a row and stick the landing on the fourth jump
- Perform tuck jumps
- Challenge yourself to do 5, 10, or even 15 jumps in a row without a rest
Examples of all these jumps can be found at the website: https://ptrx.org/en/fv9464vywd/273000